Rookie Showdown: Who will win the Apple Macintosh/Pets.com Memorial Rookie Super Bowl Advertiser of the Year Award?

I don’t think there’s ever been a Super Bowl that didn’t feature at least one rookie advertiser. At least not in the modern Super Bowl advertising era (1985-present).

This year’s game is no exception, with six first-timers – Dannon, Century 21, Lexus, 2nd Story Software, H&M, and Samsung – going head-to-head to see who’s got what it takes to take home SpotBowl’s coveted Apple Macintosh/Pets.com Memorial Rookie Super Bowl Advertiser of the Year Award.

Admittedly, the five newbies don’t sound like the most exciting bunch but they’re the cards we’ve been dealt, so let’s break this matchup down.

  • DANNON YOGURT – Yeah, it’s yogurt during the Super Bowl, but let’s not forget that the game’s 100 million-plus viewers include a lot of thirty- and fortysomething men and women who are watching the game quietly at home while reading the Steve Jobs biography on their Kindle Fire. Plus, the Dannon spot will star John Stamos. That’s kind of good, right?
  • CENTURY 21 – The ad will feature Donald Trump, Deion Sanders and Olympic speed-skating gold medalist Apolo Ohno. The trio will demonstrate the company’s new position that its agents are “Smarter. Bolder. Faster.” Donald Trump is pretty much a real life cartoon character, which gives this spot a head start against the rest of the rookie pack.
  • LEXUS – It’s hard to get excited about an ad for a car I’ll never be able to afford. Sure, the teaser was pretty cool, but I’m still not too optimistic about this one.
  • 2ND STORY SOFTWARE – The “cutting room floor” teasers released on the company’s website feature a child, a mother and a cat reacting to something frightening in their home. It looked kind of cool and fun, but then I remembered that this is an ad for tax preparation software, which means the ominous presence will probably turn out to be a giant stack of receipts or a “really scary” W2 form.
  • H&M – David Beckham stars in this spot promoting his line of men’s Bodywear. The teaser images feature Beckham in his underwear, which means this spot will score with the ladies. Good for them. After 46 years of light beer bikini ads and farting horses, the ladies will finally get an ad made just for them.
  • SAMSUNG – This spot, for the company’s GALAXY II S smartphone, will be a continuation of the current ad campaign, which pokes fun at Apple fans camped out in front of a store, awaiting the release of the new iPhone. It’s a funny campaign, the only question is, can they make it Super Bowl funny?

PREDICTION – Food brands always do well in the Super Bowl, but I don’t think a yogurt ad will take home the rookie title. Based on the sheer amount of planning that went into it (two years, according to some) and the star power around the “smarter, bolder, faster” theme, I’m giving the edge to Century 21. But it’s not much of an edge, trust me.


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