The Recorder, Amsterdam, N.Y. SPECIAL REPORT Monday, February 2, 2015 / 9 The Associated Press Singer Katy Perry performs during halftime of NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game in Glendale, Ariz., Sunday evening. Technology & singers give Super Bowl show a boost The Associated Press This image provided by Nissan shows a portion of the company’s Super Bowl television ad. How the advertising game played out on TV during the Super Bowl By CANDICE CHOI and MAE ANDERSON The Associated Press NEW YORK — Super Bowl advertisers on Sunday night sought to win over viewers in a variety of ways. McDonald’s called for loving, Coke demanded more positivity, and Nationwide told the story of a dead boy. Here’s a look at the big game’s ad highlights. JARRING ADS Nationwide insurance company’s ad showed a boy riding a school bus and lamenting he’ll never learn to fly, or travel the world with his best friend, or even grow up, because he died in an accident. The ad for Nationwide was aimed at stopping preventable childhood accidents. But the ad was so jarring it became the butt of jokes on social media. Nissan, meanwhile, returned to the Super Bowl after 18 years with an ad featuring the story line of an up-and-coming racecar driver and his wife struggling to balance work and raising their son. Some fans noted the ad was set to “Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin, who was killed in a car crash. BETTER BRAND IMAGE Some companies had a lot to prove — and it showed in their ads. McDonald’s returned to the Super Bowl with an ad for its latest promotion, which will let randomly selected customers pay for their orders with acts of love, like a high-five, fist bump or a call to a relative. The promotion starts Monday and runs through Feb. 14 The McDonald’s ad was an extension of the company’s recently launched campaign seeking to associate its brand with the positive emotion of loving as it fights to hold onto customers amid intensifying competition. According to the contest rules posted online, McDonald’s says each participating restaurant will select 100 winners over the course of the contest. Meanwhile, Carnival Cruise The Associated Press This photo provided by Skechers USA shows Pete Rose in an ad. Lines’ ad included a voiceover by John F. Kennedy speaking about the sea. The world’s largest cruise company was trying to boost the image of cruises with its first ever Super Bowl ad after several years of bad publicity from illnesses on ships and the Costa Concordia wreck in 2012. And Coca-Cola’s ad called for positivity in the face of online negativity. The company’s “Make It Happy” ad was an update on its long-running strategy of getting people to associate its soft drinks with happiness at a time when people increasingly see them as unhealthy. “Puppy Love,” which was a Top 10 branded content video and Top 10 video overall on YouTube. PRE-GAME SCORE Chevrolet’s ad “Blackout” appeared to be a live game feed that turned into static and a blank screen. The company used the trick to show its Colorado truck has 4G LTE Wi Fi, so people could stream the game live in the truck. The spot was an early star of the ad game: It came just before kickoff. LOTS OF FIRST-TIMERS Toyota’s first ad starred Paralympic medalist Amy Purdy snowboarding and dancing, set to a speech by Muhammad Ali that ends with: “I’ll show you how great I am.” A Microsoft ad with a voiceover by rapper Common told the story of Braylon O’Neill, a boy who was born missing the tibia and fibula bones in both of his legs, so he had to learn to live with prosthetic legs developed by the company. And of course, there was Carnival’s audio clip of JFK. There were 15 new Super Bowl advertisers this year, the most since 2000, before the economy fell into what would be the first of two recessions. Advertising experts say the rookie interest in Super Bowl ads is a positive sign companies are feeling good in the most recent economic recovery. The newcomers included Skittles and Carnival. In its ad, first-timer Wix.com showed retired NFL players opening fictional businesses; Terrell Owens starts a pie company, and Brett Favre starts charcuterie business, Favre and Carve. Wix.com lets people create their own websites. PUPPY LOVE ... AGAIN CAREFUL NOT TO OFFEND Budweiser’s “Lost Puppy” ad was a winner before it even aired during the Super Bowl. The ad, which shows a puppy running away to find his Clydesdale buddies, already had 18 million views on YouTube ahead of the game. It’s a tried-and-true formula. Last year, Budweiser broke records with its Super Bowl spot, GoDaddy decided not to run an ad that showed a dog being sold online so as not to offend dog lovers. Instead, it showed a business owner toiling away instead of enjoying the Super Bowl. The company says it was created overnight from file footage and narrated by an agency art director who had never done voiceover work. VOICEOVERS WERE BIG By MESFIN FEKADU The Associated Press Katy Perry roared loud, possibly because there was a jungle behind her. Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show Sunday, with its eye-popping, colorful visual effects, illusions and lights was a success mainly because of others — including the energetic Missy Elliott. Did Perry even break a sweat? The pop star kicked off the performance atop a robotic tiger, her outfit — one of four — covered in a flame design some likened to Will Ferrell’s skater outfit in “Blades of Glory.” She seemed ready to take the big stage, her voice strong over what sounded like a pre-recorded track. The stage turned to a futuristic vibe for the Southern, electroflavored “Dark Horse” and into a beach complete with dancing sharks and surfboards and bobbing beach balls for “Teenage Dream” and “California Gurls.” It came off like a music video. Perry relied too much on spectacle rather than her own talent. That was evident when Lenny Kravitz joined her for a rockfilled version of “I Kissed a Girl,” in which he was the highlight, shining on the guitar. But the 12-minute performance turned into “The Missy Elliott Show” when the reclusive rapper hit the stage as the beginning beat of “Get Ur Freak On” blasted. A decade later, the song still sounded like a hit as Elliott rapped like a veteran. Perry joined Elliott, attempting to dance beside her but coming off like a student lost in choreography class. She nicely rocked an oversize jersey, but had zero swag. Elliott went on to the steal the thunder with performances of “Work It” and “Lose Control.” Perry ended her set in a shimmery gown, as she rose in the air and slowed it down for the inspirational “Firework” as, appropriately, fireworks burst. That wasn’t the only fiery moment: Before the game began, “Frozen” star Idina Menzel belted out an outstanding live rendition of the national anthem ahead of the big game in Phoenix. Menzel was confident in all-black, singing what she assured would be live days before Super Bowl. After she sang the last note, she yelled in excitement: “Yes!” “I didn’t want to rush,” Menzel said in an interview after the performance. “I wanted to take in the moment and connect to the song that I was singing, not get swept away by all the grandiosity and excitement, and connect. And sing from my heart.” The performance comes a month after the Tony-winning star was criticized for her performance of “Let It Go” during “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” At one point the crowd booed loudly, but it was because Patriots Coach Bill Belichick was shown on screen. Asked if she was distracted by the booing, Menzel said: “I knew better. I knew I hit the note well, I wasn’t worried it was me.” “And they warn you,” she added, laughing. John Legend, in typical form, brought the soul when he sang “America the Beautiful.” He hit all the right notes while playing piano before the Seattle Seahawks took on the New England Patriots. Kravitz said he was grateful for Perry’s call to join her onstage. “This wasn’t my thing. She asked me to come and perform with her and I said, ‘Yes’ and it ended up being a really great experience,” he said in an interview. The Associated Press Katy Perry performs during halftime of NFL Super Bowl XLIX.
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