NEW YORK – Appearing on the Super Bowl can be just as much of an honor — and a harrowing experience — for an advertiser as it is for a football player. With some 90 million people watching and the cost for a 30-second spot reaching as high as $2.6 million, big-time money and bragging rights are both at stake.
This year's matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears isn't only the proving ground for the best of the NFL. It's when the advertising industry pulls out all the stops, tries out new ideas and shows off its proudest work.
Here, then, is one viewer's take of some of the more memorable moments of the ads broadcast on CBS Corp.'s broadcast Sunday night:
—BEST USE OF A CELEBRITY: Kevin Federline poked fun at his own downfall from fame and sputtering rap career with a spot for Nationwide Insurance showing him dreaming about being a big-time rapper. A shout of "Fries, Federline!" from his manager brings him back to reality, as an employee in a fast-food joint.
—BEST USE OF MUSIC: Chevrolet. This General Motors Corp. spot played on the emotional bonds so many American feel with their cars, showing various drivers buffing, driving and otherwise communing with their favorite Chevrolet vehicles, as classic pop songs featuring the word "Chevrolet" or names of Chevy models in them, such as "409" by the Beach Boys.
—BEST AD FOR A LOUD BAR: Snickers. In this spot from Mars Inc., two auto mechanics accidentally kiss after being unable to resist chomping on opposite ends of a Snickers bar. The cure for this inadvertent moment of intimacy? "Do something manly!" says one. Both proceed to rip out handfuls of chest hair.
—FUNNIEST TAKE-OFF ON JAPANESE MONSTER MOVIES: Garmin International Inc. brought out a hard-rock soundtrack and an Ultraman lookalike character to take on an "evil Maposaurus." Fans of Godzilla movies could enjoy the kooky, ultra-cheap sets and cartoonish violence, although how this action proved the worthiness of Garmin's electronic navigation devices remained unknown.
—BIGGEST SURPRISE: A promotion for the "Late Show with David Letterman" showed the veteran late-night host munching chips on the couch, only to be reprimanded for talking with his mouth full by none other than Oprah Winfrey.