It's an exceptionally unusual Super Bowl year indeed when Cash4Gold shells out the big bucks to upgrade its late-night infomercial pitch to an in-game spot buy starring Ed McMahon and MC Hammer.
"Heeere's Money!" announces the former Johnny Carson sidekick, lampooning his still-famous catchphrase as he tells viewers that now is the time to trade in unwanted gold possessions for cash. McMahon last year nearly lost his multi-million dollar Beverly Hills home to foreclosure, and Hammer filed for bankruptcy back in the mid-90s, so it's not all that surprising that they would shill for this direct-response advertiser.
These two cash-strapped celebrities -- like the average folks in the company's previous ads -- seem to have fun as they demonstrate how Cash4Gold works. Hammer observes, "I can get cash for this gold medallion of me wearing a gold medallion," while McMahon offers a solid-gold replacement hip as a possibility.
The 30-second spot sticks to the cheesy format of the late-night ads, with graphics screaming "Cold Hard Ca$h" and the company's Web address in prominent view.
Will it convince millions of Super Bowl viewers to dig out their old gold items? Maybe. The humor tries hard to make people feel better about trading in their mementos for cash - and it is somewhat more dignified than slogging down to the local pawn shop. Even so, the spot stands as a sad sign of desperate times. --Eleftheria Parpis
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