Commentary

Out to Launch: Super Bowl Edition, Day 4

EA is running its first Super Bowl ad during the fourth quarter, promoting the upcoming release of "Dante's Inferno." "Hell Awaits" is based on the first part of Dante Alighieri's "The Divine Comedy." Gamers assume the role of Dante, a crusader who travels through the nine circles of Hell -- limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, fraud and treachery -- to rescue his beloved Beatrice, stolen by Satan to be his bride. The ad begins with Beatrice slipping into the fires of hell as Dante feverishly jumps after her into a land with fire-breathing dragons and other enemies to battle. The ad's original tag line of "Go to Hell" was rejected by CBS and replaced with "Hell Awaits." See the ad with the rejected tag line here and the updated tagline here. Wieden+Kennedy Portland created the ad.

Volkswagen is launching "Punch Dub," an update on its well-known "Punch Buggy" game, during the third quarter. If this catches on, prepare for sore arms. The object now is to hit your closest companion whenever you see any VW. The ad shows people of all ages slugging one another in the arm when a VW passes by. Tracey Morgan makes a cameo in the ad as a Punch Dub victim. The man who hits him is also a famous face, but an unlikely Punch Dub player. That's all I can say. Not Andrea Bocelli. It's a cute interaction between the two celebs. Watch the teaser ad here. Deutsch Los Angeles created the campaign.

Are times so bad that even beavers need to find side work? That's the possible gist of Monster.com's Super Bowl teaser ad. Beavers are hard at work building dams, except for one beaver playing the fiddle. His counterparts seem none too pleased that the fiddling beaver isn't contributing to the workload. The teaser closes with the beaver fiddling and checking his laptop. My guess is he's looking for a new career. How about you? Watch the teaser here, created by BBDO New York.

Dr Pepper is launching its first Super Bowl ad during the second quarter of the big game. Back for a second time is "Dr. Love" played by Gene Simmons from KISS. The ad promotes Dr Pepper Cherry and falls under the brand's "Trust Me, I'm a Doctor" umbrella. Joining Simmons in full KISS regalia is band mate Paul Stanley in the teaser; the entire band appears in the full ad. Simmons take a sip of Dr Pepper Cherry, a beverage with a "little kiss" of cherry flavor, as he and Stanley walk backstage before a concert. "This isn't gonna work," says Stanley, as a trio of shadows can be seen behind a curtain. Hint: think of the term "little kiss" literally, and you'll be closer to an answer. Watch the teaser ad here. Deutsch Los Angeles created the spot.

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