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Marketing plays of the week: Super Bowl special

The American advertising event of the year, the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos on Monday has seen some 30-second slots sell for upward of $US4 million.

The ads are pretty much an event in themselves nowdays. Latest Nielsen research found 91% of consumers planning to watch the Super Bowl are looking forward to the ads.

Second screening has also become part of the event, with 18% saying they plan to use social media to comment on the ads.

Not all advertisers have revealed their works yet, but the star-studded ad-fest will include Laurence Fishburne reprising his role as The Matrix’s Morpheus for Kia, Terry Crews alongside the Muppets for Toyota, British actors Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong for Jaguar as well as Sarah McLaughlin for Audi and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres for the Beats music platform. 

Going all the way
Client: Coca-Cola
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

The soft drink giant has gone all-American for this year's campaign. This is the first of two ad spots Coke has bought. The second spot is thought to be an extension of the first ads as UK Marketing Week points out Coca-Cola vice president of global advertising strategy and content excellence Jonathan Mildenhall had tweeted images from the set featuring rollerskaters and cheerleaders. In an interesting social media move, Coke says it will give $50,000 to after-schools activity organisation  Boys & Girls Clubs of America when this video reaches 10,000 shares. At press time the video had 664 shares. 

Sorry, Coke and Pepsi
Client: Sodastream
Agency: Humanaut

Banned ad!!!! Great. Banned Scarlett Johansson  ad! Even better. Sorry boys, this ad wasn’t banned because ScarrJo takes off her bathrobe. Fox apparently banned the final line of the ad because competitors Coke and Pepsi were named. Ironically, in the ad, Ms Johansson ponders how to make her ad go viral but it seems being banned by the broadcaster did just the trick - it has already hit five million official views and nabbed headlines all around the world. Unfortunately for Ms Johannson, she was forced to step down as an Oxfam global ambassador as the organisation says the actor’s endorsement was incompatible with its stance on trade with Israel. SodaStream operates in an Israeli West Bank settlement .

A better web awaits
Client: Squarespace
Agency: In-house

This clever 30-second spot brings to life all the annoying parts of the internet. It features a mob of internet characters: memes are trapped in glass boxes, desperate housewives plea for you to “like” their Facebook pictures and anti-virus pop-ups all vie for your attention. The message: “a better web starts with your website.” Wishful thinking.

Puppy Love
Client: Budweiser
Agency: Anomaly

The follow up to the “Brotherhood” spot from last year’s super bowl, this oh-so-cute spot features the  Budweiser Clydesdales - the horses associated with the brand since the 30s. This time one of the horses befriends a Labrador puppy in a well crafted ad sure to be a benchmark for this year’s crop.

Make peace, not love
Client: Unilever
Agency: BBH London

This ad for Unilever’s “Axe” deodorant brand - known as Lynx in this market- goes beyond its usual outlandish humour-ish (and often sexist) advertising for a message about love. To promote its ‘Peace’ product - the spot features several young miltary males including a Kim Jong-Un look-a-like - who choose to make love, not war. The campaign is accompanied by the hashtag #makelovenotwar as the brand encourages consumers to upload a photo of themselves kissing their loved ones.

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Comments and questions

That Scarlett Johansson ad - goes viral and saves USD$3.8million to put the ad up during the superbowl. Well played... or just lucky?

Hopefully a chance for some at New Zealand ad agencies to see what good tvc's look like! A bit of humour goes a long way between programs!

Scarlett Johansson wasn't forced to step down from Oxfam - she dumped them. Good on her for standing up against anti-Semitism.