A U.S. audience of about 106 million was treated to a heart-pounding Super Bowl game and an energetic showing by advertisers connected to Atlanta.
The Coca-Cola Co., the world's biggest beverage maker, aired an ad depicting a sleepwalking guy in boxers braving the dangers of the African night to get a Coke. The Atlanta-based company also aired a "Simpsons"-themed ad that showed how a Coke can brighten the day of even a despised billionaire.
TruTV, part of Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting System, was named best rookie Super Bowl advertiser by The Wall Street Journal. The 2-year-old cable channel, which used to be Court TV, depicted Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu as the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil.
And Kia got laughs for an off-kilter ad promoting the Kia Sorento, which it manufactures in West Point.
Coca-Cola, with two commercials on the game, "did a fine job," said Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Coke's "sleepwalker" ad ranked No. 5 out of 63 ads gauged by USA Today's Ad Meter, the most closely watched poll of Super Bowl ads' popularity. Coca-Cola has added about 800,000 new Facebook friends since Jan. 27, and the company is "thrilled with the level of digital response," said Katie Bayne, chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola North America.
Making its Super Bowl debut, TruTV ranked in the top third of USA Today's Ad Meter (21st out of 63). In other votes by fans, it ranked higher, and that made Steve Koonin happy. "We did really well," said Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. "The clarity of the message -- six more weeks of football -- played really well." Koonin said the cable network wanted to get the Groundhog Day-themed ad out onto the Web before the game to promote its new show, "NFL Full Contact." "We had the perfect storm of opportunity," he said. "People get bummed when there’s no more football."
It may have ranked in the middle of the pack in USA Today's Ad Meter (36th out of 63), but the makers of the Kia Sorento ad seem to have put some thought into getting chuckles. "JoyRide" shows a sock monkey, robot, teddy bear and other pals hitting Las Vegas and New York, frolicking in hot tubs, Jet Skiing, riding mechanical bulls and tearing up a dance floor. (The robot, in fact, dances "The Robot.") This ad contains the furry creature Mr. X (a product of Atlanta-based children’s toy and clothing designer Blabla) and manages to cram a lot of sly movie references into 30 seconds, from the airborne cars of "The Dukes of Hazzard" to the slow-motion Las Vegas scenes of "Rain Man." Or maybe we were just watching too closely.
The members of the state ethics commission, eager to bring order to one of the most disordered corners of state government, hired a “receiver” last week to heal their agency and then did they only thing they could.
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