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Super Bowl Rejects

“She's sort of scantily clad and it's just very thought-provoking and shocking, but it really did launch Macintosh." Scott Anderson, a marketing consultant for Anderson Partners Advertising, says it was that one minute in 1984 that upped the ante when it came to Super Bowl ads.

Companies saw the instant success of Macintosh and advertisers wanted a taste of Super Bowl success. "I love the ads, that's the reason I watch the game,” says Alicia Exstrom of Omaha.

Twenty-seven years later, demand from viewers has advertisers pushing the envelope. Go Daddy has doubled, tripled, quadrupled at least, the value of their Super Bowl investment by creating 10 commercials, nine of which were rejected and were designed to be rejected. GoDaddy.com is arguably the leader of a new group of Super Bowl rejects.

And this year, three new members. Among them, a commercial promoting Christianity rejected for its religious doctrine. A commercial for AshleyMadison.com, a dating Web site for those looking to cheat, was a bit much for the big game.

"I disagree,” says Mark Eckart of Omaha. "You're talking football and beer and guys with and without wives and guys that like their girlfriends and don't like their girlfriends. You do what you've got to do to get business.”

But even for this guy, the third rejected commercial featuring President Obama and Jesus Christ as bobbleheads was beyond what he'd like to see. “Umm, no comment. I'm not touching that one.”

Whether it's tolerated by the National Football League or the networks, plenty are driven online anyway to sneak a peek. “It saves you two or $3 million that you don't spend on the Super Bowl ad, but the publicity that you get could be worth more than that.”

If the sting of rejection isn't too much to handle, it's a new way to cash in on curiosity without breaking the bank.

Rejecting Super Bowl ads for one reason or another does not strictly involve some of the smaller advertisers. In the past, Pepsi and Budweiser have had commercials turned down. And it is not limited to one political persuasion as both liberal and conservative-leaning ads have been rejected in the past.


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