Super Bowl Ad Tracker: Honda, Toyota, Acura, Century 21, Pepsi MAX, H&M


The Big Game doesn’t kick off until Sunday, but brand marketers’ “reveals” of their Super Bowl campaigns are intensifying this week.

Whether they’re “teasing” their actual Super Bowl spots such as Century 21, or letting everything hang out there like Hyundai (which today released all five of its Game Day commercials, and a barrage of video extras) and Honda and others, there’s a torrent of Game Day spots like never before.

Will there be anything actually new to watch once the Big Game comes on? Remember when the idea was to save the reveal for during the game and be the talk of the office water cooler on Monday morning?

Here’s a look at some of the latest revelations:[more]

1) Honda CR-V, “Matthew’s Day Off” Following up on a teaser that went viral on YouTube last week and might have made some viewers believe we were going to get a sequel to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off decades after the original, Honda today released the extended two-and-a-half-minute version of its Super Bowl spot featuring an older Matthew Broderick — but sporting the same devil-may-care attitude as in the movie, if not quite as carefree or creative as the original Ferris. Now, however, he’s taking off on his adventures in a new Honda CR-V, not in his pal Cameron’s dad’s Ferrari. The teaser, alas, is better than the spot, above.

Playing off the Leap List concept that Honda used to introduce the substantially overhauled CR-V over the last few weeks, the Super Bowl spot “reminds viewers to go out and embrace life — do the things you want to do, not just the things you have to do,” said Joe Baratelli, EVP at RPA, Honda’s longstanding agency of record, in a press release.

2) Toyota Camry, “It’s Reinvented!” “After reinventing the Toyota Camry” last fall, Toyota’s just-released Super Bowl spot says, “we decided to reinvent” some other things, including “the couch” (made up of scantily clad human bodies), the police officer (gives roadside massages as well as traffic tickets), the blender (“plays Lionel Ritchie”), the DMV (where there’s miniature golf and ice cream cones) and curtains (edible, like pizza).

You get the idea. The question is whether the attempt at humor will really help Toyota — which needs its new Camry to pick up where the old one left off, and more — sell the car. As the spot says, it’s “available with everything you could possibly want.” But that might be an oversell.

3) Century 21: Apparently understanding that Americans are looking for something to shake the home-selling business out of its epochal doldrums, Century 21’s inaugural Super Bowl campaign promises agents who are “Smarter. Bolder. Faster.” A series of teasers for the ads promise to make that point with the help of celebs Apolo Anton Ohno, the Olympic medalist speed skater; NFL great Deion Sanders, above; and real estate/media mogul Donald Trump. Presumably a Century 21 ad will associate each of three greater lights with one of the three “new” attributes of the company’s agents. Care to match them up?

4) Acura, “Transactions”: Honda’s luxury brand has been down in the dumps for a few years now, so a Super Bowl spot featuring Jerry Seinfeld and his buddy Jay Leno comprises a major attempt by Acura to get back in the buzz game — on behalf of its new NSX. As Acura puts it, the extended version of its Super Bowl spot  “depicts the over-the-top antics of comedians and famous car collectors [Seinfeld and Leno] as they bid to be the first in line to take delivery on the first” NSX.

5) Pepsi MAX, “Check Out”: Continuing its appeal to guys with the Pepsi MAX delivery guy, Pepsi continues to tease the product’s Super Bowl spot with this extended version, an announcement of a video competition. The prize: Pepsi MAX for life. And yes, that’s Regis Philbin. Another Pepsi Super Bowl spot features Elton John and X-Factor US winner Melanie Amaro, who sings Aretha Franklin’s Respect.

6) Go Daddy, “Clouds”: In the second spot planned for the Super Bowl, typical twentysomething guys get treated to one of those ultimate male fantasies, starring the brand’s long-time spokesmodel, race-car driver Danica Patrick, and a few members of the Pussycat Dolls. The specifics of the plot, of course, don’t really matter here, as neither does the question — which apparently has answered to its own satisfaction — whether its focus on titillation garners the results the brand needs from its Super Bowl investment.

7) H&M, David Beckham Bodywear: It’s slightly NSFW, and sure to keep the ladies (and quite a few men) glued to the TV. Say no more.

8) Dannon, Oikos Greek Yogurt: The brand released a behind-the-scenes look at its commercial shoot with actor John Stamos — and then the full spot, above.

9) Budweiser: One of the Super Bowl’s most venerable and reliable advertisers, Budweiser, plans to use some time during the game to fight back against spirits brands that increasingly are taking alcohol sales from brewers. Anheuser-Busch is dedicating the first two of six planned Super Bowl ads to Bud Light Platinum, a new higher-alcohol line extension aimed at younger, urban drinkers who have abandoned beer for spirits, according to Ad Age.

“We’re going after the consumers who have switched to hard liquor,” AB InBev’s VP of marketing, Paul Chibe, stated. Platinum, he said, gives Bud the opportunity to compete with those interlopers on taste and image and get twenty-somethings back into beer — where they belong. The spot below isn’t one of the six spots, but created by Brewers Distributing Company in Peoria, Illinois, to show off Bud Light Platinum: