Next up is "Deprogramming," running in the third quarter. Jeff Bridges hopes to place viewers under his spell as his voice lulls you into a trance-like state, coupled with kaleidoscopic images of compact cars, legs, gas tanks and driving sheep, a nod to an ad the brand launched during the AFC championship game,. "Compact cars don't have to be boring or feel compact," says Bridges as he brings viewers back to reality, stating," Snap out of it, man." Watch it here.
"Anachronistic City" runs in the fourth quarter and it's quite funny. Throngs of early, first-generation devices are shown: silent movies, hefty mobile phones, fat-burning techniques, televisions and cameras. Had we settled for every first-generation device that came along, the 2011 Sonata Hybrid wouldn't be here. It's not the first hybrid car by any means, but it's sleek, updated and well-equipped. It's my favorite of the trio and it does a great job at conveying its overall brand message: First doesn't always mean best. Watch the ad here. Innocean Worldwide created the campaign.
Pepsi Max is participating in the "Crash The Super Bowl" contest for the first time. We'll talk about the Doritos user-created ads tomorrow. Five Pepsi Max ads are finalists, but only three will run as Super Bowl ads. The two ads with the most votes are guaranteed to run, leaving Pepsi Max execs to choose the third spot. There's big money to be made for any ad placing in the top three of USA TODAY's Ad Meter: anywhere from $400,000 to $1 million.
The ads are good. Let's begin with "Elevator Girl." I laughed out loud at this one. A guy has a crush on a woman who lives in his building. He's not too smooth, however, but his chance with her gets better when she eyes his case of Pepsi Max. He offers her a soda, and then explains that it contains zero calories. "What are you trying to say?" she asks. "No, no, no, you're not fat," he replies. Watch it here. I hope this makes the cut.
"First Date" is the weakest of the five ads, but I can see it garnering a big game spot. Viewers hear the inner thoughts of a couple on their first date. The woman wonders if the man wants kids, if he's "the one," and how much he makes. The man's thoughts are simple: he wants to sleep with her. His thoughts change once her Pepsi Max is delivered to the table. He wants it. Her thoughts tell the man he has no chance. See it here.
A husband receives tough love from his wife in "Love Hurts." He will be punished for eating junk food and fast food, but that doesn't compare to what happens when he checks out another woman... in front of his wife. Watch it here.
A nerdy guy exacts revenge on his tormentor, thanks to a Pepsi Max "Torpedo Cooler." See it here.
"Zero Calories?" is clearly an homage to Budweiser's "Whazzup" guys; the only difference here is the drink of choice is Pepsi Max and women are saying "pshhh." Watch it here. I'm rooting for "Elevator Girl," "Love Hurts" and "Zero Calories." What are your picks?