Out to Launch - Super Bowl Edition

A week later than usual, Super Sunday will be here in just a few days. The biggest day of the year in advertising, this year's Super Bowl hopes to keep up the tradition, hence, this entire Out To Launch is dedicated to the big game. Warner, Brady, and a monkey? Let’s Launch!

First off, minutes before the big game the two teams will be focused on getting into the end zone, but Pizza Hut wants the millions of viewers on the other side of the TV getting into the new P'ZONE. Pizza Hut will premier its ad featuring comedian Tommy Davidson and its newest celebrity the P'ZONE -- the pizza you eat like a sandwich -- in its coveted big game slot just before kick-off.

Now, on to the game. The Dockers brand is entering the Super Bowl advertising mix for the first time in the brand's history with a new commercial directed by Christopher Guest of Moxie Pictures. The 30-second ad which debuts during the second quarter of the game, takes place in a country club setting where all the men are conspicuously dressed in attire that usually serves as a trusty wardrobe stand-by for women. Full details on the ad and Dockers new line will not be released until the commercial airs.



From pants to someone who hasn’t worn them in three consecutive Super Bowls - E*TRADE Group, Inc. will debut a new 'Monkey' commercial produced by Goodby Silverstein & Partners during the big game in addition to sponsoring the half time show. Following the 2001 Super Bowl monkey ad, E*TRADE's top-of-mind brand awareness increased by 64% in February 2001 according to Diagnostic Research, Inc., and building on that momentum the company will once again highlight its expanded product offering designed to empower its customers to make informed investment decisions when managing their lifetime financial goals.

Speaking of animals, Blockbuster Inc. , is catapulting a new animal pair toward stardom and this time it's a rabbit named Carl and a guinea pig named Ray. Voiced by James Woods and Jim Belushi, the cagey duo will premiere nationwide as featured characters in Blockbuster's new "Pet Shop" campaign during Super Bowl XXXVI. Singer Carnie Wilson rounds-out the star-studded cast by narrating the campaign, which was created by Doner Worldwide. From their vantage point, Carl and Ray are inspired to enjoy Blockbuster entertainment vicariously, engaging in everything from flash dancing, to kung-fu kicks and circus tricks. In conjunction with the new campaign, Blockbuster will also re-introduce its most famous tagline, "Make it a Blockbuster Night."

Moving from animals to claymation, Danny DeVito's latex puppet alter ego leads an uprising when the Lipton Brisk puppets get fired in a 60-second commercial that airs in the second quarter of the game. Why are they fired? The new tagline tells the story: Lipton Brisk "tastes so good, it sells itself." The Pepsi-Lipton Tea Partnership is re-launching Lipton Brisk this year with a new formula and new packaging graphics. The Lipton Brisk spot will debut on Saturday at

Moving from clay to real people, Britney Spears is back at the big game, this time with a 90-second spot Pepsi spot that will debut during the first quarter. The spot, called "Now and Then," takes viewers on a ride through Pepsi's advertising history from the 1950's, 60's, 70's, 80's, and finishes with Spears’ updated version of the "Joy of Pepsi" song. The spot was created by Pepsi's longtime advertising agency BBDO New York. Additionally, Pepsi and marketing partner Yahoo! are offering web surfers the chance to choose which "Pepsi Generation" commercial they'd like to see as a 30-second spot in second quarter of the game, by logging on to a special website to view behind-the-scenes videos and choosing a favorite Pepsi Generation. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. (PST) on Friday, February 1st.

Sticking with real people, Anheuser-Busch is teaming up with racing superstar Dale Earnhart Jr. to deliver an important message about designated drivers. The new commercial featuring the NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver, set to debut during the broadcast of the game, continues Anheuser-Busch's commitment to helping prevent drunk driving. The 30-second ad shows the Earnhart Jr. serving as the designated driver and using his Number 8 Budweiser car to drive a friend home.

Moving on to the job seekers. In support of its Olympic sponsorship, emphasized by its commitment to encourage American athletes and people everywhere to "Never Settle" in their lives and careers, will debut its first-ever Olympic-themed ad during Super Bowl XXXVI. The 30-second spot will also air throughout the Olympic Winter Games, scheduled to begin on February 8th in Salt Lake City.

Not to be outdone by Monster, is set to debut its new Super Bowl TV commercial during the third quarter of the game. For its fourth consecutive year in the Super Bowl, HotJobs has a new 30-second spot that opens on a job interview in progress. The catch: The candidate repeats, verbatim, each question the interviewer asks. The spot closes with the candidate on the job -- as a court stenographer. The message: "Find Your Fit."

The only other dot-com to advertise during the big game will be Yahoo!, which will premiere a new commercial in the second quarter titled "Dolphin" - the latest in Yahoo!'s current and ongoing "Do You Yahoo!?" campaign. "Dolphin" marks the first time that Yahoo! has run a spot during the Super Bowl.

The White House anti-drug advertising program will break two anti-terror ads on the Super Bowl in the biggest single-event government advertising buy in U.S. history. Media buying sources say the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy will likely pay over $1.6 million per spot. The drug office will get free matching spots from Fox Broadcasting Co. in other high-profile events.

Other big game advertisers include The Levi's brand, which has asked the public decide which new ad will run during the second quarter of the big game - "Crazy Legs," "Up & Down" or "Bull;" fast food giant Taco Bell and several others (there are a few spots still left unsold, according to Fox.)

Finally, General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac division will break a new 60-second brand spot featuring music from Led Zeppelin during the post-game awards broadcast, when the game's Most Valuable Player will be awarded the all-new Cadillac CTS sedan.

This newsletter is compiled weekly by MediaPost staff writer Adam Bernard. Past issues are archived at the MediaPost website. Your comments, questions and submissions are always welcome and appreciated.

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