Animals Baby Tops In Super Bowl Ads

February 4, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — Manning who?

Among the millions of Americans who tuned into the Super Bowl Sunday night, the majority found the television commercials as or even more intriguing than the action on the gridiron, according to a survey commissioned by Grand Rapids advertising firm Hanon McKendry.

As Internet chat today turns to the New York Giants’ victory that spoiled the New England Patriots’ attempt at a perfect season, plenty of pixels are being spilled over the commercials as well. Hanon McKendry brought together its staff members and local media to rate the ads.

Their results: Hanon Kendry picked the helmeted, GPS-equipped FedEx pigeons as the top commercial; the Budweiser commercial with the “underdog” Clydesdale horse coached by the dalmation was second; and third, famous people who can’t stay awake unless they drink Pepsi Max.

Media representatives picked: No. 1, the Dalmation-Clydesdale; No. 2, the FedEx pigeons; and No. 3, the E-Trade talking baby version in which the tot hires a clown.

USA Today’s 20th annual Super Bowl Ad Meter ranked the Dalmation-Clydesdale spot No. 1 and the FedEx pigeons No. 2.

For the third year, Hanon McKendry commissioned Harris Interactive to poll U.S. adults regarding their interest in the ads. Sixty-eight percent planned to watch Sunday game, compared to 70 percent in 2007, when Nielsen Media Research reported 93.2 million Super Bowl viewers.

The TV commercials were the main draw for 19 percent those surveyed, while 38 percent reported equal interest in the game and the ads.

“This survey confirms that the Super Bowl is the perfect place for marketers to broaden their appeal,” agency principal Bill McKendry said. “Trends show they’re getting smarter about maximizing their Super Bowl investments, mostly through Internet activities before and after the game.”

Thirty percent of women said they would be watching primary for the ads, compared to 10 percent of men. Overall, women’s interest in the game dropped from 64 percent 2007 to 60 percent.

Apparently, the regional nature of the match-up was mitigated by high interest in the previously unblemished record of quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots and the Giants’ surprising rise behind quarterback Eli Manning.     

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