Despite a decline in viewers, airtime on Super Bowl XXXII went for $1.3 million for a 30-second unit. However, big bucks won't guarantee mindshare: If the Green Bay Packers overrun the Denver Broncos early on, as they are expected to, consumers will likely abandon the game in droves. Here are some ad highlights you can expect.
Anheuser-Busch, a perennial Big Game advertiser, bought four minutes of airtime. Three 30-second Budweiser spots from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners feature Louie the Lizard furthering his effort to do in the Budweiser frogs. Three new 30-second spots for Bud Light from DDB Needham will also air. One features the four characters previously seen gloating over their Buds while their wives think they're working on home projects. This time, the guys are hiding in a clothing rack at a women's store, asking other hapless guys to join them for a Bud Light while their wives and girlfriends shop. A-B's final 30 seconds is an existing responsible drinking spot from Hispanic agency Castor Advertising starring boxer Oscar de la Hoya.
Goodby is also introducing Nike's first national TV campaign for its apparel line. A 60-second spot features black-and-white scenes of several unclothed athletes to highlight the skin's vulnerability, said Nike officials. At the end, the scenes switch to color and show the same athletes clothed in Nike apparel. The sports figures include basketball player David Robinson, runner Suzy Hamilton and Olympic champion Michael Johnson. The campaign is titled "The Evolution of Skin."
Pepsi-Cola will unveil new packaging and logo for its flagship brand with one spot that features an insect-like character meant to resemble Mick Jagger. Like the rock star, the tiny bug struts around the new blue can offering a rendition of the Stones' "Brown Sugar." Four other Pepsi spots, with various vignettes and the existing tag, "Generation Next," will also appear.
Oracle is one of many newcomers to the ad showcase. A teaser spot from Think New Ideas quotes historical figures such as John F. Kennedy and Neil Armstrong, with actor Peter Coyote informing viewers that "history is defined by remarkable moments of change." Cutting to a scene of a lone red chair inside a temple, the spots asks, "What's next?" The answer comes in a 60-second spot where the chair sits undisturbed amid the carnage of a street revolution. The next revolution, says Coyote, will not involve violence, but will be an information revolution. The tagline: "Oracle. Enabling the Information Age."
Tommy Hilfiger, meanwhile, will break a 30-second spot from new agency Deutsch, featuring the designer himself along with Michael Richards, a.k.a. "Kramer." The spot, which promotes sporting apparel, carries the tagline, "Have some fun."
Nokia will also bow its first Super Bowl commercial with a 30-second spot from The Richards Group for its cellular phones. It features comedian Drew Carey.
Qualcomm, a relative unknown among the wireless phone manufacturers, makes its Super Bowl debut with a 30-second, black-and-white spot that stresses the uncertainty of life, but the reliability of the phone. In the spot, the protagonist wrongly perceives cheering from a throng of fans to be for his phone when, in fact, the praise is for a diplomat speaking nearby. The agency is dGWB.