Out to Launch -- Super Bowl Ads; Day 1

It’s 2012 and brands are releasing their Super Bowl ads prior to the big game, like it’s the end of the world or something. Not that I’m complaining…

CokeHaving a memorable Super Bowl ad is great -- but how do you take a traditional commercial to the next level? If you’re Coca- Cola, you bring back memorable mascots and outfit them with real-time social media capabilities. Two polar bears will be watching the big game live and rooting for opposing teams, wearing different scarves to denote their team allegiance. Via Twitter and www.CokePolarBowl.com, the pair will react to touchdowns, fumbles, the halftime show and even Super Bowl ads. For instance, if a racy ad appears onscreen, a polar bear covers the eyes of the cub watching TV. Fans can communicate with the bears online and they will respond. “Superstition” will run in the first quarter and features a superstitious polar bear that’s crossing his fingers, arms, legs and toes, making it hard for him to drink a Coke. His pal helps out by placing a straw in the Coke bottle, allowing the superstitious bear to panic and drink simultaneously.

“Catch” will run in the second quarter; two versions were created, depending on what team is losing and what bear is most in need of a Coke. The 60-second spot begins in a snow cave with the polar bears watching the big game. One bear leaves the cave to get a Coke and an accidental football game takes place when the bear slips on ice while trying to catch a bottle of Coke. The bear bobbles the bottle, sliding on the ice and taking down anyone in his way. If this were an authentic game of football, our clumsy bear would be doing a great job. With his friends knocked down, the polar bear trips on a chunk of ice, lands on his belly and catches the Coke bottle. See it here. Wieden + Kennedy Portland created the campaign.

cars.comCars.com is running “Neck” in the third quarter. A man grows a second head and neck, denoting his inner confidence that’s chock full of car knowledge learned at Cars.com. His inner confidence sings to the car salesman about his choice of vehicle saying, “Hey, baby, I want that car. Hey, baby, I really want that car. Let’s get that car.” The spot ends with the customer singing along with his inner confidence and buying his car of choice. See it here, created by DDB. The song makes me want to mute the TV, much like this ad for Jackson Hewitt does. And I LOVED Montell Jordan back in the day.

GoDaddyGoDaddy released its two Super Bowl ads without any hullabaloo -- and I’m left thinking, am I on “Candid Camera”? You get so used to the drama behind GoDaddy ads and the Super Bowl that when things go off without a hitch, you’re left waiting for the punch line. What hasn’t changed is the company’s tactic of airing a semi-risqué spot and driving viewers to watch unrated content online. I’m also going to stick with my yearly routine of never going online to view the too-hot-for-TV content. "Body Paint" is running in the first half and features Go Daddy Girls Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels promoting .CO domain names by painting a naked model with logos and keywords. NASCAR, 2.0. Watch it here. "Cloud" airs in the second half and teams Patrick with the Pussycat Dolls. The ad answers the question of what’s inside GoDaddy’s cloud for two young tech guys. The answer is Patrick, dressed like a Victoria’s Secret model and the Pussycat dolls. “Is this heaven?” asks one guy. “No, this is,” says Patrick. Cue the bright light and invite to view more content online. See it here. Go Daddy Productions created the campaign in- house.

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