Creative: Super Sunday

The Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons? John Elway vs. Dan Reeves? Super Bowl XXXIII isn’t just about football. It’s about commercials with a going rate of $1.6 million per 30 seconds. Jan. 31 is advertising’s biggest day, when a single ad can reach an estimated 130 million viewers. Here’s a sampling of spots scheduled to air during the big game.
Client: American Express Co.
Brand: American Express
Units/airing: :60, 3rd qtr.
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, New York
Need a puffy-shirt update? Are you still sponge-worthy? Looking for that copy of Glamour magazine? Fans hankering for a dose of Seinfeld humor will get a quick fix in Jerry’s first spot for the green card since his series concluded last spring. A celebrity who appeared on the show will also appear in the commercial. Teaser ads have been running during the NFL playoffs.
Client: American Honda Motor Co.
Brand: Honda Odyssey
Units/airing: :30, 2nd qtr.
Agency: Rubin Postaer and Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.
Dogfight: In this spot directed by the Coen Brothers, a lawyer argues for extra room for the family pooch. Richard Dreyfuss handles VO chores: “Something for everyone.
Honda Odyssey. It’s one big happy minivan.”
Client: Anheuser-Busch
Units/airing: 10 units, 1st-4th qtrs.
A sampling of spots under consideration
Brand: Budweiser
Agencies: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; DDB Needham, Chicago Surprise! Lizards learn frogs do more than croak (Goodby); Bud brings joy to African tribesmen, dalmatians and a lobster (Needham).
Brands: Bud Light
Agencies: DDB Needham, Fusion Idea Lab, both Chicago
The things we do for beer–from dancing at a septuagenarians’ mixer and giving up toilet paper (Needham) to launching innocent mice into neighbors’ apartments (Fusion).
Brand: Michelob Light
Agency: Leap Partnership, Chicago
Michelob gets mixed up in sports, surprise parties and pillow talk.
Client: Dr Pepper/Seven Up Co.
Brand: 7 Up
Units/airing: :30, 2nd qtr.
Agency: Young & Rubicam, New York
The “Anti-Refreshment Syndicate” tries to stop two teens from buying 7 Up at a convenience store. But a clerk thwarts the Men in Black types in this new “Are U an UN?” campaign.
Client: Federal Express
Brand: FedEx
Units/airing: :30, 2nd half
Agency: BBDO, New York
The coolest game on earth? FedEx thinks so, touting its NHL sponsorship in a spot featuring Detroit Red Wing players Sergei Fedorov, Chris Osgood, Nicklas Lidstrom and Brendan Shanahan.
Client: First Union Corp.
Brand: First Union
Units/airing: :60, 2nd qtr.
Agency: Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco
A town without pity: First Union’s “Financial World” returns in another big-budget, effects-filled blockbuster that carries the tagline, “Come to the mountain called
First Union. Or if you prefer, the mountain will come to you.”
Client: Frito-Lay
Brand: Smokey Red Barbecue Doritos
Units/airing: :60, 2nd qtr.
Agency: BBDO, New York
Frito-Lay insiders say Doritos will likely bring back last year’s acrobatic vixen, the well-received Ali Landry. Will she flip for the Smokey Red Barbecue flavor?
Client: General Motors
Brand: Oldsmobile
Units/airing: :60, 4th qtr.
Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago
A high-energy, music-driven spot uses “Start something,” a tagline previously reserved for the Alero, to challenge consumers to dream the possible dream–climb a mountain, write music or purchase an Olds.
Client: Hartford Group
Brand: The Hartford
Units/airing: :30, 3rd qtr.
Agency: Arnold Communications, Boston
The insurance company adds some lighthearted touches to its established “Bring it on” campaign. Look for a montage of images ending with a real stag inspired by The Hartford’s corporate logo.
Units/airing: :30, 3rd qtr.
Agency: McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Troy, Mich.
A security guard named “Dick” daydreams of a getting a better job and actually lands one–complete with a name tag reading “Richard”–thanks to
Client: Just for Feet
Brand: Just for Feet
Units/airing: :30, 3rd qtr.
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Rochester, N.Y.
Calling all detectives: Viewers can win a Hummer if they find a hidden message in the ad. The 1,300th correct caller wins, tying in with the athletic-shoe store’s tagline: “Where the 13th pair is free.”
Client: Land Rover of North America
Brand: Discovery SUV Series 2
Units/airing: :30, 3rd qtr.
Agency: Grace & Rothschild, New York
Family matters: Land Rover launches the lower-priced Series 2 with a spot emphasizing its roominess.
Client: Mail Boxes Etc.
Brand: Mail Boxes Etc.
Units/airing: :30, 2nd qtr. Agency: Kenneth C. Smith Advertising,
LaJolla, Calif.
MBE plugs its second “See your small business on the Super Bowl search.” And the winner is a college kid who created Jeremy’s Micro Batch Ice Cream.
Client: MasterCard International
Brand: MasterCard
Units/airing: :30, 2nd qtr.
Agency: McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York
The price is right: A new execution in the “Priceless” branding campaign features a parade of celebrities.
Client: M&M/Mars
Brand: M&M’s Crispy
Units/airing: two :15s, 2nd qtr.
Agency: BBDO Worldwide, New York
In one spot introducing the M&M Crispy, the orange candy tries to convince Patrick Warburton (David Puddy on Seinfeld) not to eat him. In the other, the crispy critter dodges Halle Berry’s poolside advances by warning of the dangers of swimming on a full stomach.
Units/airing: two :30s, 2nd qtr. and 4th qtr.
Agency: Mullen, Wenham, Mass.
The job service asks children what they want to be when they grow up–and kids say the darndest, most surprising things.
Client: National Football League
Brand: The NFL
Units/airing: :60, 2nd qtr.
Agency: In-house
Fan appreciation day: 20 players from various teams, including the Atlanta Falcons and the Denver Broncos, take to the streets (and the markets and beauty salons) to thank fans for their support.
Client: Pepsi-Cola Co.
Brand: Pepsi One
Units/airing: two :30s, 1st qtr.
Agency: BBDO Worldwide, New York
Street smart: An always frenetic
Cuba Gooding Jr. convinces a group of urban teenagers to buy Pepsi One when they stop at a street vendor. The tagline: “Only One has it all.”
Client: Progressive Auto Insurance
Brand: Progressive
Units/airing: :60, 2nd qtr. Agency: Arnell Group, New York
Close encounter: E.T. answers questions about Earth. He explains that “small ones” (children) are smarter than “big ones” (adults), since adults sometimes drive too fast, which leads to car accidents.
Client: Titan Sports
Brand: World Wrestling Federation
Units/airing: :30, 3rd qtr.
Agency: In-house
At WWF headquarters, wrestlers defend the sport’s “family entertainment” while chaos reigns behind them.
Client: Universal Studios
Brand: The Mummy, Life and Ed TV
Units/airing: undetermined
Agency: In-house
Trailers tout upcoming flicks about terrorized tomb raiders (The Mummy), a friendship between two prison inmates (Life) and a TV-vƒritƒ star who sounds suspiciously Truman-like (Ed TV).
Client: Volvo Trucks North America
Brand: Volvo VN Series
Units/airing: :30, 1st qtr.
Agency: Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis
A trucker in a Volvo big rig rolls through a picturesque countryside. As he approaches a small town, passersby straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting gesture for him to honk his horn. By the end of the commercial, the entire populace has taken to the streets in an arm-pumping frenzy. The VO: “You don’t have to be a trucker to know a great truck when you see one.”
Client: Yellow Pages Publishers Assoc.
Brand: Yellow Pages
Units/airing: :30, 4th qtr.
Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
Fidgeting in the green room before a talk-show appearance, Jon Lovitz, “the man who wrote the Yellow Pages,” argues with actor James Coburn, who complains that a book has to be “about something.” As the two lock horns, a producer informs Lovitz he’s been bumped.