Monday, February 4, 2008

"Rosenfelder Index," Super Bowl Music spots

Thanks for stopping by to read the first "Rosenfelder Index," an estimate of the cost of buying one of everything advertised during our nation's biggest tv show, the Super Bowl. I believe it shows where the ad industry thinks the country is going, or where it wants it to go.

And considering how much time has been spent talking about the ads, it seems to me the Rosenfelder Index should have debuted a long time ago, in the 90s when I first thought of it. It would have been fascinating to see the drop in price when the thing was raging, for example, but the ad business has been media fodder for a long time. It has just been accelerated. Ben Franklin would have had a sick blog!

The ads appeared in blocks of five or six, except at the beginning of halftime when there were seven or eight in a row. I was interested in the big companies that ran multiple ads with different themes but I also paid attention to the one-timers who must have been "banking heavily" on those spots getting some results. (Where are Darrin Stephens and Larry Tate right now?!)

I noticed Fox would give a glimpse of football before the last few ads to get people to slow down the Tivo as if the game were coming back on, just to show a few more spots, hopefully viewed in real time. Some of the ads were closed-captioned, but some not, another trick to get people to watch.

Looking back through my list, they sure seem uninteresting and anticlimactic compared to the game, which is unusual for the Super Bowl. As the late Dave Rubin, a frequent attendee to the games would say amid all the partying, "is there even a game today?"

Nothing advertised was particularly interesting or groundbreaking as a product. A few interesting omissions: why was American the only airline to take out a 30 second ad? Continental is the official plane of the NY Giants, but those were the only mentions of one of the country's most important businesses. There was also a dearth of soap/detergent ads -- it's understandable that there is not much thought of cleaning or primping during the big game. But there were no insurance ads!!!!!

Maybe there really is a crisis because even a music company got in on the Bowl, the Doritos-sponsored Kina Grannis performance that also tagged iTunes. Interesting considering Universal Music's support of Amazon... I suppose there is more info about that on Not that terrible a song, nice placement early in the game too.

On YouTube, Kina says to vote on "" I hope kids have fake names they leave on all these sites!

Chase featured "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers; Alice Cooper appeared in Bridgestone's ad near the end of the game; Justin Timberlake was pumping Pepsi and Amazon; Dunkin Donuts had a weird song "Doing Things I Like to Do," one of those records that could be popularized by a commercial -- it's just annoying enough!

The Rosenfelder Index for Super Bowl XLII (42) was: $456,000

Super Bowl Ads Divided by Sector (companies/products with multiple spots in bold):

Cars and related products:
Cadillac Escalade; Tri State Ford Dealers; Lexus GS; Ford Focus; Microsoft Sync/Ford Edge (w/Flaming Lips); Audi R8; Bridgestone Tires; Garmin navigation system; GMC Yukon Hybrid; Microsoft Sync/Ford; Ford Edge; Toyota Highlander; Chevy Impala; Nissan Murano;; Bridgestone (with Alice Cooper and Richard Simmons); Hyundai Genesis; Ford Edge (with Derek Jeter); Acura MDX; Toyota Sequoia; Cadillac Postgame (approximately 450K)

Bud Light; "Aerial Coverage" from Budweiser; Diet Pepsi Max (with Macy Gray, LL Cool J, Missy Elliot and one more I am spacing);; G2 (with Derek Jeter); SoBe LifeWater; Pepsi and (with Justin Timberlake); Vitamin Water; Dunkin Donuts; Coke (with James Carville and Bill Frist and then later with Charlie Brown and Underdog); Gatorade drinking dog -- can't be good for dogs; Amp Energy Drink (with car battery attached to nipples?). (One bottle of each, approximately $14)

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins; Vantage Point; Drillbit Taylor; Unhitched; Wanted; Iron Man (5/2); Leatherheads; Narnia (5/16); Wall E; Jumper; You Don't Mess with the Zohan; Semi Pro (combined with Bud Light). (Ten dollars each, approximately $120)

Opinion: I'm very pumped for Iron Man and the associated page is appropriately hi-tech.

Tide (; Sunsilk (featuring Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. Was the woman in between them Joss Stone?) near the end of the game ( (About $7)

TV Shows:

By far the most spots went to Fox themselves, with incessant mentions of Sarah Connor Chronicles (6); Daytona 500 (4); NFL Pro Bowl (3); American Idol (4 + Jordin Sparks' embedded performance of the National Anthem); House (6); New Amsterdam (1); Prison Break (1); King of the Hill (with Tom Petty reprising a great scene from the Blues Brothers) and its FX Channel. I thought the ad for Axemen on the History Channel was a spoof until it was over and didn't turn into a Holiday Inn Express commercial! (They don't take your money, just your TIME)

Chase had four spots; E*Trade had three culminating with a vomiting baby. Prudential had a high-profile spot typical of the first half that focused on "positioning" statements, not a call to action. (Depends how much you use them -- $100/year easily)

Claritin D had two ads, the second featured NASCAR driver Carl Edwards; Zantac heartburn pills showed up at an opportune time -- just after halftime (when the Doritos and beer pitched through the first half might be kicking in). (About $25 for one of each)

Dell had two ads for the XPS One stressing its design. Service providers like Sprint, AT&T and Verizon combined their ads with devices, the Blackberry Pearl and LG's Voyager. Apple came correct with its Mac Book Air arriving in an interoffice envelope. Dell also had two values-based ads that featured a choppy song performed by Mick Jagger, promoting the Red campaign ( Toshiba threw in an ad for a cheap HD DVD player just after halftime. Does that get lost in the sauce maybe? Charles Barkley's T Mobile ad seemed to have a good story line, but I had the sound off. (About $5500)

Websites: with two ads; with three gross ones and two clever animated and inoffensive ads from (and you know being salesman really sucks, so that's a nice achievement in an ad).

I'm not sure what was advertising, I guess they are a (bad) ad agency? appeared on screen twice and other sites that advertised in hope of hits included (with Danica Patrick), and the Cadillac MVP voting text promotion. (GoDaddy costs $10/year)

A few other Super Bowl one-offs:
Planters Cashews making a gross woman attractive; FedEx; Ice Breakers Gum (featuring Carmen Electra, a brand Prince created years ago btw); Taco Bell and Ontario Canada. (Aside from a trip to Canada, you could spend under $50 if the FedEx wasn't too late in the day).

Victoria's Secret and UnderArmor had one ad each. One idealized Male and one idealized female ad -- neither brand look good on rolls of fat, maybe this is why there are hardly any clothes advertised on the Super Bowl! (About $50 each)

Public Service Announcements:; Parents, the Anti-Drug; The United Way; Ronald McDonald House.

You get the feeling that reality is creeping in at the end of the game as the ads start to involve more everyday concerns as opposed to the start when everything is new and optimistic. I'm glad Ontario was one of the first ads for this reason.

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