Out to Launch -- The Super Bowl Edition

You know what time it is. Time for some Super Bowl ad viewing before the big game. Hike!

Doritos called and viewers answered. Five finalists were selected from a make-your-own-Doritos-ad contest, and the winning spot will air Sunday. It's hard to choose, for all five ads are impressive, but "Check-Out Girl" is my favorite, followed by "Duct Tape," "Mouse Trap," "Live the Flavor" and "Chip Lover's Dream." Click here to watch the ads. "Check-Out Girl" is laugh-out-loud funny, and features an overzealous cashier; "Duct Tape" reminds me of why I love watching "CSI" and "Dexter"; "Mouse Trap" has a big twist ending; "Live the Flavor" shows that opposites attract and "Chip Lover's Dream" digs deep into the mind of a rock climber/Doritos lover.

"Robot" is a 60-second spot for GM that also made me laugh out loud. A robot on the manufacturing line is shown the door following one last slip-up at work. He's reduced to holding signs advertising condos for sale and a microphone box where one orders drive-through food, while the song "All by Myself" plays in the background. Extreme measures are taken, there's a twist ending and the ad concludes with a voiceover promoting GM's 100,000-mile warranty, where "everyone at GM is obsessed with quality." I can't link to this ad, for I may never be able to buy American again, but trust me, you will enjoy it. Deutsch Los Angeles created the campaign and GM Planworks handled the media buy.


advertisement is saying goodbye to the monkeys in their ad components. This is great news for me, for I was one of approximately 12 people that didn't enjoy them. The company is launching two or three ads during the second and third quarters of the Super Bowl, and I got my hands on one. I can say very little about the ads, for I've been told the unemployed monkeys will come find me if I do. But I will say this: I like the new campaign, "Jungle Inc.," much more than the successful monkey one. "Promotion Pit" features a group of employees fighting for a big promotion. Another ad will drop during the game and additional ads will launch in the upcoming weeks. Cramer-Krasselt created the campaign.

Snapple is promoting its chockfull-of-EGCG green tea during the big game in a fourth quarter ad created by Cliff Freeman & Partners. The ad takes place in China, where we find a man in search of enlightenment about what EGCG is and why it's important. He climbs to the top of a steep mountain and finds a wise man that knows of the power of EGCG. FYI, it's an antioxidant that helps boost metabolism. "How do you know that," asks the young man. "It's on the back of the bottle," says the older man. The ad concludes with the young man mocking the sage man's response -- all while he's trekking down the mountain. Who needs to boost their metabolism after getting a workout like that? Pre-game, Snapple will run an ad promoting its white tea that has been on air since last year. Our same sweaty spokesman yearns to know what white tea is. Answer: he makes another long trip for nothing. The Super Bowl ad drives viewers to, where users can watch an online-only spot promoting Snapple's red tea. I like this ad. Sweaty man journeys to Africa to find out more about red tea other than it only grows in Africa and supports the immune system. As he receives an educational lesson, a pair of leopards pounce on the truck he's sitting in. Can't wait for this to be on TV. In addition to the Snapple ads, CBS in-house ads, also created by Cliff Freeman & Partners last June, will run pre-game. All three Snapple ads, including the online-only spot, and the three CBS ads, can be viewed here.

Someone said no to Gil the Crab. Honda initially intended to launch three ads during the big game, two 15-second spots featuring Gil, and a third promoting fuel efficiency -- but Gil has been scrapped for a 30-second CR-V ad that launched in September. Fear not, Gil fans. He will resurface -- just not at the Super Bowl. "Elvis" and "Slalom" will air in the fourth quarter. "Elvis" features a remixed version of "Burning Love" along with glitter, glam and a gaggle of screaming female fans. Watch it here. "Slalom" features the entire line of Honda vehicles seamlessly maneuvering through a set of gas pumps that are strategically placed as driving cones. Watch it here. For all you pop culture addicts like me, Kevin Spacey remains the voiceover on both ads. RPA handled all aspects of the campaign.

Garmin, a portable GPS navigation system, is making its Super Bowl debut with "Maposaurus," running in the second quarter. The ad stars a lost man and a fold-up map that takes on a life of its own. The ad plays out like a rock music video, much like a Tenacious D video. The Garmin owner becomes the good superhero that defeats the evil Maposaurus. The spot ends by promoting, where users can watch the music video version of the ad. Better yet, watch the video here. It's also reminiscent of Symantec's adverbrand, Rock Dot Rock, who sing solely about protecting one's identity online. Watch "Maposaurus" here.Fallon created the campaign and media buying was handled in-house.

What would the Super Bowl be without Go Daddy? No shock here, but the company is creating its Super Bowl ads in-house, after parting ways with Shine Advertising. They've purchased three ads, and two concepts have been squashed while a third has been accepted. The first reject, called "Basic Instinct," features Go Daddy girl Candice Michelle channeling Sharon Stone. See here why this didn't make the cut. The second reject, "I Own You," seemed tame compared to "Basic Instinct." This ad shows dueling cubicle dwelling co-workers buying domain names of one another's loved ones. A female co-worker passing by sees no humor, however. Watch the ad here. Will the approved ad feature Candice Michelle, INDY Race Car driver Danica Patrick, or both women? Tune in Sunday to find out.

Coca-Cola is making its Super Bowl return with three ads: two already in rotation and the third, a 30-second newbie. "Video Game" and "Happiness Factory" both made their TV debuts during episodes of "American Idol," but officially launched as movie theatre ads. "Video Game" shows the softer side of a video game plot. A man performs good deeds for everyone he encounters. We're so used to seeing points accrued for partaking in violent acts that it's refreshing to see good spread throughout a neighborhood, not violence. Watch the ad here. "Happiness Factory" follows from start to finish the inner workings of a Coca-Cola vending machine. Great ad. Watch it here.Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam created the campaign.

I never thought I'd say this before, but I would choose Fabio over Kevin Federline any day. And if I had to endure watching K-Fed in an ad, couldn't it be for the most obvious of brands? K-Fed-Ex for Fed-Ex. Nationwide's ad opens with Federline starring in his own rap video, rapping about how he's a sugar daddy and has lots of dollar bills. I only believe the last statement. The spot concludes with Federline rapping into the video camera at his job as a fry boy at a fast food joint. Watch the ad here.TM Advertising created the campaign.

Sierra Mist has two 30-second ads bowing during the first two quarters of the game, featuring the usual comedic suspects -- my favorite being Michael Ian Black. "Karate" stars Black as a karate instructor who teaches his students how to protect their Sierra Mist bottles from would-be predators. How would you fight back? With violence or words? Watch the ad here. "Hospital" shows a patient in his hospital room and his unfulfilled request to get a sip of Sierra Mist. Work gossip takes precedence. Watch the ad here.BBDO New York created the ads.

Snickers is returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2001 with an ad running during the first half. All that's known about the ad is what can be viewed online at We're talking five seconds, if that. The ad shows two mechanics working under the hood of a car and one of the men pulling a Snickers bar from his pocket. Select players from the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts have viewed the ad in its entirety. Am I bitter? Yes, and I'm also not satisfied. Once the spot airs, users can watch the ad and three alternate endings online and vote for their favorite ending, which will be the next version of the ad to run. TBWA/Chiat/Day New York created the ad.

What is, you ask? Beats me, but the company is making its Super Bowl debut and posted a snippet of the ad online. I got more out of this than Snickers' tease. The ad begins with a man driving a new sports car. A female co-worker asks for a ride. Will he or won't he say yes? I'm actually looking forward to this ad, although I doubt it will garner the attention that fellow dot-commer Go Daddy exudes. The ad was created in-house and will run during the first half of the game. Watch the sneak peek here.

NFL Network is launching "Hanging Chads" -- and if I had to judge an ad by title alone, I'd say hold all callers, we have a winner. The ad is one big Super Bowl party hosted by Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson. He has quite an eclectic set of friends. Starring in the ad are David Beckham, Martha Stewart, Janet Reno, LL Cool J, Jimmy Fallon, Edgerrin James, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog and Warren Sapp, to name a few. That's some party. The campaign tag line is "NFL Network. Total Access, 365 Days a Year," and was created by Triple Double.

The King -- the Burger King, that is -- won't be found on TV this year, but he's been erected on the side of Burger King's headquarters in Miami. Wunderman Chicago wrapped the headquarters with a 7-story banner that says, "Welcome to Miami where Football is King." The King is decked out in football gear, and anyone coming or going through Miami International Airport will see him. The wrap was completed last Saturday and will remain up until after the Super Bowl.

McKee Wallwork Cleveland and Rassai Interactive created the ADBOWL VIIWeb site, where users can channel their inner ad critic and vote for their favorite ads. AD BOWL results are posted at midnight, following the game. Consumers can register online to rate each ad after it airs on a scale of one to five. The results will be divided by gender and age.

Look out for Kings (both dead and cartoonish), dream sequences, non-human things with human emotions and a yearning for Fabio's return during this year's game.

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