ON A WING & A PRAYER: USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz writes Volkswagen with its Super Bowl ad is "once again nostalgically reaching back into the movie theme bucket." The 60-second ad is "loosely linked" with the Jimmy Stewart film "It's a Wonderful Life." The automaker "reinvents" a classic line from the movie with a father telling his daughter, "Every time a VW reaches 100,000 miles, an engineer gets his wings." One engineer in the ad gets his wings "while testing a car in a wind tunnel -- and is blown away," while another "gets his riding in an elevator and is slapped in the face after one of his new wings pats a female rider on her backside." One worker "gets his in the men's room" (USA TODAY, 1/28).
COMEDY CENTRAL: ADWEEK's David Griner noted the Oikos Greek yogurt ad starring "Full House" stars John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier "barely even registers as a punch line." The ad "largely plays out the same" as '12 Oikos Super Bowl spot, which "focused on Stamos romantically sharing a yogurt with a ladyfriend" (ADWEEK.com, 1/26). Meanwhile, ADWEEK's Tim Nudd noted in the Hyundai ad starring actor Johnny Galecki, an "attractive woman pulls up next to" Galecki, and they are "both driving 2014 Hyundai Elantras." Galecki with an awkward smile says, "Nice ride." The woman replies, "Nice try," before leaving. He "trails her, eventually catching up, and humorously tries out other lines, with extremely limited success." After another "amusing celebrity cameo, the spot ends with a visual that's comically over the top" (ADWEEK.com, 1/27).
PICKING YOUR SPOTS: AD AGE's McCarthy & Poggi reported Ford will debut an ad featuring actor James Franco "after the coin toss but before the kickoff" in a "calculated risk" by the company. Buying the pregame spot "saves money" for Ford. MediaCom Chief Client Officer Adam Komack estimated that 30-second ads "between the coin toss and kickoff" cost $3-3.5M instead of the reported $4M during the game. But Ford "could be accused of cheaping out -- and avoiding a mano-a-mano ad contest" with rivals GM and Chrysler. Ford "declined to comment on which models" will be promoted in the ad (ADAGE.com, 1/27). AD AGE's Jeanine Poggi noted MetLife also has "opted to buy more modestly-priced time for a 30-second ad and a 15-second version to run in the pre-game and pre-game kick-off." The ad, titled "Anthem," features Peanuts character Schroeder "playing the National Anthem in the middle of MetLife Stadium with the Peanuts crew." MetLife "skipped last year's Super Bowl after buying into the game for the first time" in '12 (ADAGE.com, 1/27).
LATE NIGHT SPECIAL: In Cincinnati, Alexander Coolidge reports Procter & Gamble is "expanding its Old Spice brand into men's hair care and will advertise the move" following Sunday's game with two ads. P&G "has not disclosed if it will advertise during the game" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/28). Meanwhile, Esurance will air a 30-second spot immediately after the Super Bowl, the first time the company has purchased national advertising around the game (Esurance).