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Check Out Line: PepsiCo offers up to $5 million for amateur Super Bowl ads


Check out how you can earn $1 million by wearing an electric dog collar.

Okay, not exactly. That was the punch line of a successful amateur ad this year created for PepsiCo’s Super Bowl commercial contest, which the food and beverage company is running again for the 2011 Super Bowl with a prize pool of up to $5 million.

Makers of the best ads for zero-calorie Pepsi Max soda and Doritos chips can win $1 million for an ad that scores No. 1 on a USA Today ad poll, $600,000 for No. 2 and $400,000 for the third spot. A sweep of all three spots earns a $1 million bonus for each winner.

Pepsi ran four ads during the 2010 Super Bowl. A 30-second spot during the National Football League championship game tends to run about $3 million. That electric-collar ad — in which a man winds up with the collar around his neck while the dog makes off with his bag of Doritos — was ranked one of the best of the Super Bowl in many post-game surveys.

You could put up with getting shocked a few times for that, right?

Also in the basket:

Kraft sees $1 billion in additional revenue from Cadbury

Consumers are nearing the holiday shopping season with unusually cautious spending expectations – survey

Olympic Gold for Coke, McDonald’s and Visa


rings1When is Olympic sponsorship money well spent? A Performance Research poll shows it may depend on how the funds are used.

Coke, McDonald’s and Visa dominate consumer awareness when it comes to the Olympics, according to a study by the Rhode Island-based research firm that evaluates the sponsorship industry.

from MediaFile:

No Super Bowl blues; expect big TV ratings

colts1The U.S. economy might be weak, but the Super Bowl still scores with consumers.

The CBS broadcast of the National Football League's championship game on Feb. 7 between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints should draw strong TV ratings, possibly challenging viewer levels not seen since the late 1990s.

"We're looking at a big rating," said Neal Pilson, former CBS Sports president and head of his own sports consulting firm. "The fact that the two conference championships got better than usual ratings usually indicates that there's a lot of public interest."

Auto show-Super Bowl TV ads don’t score for Mazda


nfl1Advertising during the Super Bowl doesn’t score for Mazda.

While the Japanese automaker plans to boost its marketing budget this year as it launches the Mazda 2 small car, running TV ads during the National Football League’s championship game in February won’t happen.

“You’re never going to see us on Super Bowl,” Mazda North American chief Jim O’Sullivan said at the Detroit auto show. “We’re not going to spend that kind of money on that kind of property because, yeah, you get a lot of impressions and stuff out there, but the fact of the matter is, do you really get to the target you really wanted? That’s more of a feel-good ad for a lot of people.”

RadioShack ditching Radio in favor of The Shack


RadioShack is giving itself a new, shorter nickname – The Shack.


The gadget retailer is introducing a new ad campaign and intends to refer to itself as The Shack – something it says customers have already been doing.

“Our customers, associates and even the investor community have long referred to RadioShack as ‘THE SHACK,’ so we decided to embrace that fact and share it with the world,” said Lee Applbaum, RadioShack’s Chief Marketing Officer, in a statement.

Starbucks strikes back


sbuxbewareStarbucks wants you to know that it is not the home of $4 coffee, and it’s launching a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to make sure you get the message that its brew is not an expensive luxury.

“Starbucks coffee does not cost $4,” Chief Executive Howard Schultz said this week when he announced the new ad blitz. The ad at left will run on Sunday in the New York Times.

Pothole filling that’s finger-lickin’ good


kfc11KFC wants to fill potholes in your city. 
But there is a catch: instead of streets full of tire chewing craters, your streets will be filled with KFC logos, at least temporarily.
To promote its freshly prepared fried chicken, KFC is sponsoring “fresh”ly [sic] “filled up” potholes in up to five major cities in the United States.
KFC has sent offers to mayors nationwide asking them to describe the bad shape their city’s streets are in. Four of those cities will be chosen and KFC will pay for materials and labor to have potholes filled in those cities. KFC already began filling potholes this week in its hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
A spokesman for KFC would not say how much it will cost to fill the potholes. But the offer comes as cash-strapped cities are looking for ways to save costs.
“Budgets are tight for cities across the country, and finding funding for needed road repairs is a continuing challenge,”  Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson said in a news release.
Some of the filled potholes will also be stenciled with a logo that says they were “re-freshed by KFC.” The spokesman said the stenciling will be done with nonpermanent spray chalk, so they will eventually go away.
And what’s a little logo here or there if it means a smooth ride?

(KFC photo)

Jack is Back!


By Shivani Singh

jackcomaJack Box, hamburger chain Jack in the Box’s snowman-faced mascot, is alive and kicking.  

Last month, the mascot was hit by a bus in an advertising spot aired during the Super Bowl. The campaign continued online for a month, with a cliff-hanger that left fast-food fans wondering whether Jack would survive. 
jack-logoFollowing some intrigue involving corporate underlings, Jack woke up last week to take back the reins of the company and launch its new logo that blows up the word ‘Jack,’ which is how most customers refer to the fast-food chain. 
The post-Super Bowl viral campaign targeted the company’s core audience of mostly 18- to 34-year-olds, who used YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to cook up millions of hits, Chief Marketing Officer Terri Graham told Reuters.  
The multichannel campaign was also supported by coupons. On Tuesday, the company gave a free soda and small fries to people who printed a coupon on the ‘Hang In there Jack’ site. Restaurants saw an increase in traffic on the days the coupons were offered, the company said. 

from MediaFile:

Kellogg drops Phelps after photos

We won't be tempted by puns. Or any sort of lame wordplay.  We'll play this straight. Seriously. Here goes: After all the bad publicity caused by a photo of Michael Phelps apparently taking a bong hit, Kellogg has decided to dump the superswimmer.

Okay, now that's out of the way. Here's the basics from Reuters:

The world's largest cereal maker said on Thursday it would not extend a contract with Phelps, who charmed audiences in Beijing last year with a record-breaking, eight-gold medal haul, saying the photo of the swimmer was inconsistent with its public image.

Dump 10 Facebook ‘friends,’ win a Whopper


JAPAN BURGER/If ever you needed a reason to clear the dead wood from your Facebook posse, here it is: Burger King will give you a free Whopper hamburger every time you cut 10 of your “fair-weather web friends.”

But beware. While Facebook lets you anonymously eliminate your “friends,” the Burger King application notifies them when you “sacrifice” them in your quest for free fast food.