How Those Super Bowl Ads By 'Real People' Measure Up

With all the consumer-generated hoopla surrounding upcoming Super Bowl ad campaigns, we decided to check out the goods ourselves. Among the big brands turning over some control to the consumer are Alka-Seltzer, Chevrolet, Frito-Lay, and the National Football League itself.

Bayer Consumer Care, which just wrapped up a year of celebrating the 75th anniversary of the tagline, "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz--oh, what a relief it is," is continuing to use it in a contest in which everyday Joes sing it, and the winner is featured in a 30-second spot during the Feb. 5 Super Bowl pre-game show. Grammy Award-winning singer Cindy Lauper will pick the winner, to be announced around Jan. 19. Semifinalists from events in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Dallas as well as 50 other entries submitted online can be checked out at

Our review: Oh, how hard it is to sing that tagline, especially if you wander off the beaten track. Still, there are a few decent songs in the lot.



General Motors' Chevrolet division has linked the names of the top five finalists in its college student-only contest at, a blog the company began last year. A spokesperson for Chevy reminds everyone the company was the "first to jump into this whole fray." More than 800 students registered to compete.

Among the finalists are students from Savannah College of Art & Design, San Jose State University, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Elon University. The spokesperson said there was great diversity in the teams, with majors in international marketing, fine arts and English, for example, combining their talents. The winner's ad will appear during the Super Bowl.

Our review: The actual ads aren't posted, but there is video of college students talking about making an ad for Chevy. College students today are a lot smarter than they were in our day.

Meanwhile, 12 finalists are competing at for a chance to have their ideas made into a Super Bowl ad for the National Football League. The 12 are the results of a contest held in November at Giants Stadium, where more than 1,700 people pitched their ideas to a panel of three judges. The winner will be flown to Los Angeles to watch the commercial being made and get a trip for two to the Super Bowl in Miami. Visitors to the Web site are invited to help choose the winner by voting. Legendary ad director Joe Pytka will direct the winning commercial, which will air during the game.

Our review: We didn't look at all 12, but there are some people here that you should be hiring.

PepsiCo.'s Frito-Lay Doritos brand on Friday posted the names of the five finalists in its contest, which could be one of the riskiest of the ventures because Frito-Lay promised to air the 30-second spot in its entirety. The company says it was impressed with the professionalism of the submissions. Consumers are invited to view and vote on the finalists' work at through Jan. 19. The winning ad will be unveiled during the first quarter of the Super Bowl.

All the finalists, chosen from more than 1,000 entries, get $10,000 and a trip to Miami to attend the Doritos Super Bowl Party. Three finalists come from California, one from Indiana and the fifth from North Carolina. Frito-Lay partnered with Yahoo Video for the contest. Consumers can also enter codes found on specially marked Doritos bags to win football fan prize packs of Doritos.

Our review: Yowzah! There's some serious talent here. Looks like Frito-Lay's risk will pay off big.

Next story loading loading..