Even as Super Bowl marketers are “reaching out to the world's most beautiful models, some appear to be evolving away from ultra-racy imagery,” according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. Go Daddy, “historically the Super Bowl's raciest advertiser," on Friday named model Bar Refaeli as its "newest Super Bowl-bound Go Daddy girl.” This will be Refaeli's “first Super Bowl spot,” and she will “star with veteran race car driver Danica Patrick in the 30-second ad.” The spot, called "The Perfect Match,” was developed by Deutsch, N.Y., and is being filmed in L.A. Friday. The move comes just weeks after Mercedes-Benz announced that model Kate Upton will "star in its game spot.” Both Refaeli and Upton are former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue cover girls, but both “will appear in formal dresses -- as plans are right now.” For Go Daddy, “it's also an attempt to soften its image.” Go Daddy CMO Barb Rechterman said that while Refaeli's outfit in the commercial is “still undecided, it will be a cocktail dress or something very formal.” Horovitz notes Mercedes-Benz is featuring Upton in its commercial to “appeal to a younger customer.” Mercedes-Benz USA President & CEO Stephen Cannon said that Upton “will be wearing a cocktail dress” (USA TODAY, 1/4).
CASH IN YOUR CHIPS: MASHABLE’s Todd Wasserman reported Doritos has “settled on the five finalists” for its “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. Two of the ads -- “one chosen by the people and one by Doritos execs -- will run during the Super Bowl.” While three of the ads “won't make the cut, the creators at least get" $25,000 and a trip to New Orleans to attend Super Bowl XLVII in a private luxury suite (MASHABLE.com, 1/3).
Nike is "attempting to capitalize on the growing resentment" by NHL fans at yet another delayed season, running a new ad in which "players claim they don’t need the trappings of official sport to keep their love of hockey going," according to Susan Krashinsky of the GLOBE & MAIL. The NHL lockout is "a dilemma for marketers, who not only target hockey fans in Canada, but are accustomed to using the language of hockey to appeal to every Canadian." But that is "tricky" at a time when "fans are disappointed and angry." Nike's "is not the only advertising plan to address the impact of the dispute, though it is by far the most aggressive in its tone." Just a few days after that commercial launched, in the "lead-up to the world junior hockey championship, Royal Bank of Canada began airing a gentler spot with the same message -- that the lockout cannot take hockey away." RBC’s ad promotes its Play Hockey program, which "supports community hockey." That already was a "focus for RBC, which, like Nike, is not a league sponsor." For Nike, the "defiant commercial" via Wieden + Kennedy is just one more installment in a "long-running marketing approach." It has "dealt with labour disputes head-on in the past," including the NBA lockout in '11 (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/3). ADWEEK's David Gianatasio wrote, "Hockey die-hards should be stirred by this Nike spot that captures fans' passion for the game and, by implication, their displeasure with the ongoing NHL lockout." The ad "feels more sincere" than Nike's "Basketball Never Stops" campaign in '11, "mixing professional and Olympic stars with average folks who deliver lines that are heartfelt and defiant." Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin, currently "playing in Moscow because of the lockout, makes a nice brief cameo" (ADWEEK.com, 1/2).
Buffalo-based New Era, the privately-owned business that “made 40 million hats” in ’12, was focused last year on its “new investment in becoming the exclusive headgear company of the NFL and with other projects.” New Era President Pete Augustine recently chatted with ESPN.com's Darren Rovell. Below is an excerpt:
Q: You look in the crowd during an NFL game, and you look on the field, and that hat hasn’t really been an essential part of game day. Have things changed? Augustine: The numbers on the business before us suggested there wasn’t much of a business. But we saw that as an opportunity. When we were talking with the NFL, they told us that most players threw their caps into the stands after every game and we were pretty sure the guys weren’t going to throw our caps out. ... There were a lot of guys who weren’t sure a fitted cap was them (that were) wearing it by the end of the season. Going into the season we felt like if 15 players per game wore a hat on the sidelines we’d be happy. And I think we’re at double that.
Q: I’ve seen a lot of the guys wearing the knit hats and obviously fans have caught on, too. Augustine: It will be a 1 million program for us and it’s primarily fueled by the NFL. What surprises us is that none of the on-field hat products before we came in had any performance fabric in it.
Q: Any issues with the players? Augustine: We’re happy that a guy like Tom Brady is wearing our product. He used to black out the Reebok logo on the hat, and Reebok was apparently fine with that. We made sure coming in that the NFL supported us here.
Q: You have 14 stores, which is an interesting strategy in the e-commerce world we live in. I was surprised to hear the goal is to get to 100 worldwide. Why are you guys doing this? Augustine: We look at it as an opportunity to tell a bigger brand story. We’ll put more in mall-based stores this year, but it really gives us a chance to celebrate movie launches and broaden out our product testing (ESPN.com, 1/2).