News / Economy

Budweiser Scores Buzz in Super Bowl Ad Battle

In this undated photo provided by Anheuser-Busch, Lt. Chuck Nadd, left, is greeted by his mother after he rode aboard the famously-red Budweiser beer wagon in a parade, led by a marching band through Winter Park, Fla.
In this undated photo provided by Anheuser-Busch, Lt. Chuck Nadd, left, is greeted by his mother after he rode aboard the famously-red Budweiser beer wagon in a parade, led by a marching band through Winter Park, Fla.
Reuters
Budweiser commercials about a returning soldier and a love-struck puppy emerged as winners in the high-stakes brand battle during football's Super Bowl, as advertisers used Hollywood stars and slick cars to woo consumers.

The Budweiser ads took the two top spots in online buzz immediately following the game, according to iSpot, which tracks video views and social media comments. One showed a soldier coming home to a parade, and the other featured a Labrador puppy
and the beer maker's famous Clydesdale horses.



Brands paid $4 million on average for 30 seconds of ad time during the game, seen by an estimated 100 million viewers who annually make it U.S. television's most-watched event.

The Seattle Seahawks crushed the Denver Broncos 43-8.

Budweiser, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, and other brands opted to stir people's emotions, rather than seek cheap laughs, said Tim Calkins, marketing professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, which annually reviews Super Bowl ads.

"We are seeing companies talk about more inspirational topics," Calkins said. "I think this reflects a little bit how people are feeling in the country. People are feeling a little hopeful."

A Cheerios commercial, featuring parents telling their daughter she will soon have a brother, won high marks from advertising executives and marketing experts. Some complaints appeared online last year when Cheerios used the same couple, a black man and a white woman.

"I liked the Cheerios spot, the bravery of it and the fact they didn't run from consumers who didn't like it," said Brett Craig, executive creative director for Deutsch LA.



Companies relied especially heavily on celebrities this year, from Ellen DeGeneres for a new Beats Music app to former quarterback Tim Tebow for T-Mobile US Inc, which played off his free agency to promote their message that consumers shouldn't need a contract. Tebow was seen in a variety of jobs, including as a rock singer.

Adding star salaries and production costs likely brought the cost of some campaigns to over $10 million, according to advertising executives.

Auto makers dominated the telecast. Chrysler - which scored with a Clint Eastwood pitch in 2012 - again stood out, featuring 72-year-old folk singer Bob Dylan in a pitch for the new Chrysler 200 sedan. Dylan's song "Things Have Changed" played in the background as the singer appeared on screen to narrate a story that celebrated America and U.S. auto workers.

"It was very skillful and epic," said Andrew Essex, vice chairman at advertising agency Droga5. Other experts, however, said viewers complained online that Dylan had sold out.



Luxury carmaker Maserati, owned by Fiat, surprised with a dramatic 90-second ad starring young actress Quvenzhane Wallis and featuring tornadoes, waves and flocks of flying birds. The ad promoted a new lower-priced Maserati that starts
at $67,000.

Jerry Seinfeld reunited with cast members from his hit 1990s sitcom for an episode of his online show "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" on Sony Corp 's Crackle.com. Part of the episode aired during halftime.

Internet domain company GoDaddy.com, known for its racy ads, featured a real-life machine engineer who announced in this year's ad she was quitting her job to run a puppeteer business.



SodaStream's ad with sultry actress Scarlett Johansson fell flat, according to Jim Elliott, chief executive officer of Y&R.

"I thought SodaStream was trying to score points with celebrity and didn't deliver on the idea," he said.

As many ads were previewed online ahead of the game, the usual sense of anticipation was not there, said Jim Joseph, president of the North America division for Cohn & Wolfe, who discussed the ads with viewers through Twitter.

Ads or teasers were viewed 130 million times before kickoff, according to iSpot.

"People are a little disappointed in general," Joseph said. "There doesn't seem to be the surprise factor that we have seen in other years."

The blowout victory by Seattle likely reduced the audience for second-half ads, said Claudia Caplan, senior vice president for business development at MDC Partners.

"There have to be a lot of people who just bailed," she said.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9211
JPY
USD
119.18
GBP
USD
0.6722
CAD
USD
1.2509
INR
USD
62.518

Rates may not be current.