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. In regards to Napster’s advertising (, it is very poor taste and unprofessional to discredit your competition, especially doing so directly. If your product/service cannot stand upon its own merits then it has no future.

    People don’t mind a subscription service that offers an ongoing benefit, such as cable and telephone services. Napster’s problem is overcoming the customer’s feeling of paying a ransom once they have all of the songs they want/need from their service. Once the music is downloaded, there is no more “service” and it becomes “pay us or else the things you enjoy will vanish”.

    For the price of Napster, and iTunes customer can download and KEEP 3 albums every 2 months. They don’t have to worry about ANOTHER monthly bill. They OWN the music forever at no additional cost. After a year, $180, the iTunes customer will have 18 albums and the Napster customer will have nothing unless they continue to pay the ransom. Perhaps Napster is unaware, but the general public does NOT go on music buying frenzies every month. For someone to buy 18 albums in a year is actually rather aggressive for the general population. This is why Napster is failing; they are out of touch with reality.

    People have traditionally BOUGHT their favorite music. If they wanted to hear a ton of music from one genre, they just click onto a particular radio station and listen to it for free. People are NOT going to pay a fee just to borrow their favorite music.

    Napster’s model may work very well for renting videos, but not for music. The two media are used in completely different ways, and Napster just doesn’t seem to “get it”.

  2. Sunday, February 6. 2005
    What happened to Go Daddy’s second Super Bowl ad spot?
    As you may have noticed our Super Bowl ad only appeared during the scheduled first quarter spot. It was scheduled to run also in the second ad position during the final two minute warning. Our ad never ran a second time. Instead, in its place, we saw an advertisement promoting “The Simpsons.”

    The NFL persuaded FOX to pull our ad.
    We immediately contacted Fox to find out what happened. Here’s what we were told: After our first ad was aired, the NFL became upset and they, together with Fox, decided to pull the ad from running a second time. Because we purchased two spots, we were also entitled to a “Brought to you by” 5 second marquis spot. They also chose to pull the marquis spot.

    Our ad is finishing high in opinion polls.
    So far in early opinion polls, our ad seems to be finishing fairly high. In fact, in checking the one on the Fox site, it is in the number two position. Not bad for an ad that could only be aired once.

    Stay tuned for more news as it develops.
    I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about this over the next few days. I believe that it’s the first time ever a decision was made to pull an ad after it had already been run once during the same broadcast.

    If you haven’t seen our Super Bowl ad, or want to see it again, there’s a link that will take you to it.;=+

  3. The fact that the Pepsi ad ranked low means nothing. People consistently rank these ads by humor value. The humorous ads always out rank all the others.

    Just because the Pepsi ad didn’t have slapstick humor or women popping their tops, doesn’t mean it was in any way ineffective. In fact it completely neutralized napster’s lameass ads and more.

  4. Napster’s rental service would be perfect for College campus situations where students wouldn’t be illegally downloading MP3’s and where they have no money to buy music and where the discounted subscription would be part of their tuition.

    It would be ideal, that is, if it worked on Mac’s too, used iTunes and could be used with iPods.

    As it is, it costs $180 per year plus $200 to $300 for a new MP3 player plus $34.95 or so for a used Windows XP PC to run it on. That’s a lot of money that could be spent on music. Besides, who in their right mind would pay $34.95 for a used Windows XP PC? College kids are smart kids, aren’t they?

  5. a bit off topic. the best commercial IMHO was the anheiser busch applauding our best in the airport. plus i thought the national anthem was the best in decades.

    i proudly admit i had shivers watching that. regardless of your politics, it was truly moving. and for once it was nice to see a bunch of millionares standing there and realizing how lucky they have it and that last night was just a game.

    puts things in perspective – somthing we tend to lose every so often.


  6. The games wasnt a real zinger? Did you even watch it? Awesome defense on both sides, scoreless first quarter, awesome Eagles catches, a last minute chance to tie the games? If you really like football, you should have liked the game. I like high scores too, but crappy defeses make bad games. Great Super Bowl, decent ads.

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