Pepsi’s iTunes Super Bowl ads place poorly in Ad Meter ranking; Napster ad places dead last

“Even in a year when Anheuser-Busch consciously avoided airing crude Super Bowl commercials, the beer giant bested the field, again, with one of its most potent advertising weapons: a silly sight gag. A skydiver balks, even when urged to jump in pursuit of a six-pack of Bud Light. But the pilot finds the loss too much to bear and leaps after the brew,” Bruce Horovitz writes for USA Today.

“For a record seventh year in a row, Anheuser-Busch has won USA TODAY’s exclusive Ad Meter consumer ranking of the top Super Bowl ads. In this year’s winner, by DDB Chicago, when a skydiver refuses to jump, his buddy tosses out a six-pack of Bud Light. The guy still doesn’t jump, but the pilot does,” Horovitz writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Pepsi’s disappointing (for the second year in a row) iTunes ads did not place highly in the rankings. Placing in the aptly-named category, “The rest of the ads,” the long :45 (Gwen Stefani-less) ad scored a 6.01 and the :30 commercial with Stefani scored even lower with a 5.31. The Bud Light commercial topped the list with a score of 8.65.

The good news? Napster’s spot where their feline icon at the football game holds up sign dubiously comparing the “price” of the new Napster service with rival iTunes ($10,000 to fill up an iPod nonsense) was rated the lowest of all ads with a 4.37. Can you spell “backfire?” We knew you could. View the Napster ad in QuickTime here. (All of the Super Bowl ads can be viewed here).

Always known for his excellent timing and ability to misread even the simplest things, tech writer Paul Thurrott called the Napster ad “good stuff” on his Internet-Nexus blog this morning here, so now you know that the ad really did suck badly. “Guaranteed by Thurrott,” you know? He should make stickers, like “Plays for Sure” and other idiocy like that; Wintellites do love stickers plastered all over their hardware. Thurrott’s sticker would be perfect for the front of all three Dell Digital Junkboxes that’ll be sold this year.

Anyway, the Napster commercial was basically a still graphic attempting to smear the iPod and iTunes with FUD, which you can see here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Second Pepsi iTunes television commerical featuring Gwen Stefani posted online – February 04, 2005
$10,000 to fill an iPod? Napster’s going to end up with egg on their face – February 04, 2005
Pepsi-iTunes Super Bowl commercial posted, Gwen Stefani spot also under consideration – February 02, 2005
Pepsi’s iTunes ad places near bottom of Super Bowl Ad Meter list – February 02, 2004


  1. Man, all the ads were lame this superbowl (the game wasn’t a real zinger either, for that matter). My favorite was actually the FedEx one which made a joke of advertising (the one with Burt Reynolds and the Bear in it). The rest didn’t even give me a laugh, though somehow I missed the “best” Budweiser ad….

    Oh well, at least Napster was last ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. So MDN, by this article your site supports an ad not the brand carrying the product! And you’re happy that other ads weren’t doing as good.

    good work MDN, keep on commenting useless crap.

  3. Hey, maybe someone should tell Napster to CHECK their math…my wife pointed out that 10,000 songs x .99 cents is only $9,900.

    She thought it was dumb they couldn’t even get their math RIGHT…and they were asking people to do the math.

    She also though the commercial was stupid. Her comment “why would I rent music that doesn’t work with my iPod?”

  4. I thought the Fed-Ex ad was great because it co-opted all the ads following it. Every time I saw a subsequent ad using one of the 10 points mentioned, which was 98% or so, I thought of fed-Ex. Brilliant. Of course they did the same style of ad a few years ago, but still, if it works…

  5. That ad ranking is absolutely useless. The ad’s that are most memorable don’t have any correlation to how effective their advertising is. I guarrantee no-one remembers that was the company behind the monkey ad’s (not to mention that some of the originality was because of the other company using monkeys in their ad).

    The Pepsi-iTunes ad’s actually get across that you can win music from the buying pepsi’s….better than most.

    Having said that though, I liked the one where the guy gets tazered at the convenience store. hehe. But I thought the Ford convertible Mustang and biker ad’s were really good.

  6. I TiVo’d the Super Bowl and went back to watch each block of commercials. While I did see the Pepsi/iTunes commercials, I still managed to miss the Napster commercial. When did it air?

    Not that I really care, but since it was clearly an embarrassment, I would have liked to at least had a chance to laugh at it.

    I guess Napster spent all their money on the spot of time and couldn’t afford to produce a decent ad. Pathetic.

    (That said, the Pepsi/iTunes ads were an absolute disappointment. Again.)

  7. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”rolleyes” style=”border:0;” />

    It’s about time pepsi gave the money to SJ and ask him to organise the advert.

    That’s two lame efforts in a row. ( SJ could always threaten to ‘Go with Coke’ if they don’t buck up.)

  8. well, in the room I was in everyone loved the commercial and laughed a lot watching it. The Gwen Stefani one was not as good, it just wasn’t as funny or creative. Overall, I’d say it was the #3 commercial, behind the Bud six pack throw, and the Mustang (which they played one too many times).

    Anyway, I was way too caught up in the loss to really care too much. Being an Eagles fan can be really hard some times…

  9. Here is the thing about the Napster To Go promotion that has me confused. They are making a big deal about trying it free for two weeks. The only way to try it for “free” is if you already own one of the three players that is compatible with the service.

    Interesting the players that are compatible are only 5gb yet they are comparing their service to a 40gb iPod – capable of holding 8 times as much music. Seems like they are trying to convince people they can carry around 10,000 songs for $15/month when the supported devices are not that large.

    Doesn’t some group monitor false & misleading claims in advertising?

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