Ads feature amateurs, play it safe

first_imgNEW YORK – Along with the trademark Clydesdales, talking animals and high-end computer graphics, there was a new entry this year in the annual showdown of advertisers in the Super Bowl: amateurs. Starting in the first quarter, a goofy spot for Doritos showing a hapless driver distracted by a pretty woman passing by marked the first time a purely amateur-created ad aired during the Super Bowl. Frito-Lay, the PepsiCo Inc. division that makes Doritos, ran an online competition to pick the winning spot. Katie Crabb, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, was the winner of a separate contest by General Motors Corp. and had her idea for an ad made into reality by Chevrolet’s marketing division. Despite being made by a newcomer, that ad was true to the tradition of using oddball humor in Super Bowl ads, showing a number of men stripping off their shirts – and some other articles of clothing – at the sight of a new Chevy HHR rolling down the street. Sight gags were back, including one from Bud Light early in the game showing a rather unusual tactic for winning at rock-paper-scissors – throwing an actual rock at the head of your opponent. The gag wasn’t completely new, however, since last year Sprint Nextel Corp. featured a phone with a “crime deterrent” – which turned out to be throwing the phone at someone’s head. FedEx Corp. combined a sight gag with another trademark of big ticket Super Bowl spots, fancy computer graphics, with an other-worldy ad showing an office worker drifting off into space from the world’s first office on the moon, only to be clobbered by a passing meteor. A lot was riding on the ads, and not just because CBS Corp. was charging as much as $2.6million for a 30-second spot during the game. With about 90million people watching, it’s the most-viewed program all year on television, and the ads are subject to intense scrutiny, both by amateurs and the marketing industry. Coca-Cola Co. was back in the game after a long absence, taking on its rival Pepsi with a number of creative ads, including an homage to Black History Month with an understated ad showing the changing shapes of Coke bottles over time as milestones in black history appeared alongside. That ad referred indirectly to the fact that, for the first time, both coaches in the game are black, and at least one other spot also highlighted Black History Month. Some of the uses of humor didn’t resonate well with experts. Stephen Greyser, a professor at Harvard Business School specializing in communications and the business of sports, said the rock-throwing spot by Anheuser-Busch Cos.’ Bud Light was “attention-getting” but also “had a nasty character to it.” Bud Light, which often swings for the fences with wacky jabs at humor, scored better with Greyser with a different spot showing an auctioneer saying wedding vows at hyper-fast speed. Greyser said that spot had a much broader appeal. The job-search company CareerBuilder ditched its longtime office-monkey pitchmen of years past in favor of a jungle combat scene among office workers, where office supplies become weapons. Think of “Dilbert” meets “Lord of the Flies.” Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University who runs a panel of students to rate the ads, called this year’s batch a “mixed bag,” saying advertisers were “being safe,” with no one “pushing the edge of either creativity or taste.” An ad early in the game for Blockbuster Inc. with computer animations of animals trying to push, click and – ouch – drag an actual mouse resonated well with members of his panel, who said it was creative and also delivered the company’s message. The panel found a spot by King Pharmaceuticals Inc. showing a guy dressed up in a giant red heart costume “puzzling,” while Garmin International Inc.’s oddball spot with a showdown between a superhero-like character and a monster made from maps was deemed “hard to follow.” Sight gags back Back in the game Hitchhiking gag Later in the game, Bud Light won laughs with a spot showing a guy clearly losing points with his girlfriend by wanting to pick up a hitchhiker on a dark road, despite the fact that he’s carrying an axe. Everything turns out fine after the hitchhiker reassures the man that it’s actually just a bottle opener. Revlon was one of a rare few to appeal to the female audience, unveiling a spot with scenes of the singer Sheryl Crowe on tour and doing a rendition of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away.” The NFL itself, meanwhile, got into the “user-generated” theme with a spot near the end of the game whose idea was contributed by a fan, Gino Bona, of Portsmouth, N.H., taking a light look at the anguish fans go through at the end of the NFL season. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgGORTAHORK woman Marie Harte has captured the feelings of so many of you abroad in this poem.And Marie – her friends tells us – knows a good bit about it all.She spent a year in the Bronx, then two years in Australia and is now in London about three years. So here it is:Irish Abroad – by Marie HarteThere’s nowhere on earth us young Irish won’t flyYou’ll find us in Canada, New York, Sydney and even Dubai At the airport you wave goodbye to the crying ‘auld dear’Then you step through the gates and order a beerYou discover the drinks on the plane are free of chargeThis is the life, make mine a largeYou stagger from the plane with big swollen feet Take a step outside and nearly die from the heatFirst thing you do is light up a fagAnd make sure Saint Christopher is still in your bagGaggin now for a proper cup of tae But first you need to find somewhere to stay.In every city, there’s always a placeWhere you’ll find the Irish have made their base.If you arrive at JFK ready for New York,The Bronx is the place to find cash-in-hand workThe craic is mighty in Woodlawn and WoodsideThis is also where the illegal Irish hide.All the good bars are on the two streetsEillen’s Country Kitchen is a grand place to eat.Or maybe you would prefer Dubai to teachTo drink in the Irish Village and tan on the beachRemember the rules and cover your kneesStop eating pork and wear long sleeves.Or why not try Sydney to get the startWhere everyone travels in a shopping cartBondi Junction is the place to beSunday in the bull and Friday in the tea’sChristmas day drinking out in the SunA box of goon later you decide a swim would be funBut don’t worry if you start to drown out at seaBondi rescue will come and you’ll make the TVBut wherever you go some things will never changeAs Irish we will always keep our traitsIn the bar for the All Ireland final no matter the timeThe Irish bar owner ignores the fineAll the county jerseys form an Irish rainbowYour mother still sends over tea bags and TaytoIf only a bottle of Buckfast could go in the postYou hate to admit it but it’s what you miss mostSinging rebel songs with your arms around MickThat fella who always carries the hurling stickAnd no matter how long you’re gone one thing will always remainYou’ll miss your home just the same.MARIE’S POEM CAPTURES THE DONEGAL EMIGRANT ABROAD was last modified: June 22nd, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:MARIE’S POEM CAPTURES THE DONEGAL EMIGRANT ABROADlast_img read more