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Super Bowl ads get pros' ranking

Published February 5, 2007 12:31 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

With disturbing similarity to the spaghetti plate romance in "Lady and the Tramp," two mechanics chomped their way to Super Bowl fame as their lips met on opposite ends of a Snickers bar.

That uncomfortable scene, which elicited both laughs and groans, ranked among the night's best commercials as millions of Americans tuned in Sunday to watch the Indianapolis Colts take on - and later trounce - the Chicago Bears.

The Salt Lake Tribune enlisted five marketing experts to rank the Super Bowl's advertisements. While they didn't agree on the best commercial of the night, nearly all mentioned the Snickers smooch as a sure watercooler topic.

"It made me laugh," said Scott Rockwood, chief executive officer of the Richter7 marketing and communication firm. "But I don't know if it made me want to have a Snickers [bar]."

Rather, the Tribune panel dubbed it a crowd-pleaser that probably won't do much for Snickers' sales.

"That was purely a Super Bowl spot," said Randy Cummins, creative director for DaVinci Marketing. "That is no way to market your product."

Snickers paid big bucks for that 30-second spot, joining dozens of other companies eager to get their name in front of a television audience that has topped 130 million viewers. A half-minute ad fetched $2.6 million this year, according to the market research group TNS Media Intelligence.

Cram all that advertizing time into a single Super Bowl game and network television makes millions.

TNS reported earnings of $162 million during last year's event.

Super Bowl XLI provided plenty of content for today's watercooler. The worst-ad award went to GoDaddy.com, which used champagne-soaked T-shirts and big-breasted women to sell . . . well, something.

Then there was the map monster by Garmin.com, which lumbered in "Power Ranger" fashion before succumbing to a navigation system ray gun.

Among the most memorable was a Doritos ad that featured a cashier whose passions turned with each bag of Doritos that she rang up. Finally, with a chip in her fingers and her hair tussled, she pokes her head above the counter and calls for a cleanup.

The Doritos added some amateur pizzazz to Super Bowl Sunday with a goofy spot showing a hapless driver distracted by a pretty woman. Chevrolet played another, this time of men stripping off their shirts - and some other clothing - at the sight of a new Chevy HHR rolling down he street.

The Tribune panel gave the ads kudos, saying they kept pace with the professionals.

"It doesn't take a Madison Avenue or Wall Street genius to have a good idea, or big budgets to sell a product," Cummins said. "Creativity can be spontaneous and exciting from a consumer's perspective."

jstettler@sltrib.com