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Volume 24 No. 158
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Matthew Broderick's "Ferris" Moment Tops List Of Celebrity Super Bowl Ad Cameos

The Super Bowl XLVI ads “were notable for nonstop cameos, most catering to a Generation X entering middle age,” according to a front-page piece by Peter Hartlaub of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Matthew Broderick and Elton John were “headliners on a night when pretty much everyone made a comeback in a commercial -- including the guy who played the Soup Nazi on ‘Seinfeld,’ and the cartoon character Grape Ape” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/6). In California, Chuck Barney writes the “best use of a celebrity” in the Super Bowl ads was Broderick, who “took us on a blissful trip down memory lane by paying homage” to the film “Ferris Bueller.” This time, Broderick “had a blast playing hooky from work.” It was “a fun nod to 1980s nostalgia while still making sense to people who haven't seen the film” (CONTRA COSTA TIMES, 2/6). In Chicago, Lori Rackl gives her “MVP” to Honda’s CR-V spot starring Broderick. The “struggling Japanese carmaker is bound to get some bounce off this expertly executed ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ spoof” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/6).

STAR-STUDDED AFFAIR: YAHOO SPORTS’ Michael Krumboltz wrote Pepsi “definitely won the award for most bizarre use of celebrity spokespeople.” The soda giant cast Elton John “as a Lewis Carroll-inspired king” who “cruelly denies his subjects Pepsi until Melanie Amaro (winner of the ‘X Factor’) sings her heart out, and casts Elton to a dungeon.” He is forced to “spend the rest of his life” there with rapper Flavor Flav (, 2/5). Arnell Group CEO Sara Arnell gave Pepsi's ad featuring John and Amaro three stars and said, “X Factor wasn’t a hit, it wasn’t a factor in pop culture. I had to Google who she (Amaro) was ... Elton John saved that ad” (N.Y. POST, 2/6). Actor John Stamos starred in Dannon's ad for its Oikos Greek yogurt, and Deutsch L.A. Group Creative Dir Jason Elm wrote, “All I can say is, John Stamos is actually a perfect guy for a yogurt ad. They’re both aged, soft, and women like them more than I do. Win?” (, 2/5). In San Antonio, Jeanne Jakle writes the promo for NBC’s “The Voice” had Betty White “getting physical” and showing up the younger cast. Jakle: “Better was the Howard Stern bit showing America’s Got Talent’s irreverent new judge using a power hose on some stinker acts” (, 2/6). In Milwaukee, Duane Dudek noted some of the celebrities featured in spots included Regis Philbin “shouting ‘I'm back!’ in an ad in which a Coke delivery driver wins a lifetime supply of Pepsi Max; Betty White in a promotional spot for ‘The Voice’; and … Elton John as an ‘Alice in Wonderland’-type despot.” But Dudek wrote this year’s Super Bowl will be “less remembered for the New York Giants’ win than for [Clint] Eastwood making our day with his and Chrysler’s ‘Halftime in America’ message” (, 2/5).

WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THAT? Comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno appear in Acura's spot to promote the release of its NSX car, and AdFreak blogger David Gianatasio wrote Seinfeld "worked really hard and his performance made a so-so script much better than it must’ve read on the page." Gianatasio: "A winged Jay Leno is the stuff of nightmares. He’s also unfunny. Just like he is without wings. This ad tried hard to be BIG -- big stars, budget and concept. Sorry, Acura, big doesn’t always = good.” Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Curator of Popular Culture Barbara Lippert wrote, “Seinfeld is just not funny. ... Recycled Soup Nazi jokes, really? I never thought I’d be dazzled by the dynamic comedic stylings of Jay Leno, but his entrance as Rocky the Flying Squirrel was a huge relief” (, 2/5). But Deutsch Inc. Chair Donny Deutsch said, “You had much fewer celebrities this year and even the ads that had them didn’t work” ("Today," NBC, 2/6). 

COVER UP, BECKS: H&M’s spot featured MLS Galaxy MF David Beckham promoting its new line of underwear, and in California, John Maffei writes, Beckham “in his underwear is not going to make me rush out and purchase whatever product he was pushing.” That “might work in England, but in the U.S., Beckham is just another dude with a beautiful wife” (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 2/6). On Long Island, Verne Gay writes Beckham’s underwear ad is an “easy call” as a bad ad. It was “appalling for many good reasons -- an ad for soccer? Or for tattoos? Or for some idiot with tattoos who plays soccer and wears underwear?” (NEWSDAY, 2/6). In Detroit, Mekeisha Madden Toby wrote Beckham is “still a sex symbol but his hotness quota has dipped from five years ago.” This is “one reason his body-revealing ad for a new line of dungarees was easy to overlook and ignore” (DETROIT NEWS, 2/6). Adweek's Andrew McMains wrote, “H&M spot just feels like a print ad in motion. Also very ‘80s with the sepia treatment and use of music. Beckham should give a shoutout to Marky Mark” (, 2/5). The GLOBE & MAIL’s Susan Krashinsky notes Ace Metrix has “released its scores for the most effective U.S. ads from” the Super Bowl, and Beckham’s ad “fell dead last in Ace Metrix’s scoring.” Krashinsky: “Poor Becks. He flexed, he pouted, he gave the camera a come-hither stare, and yet a nation of football fans gave that prince of the other football a distinct thumbs-down” (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/6). But CNBC’s Darren Rovell said the Beckham ad was “smart because it certainly stopped people." Rovell: "I think women buy most men’s underwear. In terms of practical ads that really worked” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 2/6). ABC's John Berman said, “For advertisers, it’s all about making memories that stick and apparently, something sticks about scantily-clad women near bare-naked Beckhams" ("GMA," ABC, 2/6).