Super-expensive Super Bowl ads might not be so super
In this story:
January 24, 1997
Web posted at: 11:10 p.m. EST
From correspondent Paul Vercammen
HOLLYWOOD, California (CNN) -- Pull up a couch, grab some
chips and dip and get ready for the real reason we watch the
Super Bowl -- to see companies unveil creative, entertaining
The super-matchup between the Green Bay Packers and New
England Patriots this Sunday will have the attention of
hundreds of millions of viewers, and while the big game often
lacks flare on the field, the advertising game off the field
aims to please.
From political powers to puppets
This year's Super Bowl entry fee for advertisers is averaging
a record $1.2 million for 30 seconds of air time. And
companies are also forking over cash to land celebrities to
sell their products -- from political powers to puppets.
Former GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole is getting into
the act. He's pitching Visa.
Commercials will also feature supermodels Kathy Ireland and
Vendela, joined by Miss Piggy and Antonio Sabato, Jr. for
Cindy Crawford cruises for Cadillac.
Nike is dishing out $2 million a minute to show their
Super Bowl Party featuring Lil' Penny, a caricature of
basketball star Penny Hardaway.
Hollywood spending $9 million
And Hollywood's movie studios are spending more than $9
million to show trailers for upcoming films, including Howard
Stern's "Private Parts", "Jurassic park" sequel "The Lost
World", and "The Devil's Own".
But other big name companies like Ford and Sprint are passing
on the pricey chance at millions of viewers.
"If you don't have something really important to say -- a new
campaign, a new product -- it doesn't make sense to spend
$1.1 million for 30 seconds," says Jean Pool, an ad buyer for
J. Walter Thompson.
"The advertising just stinks"
This year's crop of commercials, however, might leave some
viewers yawning, something they normally reserve for the
traditionally suspenseless game.
"This year, I don't know if the game will be any good, but
the advertising just stinks," says Bob Garfield, Super Bowl
prognosticator for Advertising Age. "Fred Astaire is going
to dance with a vacuum cleaner. We've grown accustomed to
dead entertainers being resurrected thanks to computer
compositing. I'm sorry, but it's going to be a boring game."
One thing is certain: boring or entertaining, commercials in
the Super Bowl limelight will be expensive for their
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