Resilient Chevy, Chrysler ads win at Super Bowl

Mon Feb 6, 2012 10:37am EST
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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - General Motors scored with an Armageddon-proof Chevy truck while a Clint Eastwood pep talk for America won notice for rival Chrysler during the high-stakes brand battle at Sunday's Super Bowl.

Other commercials from companies such as Anheuser-Busch and Coca-Cola repeated old themes or failed to stand out during American TV's most valuable advertising time, according to industry experts and online comments.

Companies that spent $3.5 million on average for a 30-second spot ran commercials featuring comedy, celebrity and skin as the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in front of a TV audience estimated to reach about 100 million.

One GM ad that showed a Chevy Silverado truck surviving a 2012 Mayan end-of-the-world scenario won praise from marketing experts.

The spot "really stood out" among a heavy rotation of car commercials, said Tim Calkins, marketing professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, which runs a review of Super Bowl ads.

In the ad, the truck's driver looks for his friend, "Dave," but learns Dave, who drives a Ford, didn't make it.

A pre-game letter from a Ford attorney asked GM not to run the ad, arguing that insurance industry data show it is Ford, and not GM, that makes the safer pickup truck.

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<p>Clint Eastwood in Chrysler's "It's Halftime in America" Super Bowl advertisement. REUTERS/Chrysler</p>