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Volume 24 No. 113
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Coming Attractions: Movie Studios Use Super Bowl To Promote Top Upcoming Releases

Hollywood studios in their Super Bowl ad strategy “go with their A-list players and leave the scrubs at home,” as independent movies and smaller studio releases “without mass appeal didn’t bother to step into the Super Bowl ring,” according to Bryan Alexander of USA TODAY. For Joe Roth, the producer of Disney's upcoming release “Oz the Great and Powerful,” the decision to add a Super Bowl ad to a “movie’s bottom line is not taken lightly.” But he said that the “allure of the mass audience is worth the investment" for the film, which is a prequel to “The Wizard of Oz.” Roth said, “If it’s a movie that plays to 12-year-old girls, we wouldn’t do it. This is an 8-to-80 picture, It is not going to leave anyone out. And the Super Bowl is really the only television event of the year that plays that way.” Alexander notes at least six upcoming movies will have spots in CBS’ Super Bowl XLVII broadcast. “Oz the Great and Powerful” will run a spot in the first quarter of the game, while Paramount's “Star Trek Into Darkness” will air one in the second quarter. Disney's “The Lone Ranger” will unveil a 90-second ad during the pregame show, and Paramount's “World War Z” has a spot “just after the national anthem” (USA TODAY, 2/1).

SAY WHAT? MASHABLE’s Todd Wasserman noted actors Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd “will appear in a 2-minute Samsung ad slated for the fourth quarter.” A Samsung spokesperson said the ad is called "The Big Pitch" and "shows Rogen and Rudd on a quest to become the Next Big Thing" (, 1/31). ADWEEK’s Tim Nudd noted Samsung “has some fun with the NFL’s strict trademark rules around the Super Bowl” in its teaser with Rogen, Rudd and Bob Odenkirk. Rogen and Rudd in the teaser “pitch ideas to Odenkirk for a Super Bowl commercial -- except Odenkirk won't let them say ‘Super Bowl,’ or the names of the two teams that are playing.” The full ad as well as an extended version “will be released online later this week.” Consumers will “be able to weigh in on their favorite moments and win prizes using the hashtag #TheNextBigThing” (, 1/31).

DESERT SCORN: USA TODAY’s Gary Strauss notes Coca-Cola “came under some fire from Arab-Americans for its Coke Chase spot, which briefly features an actor wearing desert garb trying to coax a stubborn camel.” Viewers are asked to vote for a race winner, but the Arab is “not among those on Coca-Cola's online ballot.” That exclusion “drew charges of racism from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies.” But critics Thursday “backed off their complaints after Coca-Cola explained the back story of the ad and plans to develop the character on TV and the Internet” (USA TODAY, 2/1). Meanwhile, in Portland, Allan Brettman notes ad agency Wieden+Kennedy is again “offering a one-two punch" of commercials and a social media presence, “just as it did last year for Coke.” W+K Art Dir James Moslander said, "We try to create a nice, beautiful spot in the midst of the other great commercials that people will enjoy." Brettman writes not every product on display during commercial timeouts “needs to have such a heavy social media presence, but Coke executives have grown fond of the concept.” This marks the “seventh consecutive year Coca-Cola has worked with W+K for Super Bowl commercials” (Portland OREGONIAN, 2/1).

LIGHTEN UP: AD AGE’s Ann-Christine Diaz noted the U.S.-based Institute of Caribbean Studies and the Caribbean Heritage Organization, “advocates for the Caribbean-American and expat communities, have issued a joint statement praising” Volkswagen’s Super Bowl spot created by Deutsch, L.A., that “shows a Minnesotan man attempting to lift the spirits of his officemates on a dreary Monday by speaking to them in Jamaican patois" (, 1/31). Meanwhile, Fox Business’ Dennis Kneale said Ad Week claims Mercedes-Benz' ad featuring Kate Upton is the "clear winner” among Super Bowl ads, as “prudish consumer groups already have protested about the objectification of a woman who makes her living wearing short shorts and bikini.” Kneale said of Mercedes ads featuring Upton and actor Willem Dafoe as the devil, “What all that has to do with the new Mercedes CLA model … escapes me, but hey, it’s the Super Bowl" (“Markets Now,” Fox Business, 1/31).

OTHER AD NOTES: In Richmond, Randy Hallman reported Pizza Hut has the “last commercial before the kickoff" that “capitalizes on the second word” in the chain’s name. The ad is from The Martin Agency, Richmond, and Group Creative Dir Andy Azula said, “It’s a branding ad, and ‘Hut’ is half their name. It’s their God-given right to own football. You can’t play football without saying ‘hut.’” Azula's company “thought about using clips of quarterbacks -- professional and college -- calling signals, but scrapped that approach and decided instead to invite fans to send in their homemade videos, a few of which would be chosen for the commercial” (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 1/31)….AD AGE’s E.J. Schultz noted a Budweiser Clydesdale spot “is expected to run in the second quarter.” The 60-second ad “marks a return to center stage for the iconic horses, which had been relegated to supporting roles in recent Super Bowls.” The brewer is “supporting the ad with a Twitter promotion that asks fans to name the baby Clydesdale featured in the spot, which was handled by Anomaly and directed by Jake Scott, son of Ridley Scott” (, 1/31)….SodaStream announced that a new version of its TV spot “SodaSteam Effect” will air during the game after the first version was rejected. The rejected spot still will air online and on other TV networks broadcasting the game outside the U.S. (SodaStream).

HAVING A LITTLE FUN WITH EVERYTHING: Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert said Sunday is "all about the big matchup, two titans of the game finally going head-to-head." Colbert: "I’m talking about, of course, Axe Body Spray versus the e-Trade baby." He said of Taco Bell’s ad, which depicts and elderly man on a Rascal scooter crashing while racing across a football field, “Seeing that old man get hurt really makes me crave some Mexican food, or some Taco Bell.” Colbert said the Mercedes ad with Upton “really targets their key demographic, 14-year-old boys making $500,000 a year” (“The Colbert Report,” Comedy Central, 1/31).

REGIONAL BUYS: American Family Insurance announced that Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, who recently signed a multiyear endorsement deal with the company, will appear in the insurer’s Super Bowl spots in 50 local markets. In addition to Wilson, singer Phillip Phillips, golfer Steve Stricker and women’s hockey player Jessie Vetter will appear in the ad (American Family Insurance)….Google Fiber will air a commercial during the game that will run in the K.C. market during the game. The spot "has been on the air for a while, but its time slot among Sunday’s pride-of-the-industry parade of commercials signals how eager Google is to compete in Kansas City” (K.C. STAR, 2/1).

DON’T COUNT THEM OUT: In Detroit, Melissa Burden notes while GM is not running an ad this year, "don't rule out that the automaker will make an appearance in some form.” Chevrolet Brand Communications Head Michael Albano said, "There are no plans to advertise in the Super Bowl, but we're always looking for creative ways to integrate our product and brands into these iconic events." Burden notes rumors have been “circulating that the Corvette is part of the halftime show.” GM spokesperson Ryndee Carney said that the company during the pregame show “will show five 30-second spots featuring” the ‘13 Chevrolet Traverse SUV and ‘13 Chevrolet Silverado, but “none of the ads is new” (DETROIT NEWS, 2/1).