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THE MORNING BUZZ: Super Bowl Ads: Bye, Bye Pets.com Sock Puppet; Hello Blockbuster Spokescritters

4 Feb, 2002 By: Stephanie Prange

While this year's Super Bowl was more exciting than most, I must confess I often watch the commercials with more interest. The expensive ad time often results in spots that rival movies (Who can forget the famous 1984 Big Brother Apple Macintosh commercial?).

This year mostly saw a return to the beer ad fare long a staple of the Super Bowl. Gone for the most part was the dot-com onslaught of years past. While the pets.com sock puppet and other curiosities of the e-commerce insanity are gone, it's somewhat reassuring to see good old Blockbuster -- that bastion of packaged media -- in the spotlight again. The No. 1 chain took the opportunity to launch its own spokescritters, an animated rabbit and guinea pig voiced by stars Jim Belushi and James Woods.

I know. I know. Praising Blockbuster is tantamount to heresy among many in video retailing. But I for one find it somewhat comforting to see our business -- albeit via the much-pilloried top dog – still firmly in the ad game. Absent a national video advertising campaign, Blockbuster's national spots are the next best thing. They keep packaged media in the public eye, and I'm sure that awareness must spill over to others in the business.

Blockbuster cancelled its awards show this year, and I began to wonder if the chain would continue to lead the video charge as vigorously as in years past. Thus, it's nice to see the Blockbuster spokescritters are here, while the sock puppet, along with its site pets.com, is long gone.

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