Supermodels and celebrities dominate Super Bowl ads

Mon Feb 4, 2008 3:19am EST
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By Paul Thomasch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Advertisers couldn't have asked for much more out of the Super Bowl XLII on Sunday.

A nail-biting 17-14 victory by the New York Giants over the New England Patriots likely kept most of the audience glued to the television -- and the commercials -- until the final seconds.

And while the drama may have been higher on the field than during the breaks, the advertisements nevertheless provided a cast of characters that included supermodels, a sleazy jock, a inspirational horse and a cheeky daytrader in diapers.

This year, the Super Bowl took on even more significance than usual for advertisers, as they tried to push beer, soda, sneakers and cars to consumers stymied by an economic downturn.

Advertisers, moreover, have lately found it more difficult to promote their products and brands over broadcast television, as a strike by Hollywood screenwriters against the major studios has meant fewer hits -- and smaller audiences -- for


This year has the potential to have more of an impact, said Derek Rucker, assistant professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, which runs a Super Bowl advertising review. "You don't have as much fresh programming, so this has the potential to generate more interest for the event and the advertising."

Broadcast by Fox, the Giants will almost surely draw the biggest TV audience of the year, and because of the marquee matchup, could draw the biggest Super Bowl audience of all-time. Prices to buy a 30-second spot averaged $2.7 million.   Continued...

<p>Fans wait for the start of the NFL's Super Bowl XLII game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants in Glendale, Arizona February 3, 2008. REUTERS/Rick Wilking</p>