If you were wondering, here are PETA's favorite Super Bowl ads

Posted on Tue Feb 9 2010

Two days later, the Super Bowl ads have been analyzed to death. We all know which ad was the most popular, most recalled and most reviled. But some of you might be wondering, "Yeah, but what does PETA think?" Actually, the animal-rights group was nice enough to list its top-five Super Bowl ads, a ranking that's based less on creative than on the non-use of real animals during filming. Thus, the winner this year is the Bridgestone spot shown here, which features three buddies unloading a whale into the ocean. In this case, Bridgestone got kudos for not using a real whale but an animatronic one. Others on the list include Cars.com's "Timothy Richman," which included a CGI tiger, and, or course, that Doritos commercial that showed a jerky guy teasing a dog and then getting his comeuppance. PETA didn't have a bottom five, but as one commenter pointed out, the Denny's ad pronouncing it was "a good day for Dennys, a bad day for chickens" would likely top that list.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Studios fail to deliver the goods with trailers on the Super Bowl

Posted on Mon Feb 8 2010

Even Hollywood's marketing machine can't compete with Betty White. Combine Betty White with Abe Vigoda? Forget it! The reviews are in for the commercials that aired during Super Bowl XLIV, and the Snickers spot with the above-named octogenarians tops many lists for the most memorable, most entertaining and most body-snatching. What didn't fare so well? Big-studio ads for would-be blockbuster movies. Entertainment Weekly doesn't have a movie ad in its Best 5 (though there's not one in the Worst 5 either), and viewers who vote in the annual USA Today poll didn't get around to a film trailer until No. 31 (Disney's Alice in Wonderland). Other ads fared even worse, with Disney's Prince of Persia coming in at No. 44, and Universal's The Wolfman at No. 53. (And that's out of 60 ads). Our brother blog, Heat Vision, called the studio spots "standard issue" and "indistinguishable" from each other. That's no way to spend $3 million, especially when it turned out that the game broke a 27-year viewing record. Yes, 106.5 million people watched the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts. We can't always expect an iconic ad like the Independence Day teaser back in '96 (aliens blew up the White House!), but we deserve better than CBS Films' The Back-Up Plan, which featured J. Lo and a lot of screaming. Some of that was mine.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Movie studios not quite as enamored of the Super Bowl this year

Posted on Fri Feb 5 2010

The last time I watched an M. Night Shyamalan movie was when The Happening was nominated for multiple Razzie Awards. (I voted for it!) We'll all get a peek at his next effort on Sunday during the Super Bowl (see the trailer above for The Last Airbender). But only three studios decided to pony up as much as $3 million for 30-second spots this year. Every year, Hollywood's marketers debate the merits of advertising during the Big Game. It's too expensive, they say, and inefficient for movies launching months down the road. And yet, they usually buy, because they're afraid not to. This year's different, though, with few actually wading in. We can expect to see Disney's Alice in Wonderland, Prince of Persia and maybe Toy Story 3. Universal plans to tout The Wolfman, Robin Hood and potentially the 3-D comedy Despicable Me. Paramount, in addition to Airbender, will pump the long-awaited Shutter Island. Its third spot could go to Iron Man 2, which seems like overkill. Isn't everybody dying to see that anyway?

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Help keep CareerBuilder's underwear people off the Super Bowl

Posted on Wed Jan 13 2010

People do some fairly inappropriate and sometimes disgusting things in offices, if I remember correctly from my years in various grungy newsrooms. I've tried to block those images from my subconscious, and I'm not so hot on having them resurrected. That's why I would rather see a commercial called "Job Fairy" (shown here) win the CareerBuilder.com "Hire My TV Ad" contest and get on the Super Bowl. Joan Napoleon, an analyst at a metro transportation authority in New Jersey, already won $100,000 for the quirky/clever ad she created using her co-workers as actors. (No word on where the squirrels came from.) Now, she's locked in battle with the other finalist, a surfer dude whose ad features a lot of cubicle jockeys in their tighty whities. Nooo! As a "bonus," there's a "too hot for TV" ad available for viewing, though it's not officially part of the sweeps. Its major props are farts and a disposable lighter. Just gross. Vote for your favorite here. The winner won't know until he/she sees the spot on game day. Go, Joan!

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

CareerBuilder wants you to make its Super Bowl ad for next year

Posted on Fri May 15 2009

CareerBuilder is hailing its idea to solicit ad ideas from the proles for its 2010 Super Bowl spot as a "bold new marketing strategy," when it's really a tacit admission that the ads they've commissioned from real agencies were mostly terrible. (Yeah, the chimp stuff was OK, but its 2009 entry, shown here, was pretty damn depressing.) Nevertheless, they've set up a contest at HireMyTVAd.com, where the public "can submit 25-second videos to be considered for CareerBuilder's return to the Big Game." The winning ad will net its creator $100,000, and CareerBuilder will develop his or her idea in-house. Not bad. Participants should keep a general theme in mind—it will affect whether their ad plays near the beginning of the game (comedic physical injury), in the middle (schmaltzy feel-good pap), or at the end (grab bag, and repeats of earlier ads). This probably can't hurt CareerBuilder's image, anyway, and it might actually build some guy or girl's career for much less than the cost of a legit ad agency. Or better, it might coax Eagle Man out of retirement.

—Posted by David Kiefaber

Why didn't the movie trailers fare better during the Super Bowl?

Posted on Thu Feb 5 2009

Movie trailers aren't just ads for upcoming releases, they're little self-contained bites of entertainment, say Hollywood's studios. Then why did they have such a hard time competing in football's biggest (and priciest) game on Sunday, struggling to land among the most popular spots in post-Super Bowl fan polls?
  There was nary a film trailer in the top 20 of the USA Today Ad Meter. The Jack Black/Michael Cera comedy Year One cracked that list at No. 23, followed by the Will Ferrell time-travel remake Land of the Lost at No. 24, and the Disney/Pixar all-family flick Up at No. 25. That's well behind packaged-goods brands like Doritos, Budweiser, Pepsi, Bridgestone and Castrol, which dominated the top 10. Up was the only movie to rate in the top 10 in HCD Research's polls (at least it ranked better than the promos for NBC shows). It wasn't until Spike.com came out yesterday with its most-popular list that a movie jumped into the rarefied air of Conan O'Brien's Swedish ad debut for Bud Light. Paramount's G.I. Joe tickled the fancy of the mostly male demo, coming in at No. 5.
  Does this spell disaster for The Fast and the Furious, Angels & Demons or Race to Witch Mountain? At the very least, it has to make studio marketers wonder if it was worth that $3 million price tag.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Biometric test says CareerBuilder was the Super Bowl ad winner

Posted on Tue Feb 3 2009

So, the USA Today Ad Meter said Doritos had the best Super Bowl ad. However, Innerscope Research's Biometric Monitoring Service begs to differ. Innerscope wired 46 people with biometric vests and gauged their reaction to the 54 spots in terms of heart rate, breathing, motion and skin sweat. CareerBuilder's "It's Time" ad proved to be the most emotionally engaging, followed by Cash4Gold and Castrol Oil. While the first two ads may have elicited a response because of people's concerns about money, the GoDaddy "Shower" ad, which placed fourth, probably got a more primal reaction.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Sorry your beloved team choked. Here, have a free doughnut

Posted on Mon Feb 2 2009

Donut copy

Dunkin' Donuts is hoping to ease pain of Arizona Cardinals fans who are still wondering how Santonio Holmes made that catch. On Tuesday, any and all Dunkin' consumers in Phoenix will get a free doughnut with the purchase of a beverage. This is part of Dunkin's new, relentlessly optimistic "You kin' do it" ad campaign. The press release says: "The end of football season leaves a big hole for all fans, but no one hurts more than fans in the city that lost the championship." And as we all know, there is no better cure for depression than sinking into some fatty foods.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

The best ad agency in New York is owned by Lorne Michaels

Posted on Mon Feb 2 2009

From the ad agency that brought you Shirt in a Can, Swill and Schmitt's Gay, we now have PepSuber. The agency, of course, is staffed by the comedy writers of Saturday Night Live. SNL has been making fun of advertisers for decades with products like Oops, I Crapped my Pants (take that, Depends) and Uncle Jemima's Pure Mash Liquor (here's a big list of SNL ad parodies in alphabetical order). It was only a matter of time until an SNL-inspired parody made its way into the Super Bowl with this MacGruber ad. The ad is part of a series of three sketches. The other two, here and here, deal with blatant product placement in shows. In one, MacGruber says nothing but "Pepsi" over and over again. While the campaign isn't likely to make any top-10 lists, it may have endeared the brand to the new generation of kids who discovered a newly reinvigorated SNL during the election season and don't like advertising very much. In other words, it helps the No. 2 cola continue to be Coke's hipper, younger brother.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Captain Morgan trots out Stacy Keibler for its Super Bowl stunt

Posted on Fri Jan 30 2009


Many a drunken lout has struck the good-spirited Captain Morgan pose. Now, the spirits brand is urging NFL players in Sunday's Super Bowl to assume the signature pose during the game.
  For every player who mimics the Captain, the spiced rum will donate $10,000 to the charity of his choice. It will donate up $50,000 under this "Pose for Play" program. The brand has tapped former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader (and professional wrestler) Stacy Keibler to serve as the spokeswoman for the contest. In other words, to pose for leggy pictures like this one.
  "As a former professional football cheerleader, I know nothing revs up the crowd more than a big play," says Keibler. "Now, by striking the Captain's pose, players can turn a good play into a great deed."
  Thanks, Stacy.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein



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