February 3

Super Bowl Ads: Nothing much to talk about

Advertisers play it safe, focusing on connecting with causes, playing up Americana roots and a little light humor.

By Mae Anderson
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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In this image released by GoDaddy.com, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, center, wearing a muscle suit, appears with bodybuilders in a Super Bowl commercial shot on location in Long Beach, Calif.

The Associated Press

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Not everyone was a fan. "I didn't like it very much," said Crystal Booker, who lives in Rock Hill, S.C., about the Chrysler ad, in particular. "It was nostalgic, but nothing that I hadn't seen before."

LIGHT HUMOR

Jokes were also tamer. "A few years ago we had a lot of physical slapstick, this year there's a lot less of that," said Berkowitz, with digital ad agency MRY.

Even advertisers that typically go with more crude humor toned it down. GoDaddy.com's ad, for instance, showed it helping a small-business owner quit her job. "Women were fed up and parents were fed up and advertisers listened," said Mediapost.com's Lippert.

Other advertisers went with light humor as well. There were mini sitcom reunions: in an ad for Dannon Oikos, the "Full House" cast reunited. And "Seinfeld" alums Jerry, George and even Newman came back to Tom's diner in New York City for an ad for Jerry Seinfield's show "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."

Stephen Colbert appeared in a pair of 15-second ads for Wonderful Pistachios. In one he predicted the nuts would sell themselves because "I'm wonderful, they're wonderful." He was back a few seconds later covered in bright green branded messages because the nuts hadn't sold out in 30 seconds.

Another light-humored ad came from RadioShack, which featured 1980s pop culture figures including Teen Wolf, Chucky, Alf and Hulk Hogan, destroying a store and a voiceover that said: "The '80s called, they want their store back. It's time for a new RadioShack."

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