Coca-Cola Co. is getting meta. In addition to making its polar bear mascots to the stars of a Super Bowl commercial for the first time, the company announced on Thursday that its ad will watch the other ads. Coke is creating an online living room where the bears will chuckle at the funny spots, snore at the boring ones, and cover a baby bear’s eyes when it’s GoDaddy’s turn to shine. The bears will also be watching the game, answering fans’ Facebook and Twitter questions, and cheering for opposing teams. It’s a bid by Coke to dominate the digital space expected to be an important support for any ad: Coke estimates 60 per cent of the more than 100 million expected viewers will also be interacting with a mobile device or computer. “We’re capitalizing on the growing trend of second screen media consumption of big events,” said Coca-Cola North America’s chief marketing officer Alison Lewis.
Bueller, Bueller … Bueller? It’s been 26 years since Matthew Broderick was last seen cracking wise on the big screen as one of John Hughes’ most famous teenage characters, but in what could end up being the most-talked-about ad of the Super Bowl, the actor is reprising his role as Ferris Bueller. On Thursday a mystery tease landed on YouTube featuring Mr. Broderick in a bathrobe, undoubtedly playing a grown-up Bueller. The Super Bowl date then appears on the screen. Of all the teasers so far, it’s the most enigmatic: it is not linked to any corporate YouTube account and does not specify the product. In this season of Super Bowl previews, where the commercials themselves are such an event that advertisers roll out teasers to build anticipation, viewers will have to wait to find out just what Ferris is selling.
Research In Motion will need to keep its stick on the ice if it wants to repair the ailing BlackBerry brand, something CEO Thorsten Heins has identified as a priority. It’s getting help from the NHL Players’ Association. Five players, including the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Joffrey Lupul, are promoting RIM’s tablet device.
The participating players will be shooting video, using the PlayBook, depicting their lives off-ice. Fans will get an exclusive look at everything from locker-room conversations to the Philadelphia Flyers’ Scott Hartnell’s lunch. (In a preview, Mr. Hartnell refers to himself as “Uncle Scott” while filming a fast-food sandwich dripping with cheese.) And the “Players’ PlayBook” gives RIM a chance to show prospective tablet buyers that there is life beyond the iPad.
Is Groupon selling snake oil? The Advertising Standards Authority in the U.K. has ruled against MyCityDeal Ltd., which owns and operates the Groupon daily deal website service there, for a coupon that was offered in October, promoting “Wrinkle Killer Snake Serum.” The ASA received a complaint that claims about the serum’s effects, such as smoothing wrinkles and having “temporary freeze-like effects on the face muscles,” were misleading. “The ad did not make clear that any effects the product might have on reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles … could be temporary only,” the ASA ruling states. It’s the most recent for Groupon in a string of run-ins with U.K. authorities over alleged breaches of the advertising code. Its record there has led the Office of Fair Trading to open an investigation into Groupon U.K.’s advertising practices.
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