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Super Bowl Ad Watch: Taco Bell and VW Feel Heat; Kia Joins Pre-Game Day Rush

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 29, 2013 08:02 PM

In this era of Super Bowl commercial sneak peeks—making coy marketers like Chrysler stand out in comparison—on YouTube and social media ahead of the Big Game, at least one brand has already bowed to complaints.

Taco Bell pulled a commercial criticizing Super Bowl party guests who arrive bearing veggie trays following complaints that the spot, well, bashes vegetables. The spot, which supported the brand’s Taco 12 Pack, ran during the college football’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and in general rotation. The quick-serve restaurant brand (now whetting fans appetites for Cool Ranch Doritos Tacos) is not, however, pulling its official Super Bowl spot, "Viva Young," above. 

The brand's Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer, Brian Niccol, defends the online pre-Game Day reveal, stating: “By releasing 'Viva Young' online before the Super Bowl, we’re rewarding our biggest fans and bringing them inside the brand. We want to share the spot with our Team Members, franchisees and online fans first so they’re in the know before Super Bowl Sunday, so we can engage with them in social and digital spaces.”

Volkswagen, meanwhile, is defying critics who feel its early Super Bowl spot, featuring a faked Jamaican accent, is racist and should be pulled—even though Jamaica's minister of tourism apparently loves it:

VW's spot continues on its Jimmy Cliff Super Bowl reveal featuring The Partridge Family theme song, "Get Happy," with the description:

Watch our Super Bowl 2013 TV commercial, where you'll meet Dave and his newfound sunny disposition (that manifests itself in a curious way), all thanks to his new 2013 Volkswagen Beetle.

Join the conversation using #GetHappy and visit http://www.vw.com and learn how to get your friends happy. Download the song "C'mon, Get Happy" by Jamaican artist Jimmy Cliff, and ringtones!

Be sure to pick up Jimmy Cliff's new critically acclaimed album REBIRTH, available now! http://www.facebook.com/jimmycliffmusic

Continuing the pre-Game reveal, Kia has unveiled its full "Space Babies" spot that will debut on-air during the Game, and has been teased on TV and in cinemas:

The description:

When it comes to our kids, there's an age-old question that has perplexed parents for generations. "Where do babies come from?" Now, for the first time ever, we'll reveal this untold story through an epic journey, nine months in the making.

Watch as a nervous father navigates through this delicate situation, with a little help from his 2014 Kia Sorento SX Limited and UVO voice-activated infotainment system that plays "Wheels on the Bus". With all of its many features, it has an answer for everything.

So fasten your diapers — these babies are ready for launch. Join our Game Day ad conversation on Twitter with @Kia using #SpaceBabies

Thoughts on these and other Super Bowl marketing by brands leading into Sunday's game? Share them below.


LilMonster United States says:

SPACE BABIES! Almost makes me miss the Kia hamsters. Almost.

January 30, 2013 01:58 AM #

Joanna H. South Africa says:

Super Bowl advertising typically flirts with crossing the line. I don't find the VW advert offensive at all.

January 30, 2013 02:39 AM #

Luis Cova Panama says:

The only ad that is different, amusing and provides a witty angle to the message of the product’s positioning is Kia. If Taco Bells’ ad targets the baby boomers, then I don’t think it will do the job since it goes too far in the nostalgia trail. If it is targeting the younger generation, it completely misses the ball. VW’s add, it is more of the same in the automobile industry.

January 30, 2013 05:21 AM #

Dogdayproducer United States says:

IMHO, Taco Bell spot a bit off the mark, kinda disturbing, as in yuck. VW is a great feel good spot, clean, well done.  I don't get why the CNN pundits are wrapping it in bigot blanket.

Kia best entertainment production. Well done!  But I'd never remember the name of the car. Maybe cause I stick to Americam or European made. JBO.

January 30, 2013 06:28 AM #

Terry Roberts United States says:

Cool Ranch Doritos Tacos? Whoa.

January 30, 2013 07:52 AM #

mr rass Jamaica says:

Uno is a fucking set of idiot we don't fine it offensive its funny uno go worry bout loose wait and stop fucking with jamaican people

February 2, 2013 03:21 PM #

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