Out to Launch -- Super Bowl Ads; Day 3

AcuraExtended versions of Super Bowl ads are the way to go this year. Yesterday we saw a 2:25 minute ad for Honda CR-V, starring Matthew Broderick. Today, it’s Jerry Seinfeld and his obsession with cars that serve as the plot for Acura’s Super Bowl spot. The brand launched a just-under two-minute teaser to promote its 30-second Super Bowl ad.

“Transactions” promotes the Acura NSX, a sleek sports car that Seinfeld must have. And it has to be the first car off the assembly line. Finding out he’s number two in line, Seinfeld pulls every play in the book to bribe the number-one car owner to trade places. What else is an extremely wealthy comedian to do? For starters, Seinfeld offers up the Soup Nazi and his delicious soup. “I own all the characters,” he quips. Next come offers of a dancing holographic monkey, the last living Munchkin, sock puppet reenactments of TV shows, a sports boat, an alien in a body bag and the pièce de résistance: access to Seinfeld’s personal zip line through New York City. The zip line proves successful and Seinfeld has victory in his sight, until fellow comedian and car enthusiast Jay Leno touches down wearing a jetpack flying squirrel suit that takes wearers from N.Y. to L.A. in 20 minutes. “Leno,” grimaces Seinfeld, giving viewers that “Newman” moment. The spot ends with Seinfeld, the alien, dancing Munchkin and Soup Nazi sitting in the coffee shop. See the ad here, created by rp&. Look for it in the third quarter.



VWVolkswagen released a 75-second version of its Super Bowl spot on its YouTube page called "The Dog Strikes Back." A 60-second spot will run in the second quarter of the game. Last year, users were treated to mini Darth Vader, questioning his powers and eventually using “The Force” to start a 2012 Passat. Or so he thinks. This year, the brand first launched a 60-second teaser called “The Bark Side,” featuring a choir of dogs barking the “Star Wars” “Imperial March.” The teaser has little to do with the actual ad that stars an overweight dog that no longer fits through the doggie door. The “Star Wars” reference doesn’t happen until the very end.

Promoting the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is the adorable Bolt the dog, who’s too fat to get through the doggy door, rendering him unable to chase after the Beetle. He hatches a plan: get in shape. He plays fetch by himself by throwing a ball down a small flight of stairs, walks on a treadmill, uses a stability ball, pulls weights, resists the temptation of food on the floor, swims and unveils a slimmer self. I wonder if they outfitted this dog with a canine fat suit. Do these things exist?

The next time the Beetle drives by, Bolt bolts out the doggy door and chases the car down the street. But what about the “Star Wars” theme? The final 15 seconds take place in the Cantina introduced in “Star Wars Episode IV,” where bar patrons are watching the ad on a flat screen. Proving that ad critics exist in a galaxy far, far away, two customers critique the ad. One prefers the dog to mini Vader. Big mistake, since Vader makes a memorable appearance by choking the guy from across the bar. This ad will be popular, but, as the ad itself concludes, nothing can top mini Darth Vader. Watch the ad here, created by Deutsch LA.

HuluHulu launched a teaser Super Bowl spot starring Will Arnett as the latest “TV star” alien sent to earth to turn brains into mushymush. “The Evil Plot to Destroy the World” was made famous in a 2009 Super Bowl ad starring Alec Baldwin. This year’s Super Bowl ad promotes Hulu Plus and continues with the premise that aliens populate the TV industry in an effort to turn human brains into “mushymush.” The teaser shows Arnett attempting to enter Hulu’s secret location: inside the Hollywood sign. His secret passwords aren’t working and the door won’t open completely, leaving Arnett to speak into bushes and pry at the door. Once it opens, Arnett is surrounded by TV and mobile devices for TV consumption. See it here, created by CP+B.


Century 21Century 21 Real Estate is running an ad in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, its first time advertising during the big game. The ad stars Donald Trump, Deion Sanders, and Apolo Ohno, each representing a trait in the ad’s “Smarter. Bolder. Faster.” theme. Each celeb is paired with a competent Century 21 agent who helps them with house buying and selling. Teaser ads, seen here, here and here, compare the business and athletic talents of the celebs with an agent. My quibble: Sander and Ohno star in their teasers, while Trump does not and is referred to as “the biggest tycoon in real estate.” Red Tettemer + Partners created the campaign.

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