Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Apple, WWF, Victoria's Secret in Ad Lineup

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Apple, WWF, Victoria's Secret in Ad Lineup

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- Super Bowl advertising legend Apple Computer will return after 14 years. The World Wrestling Federation will make mayhem during a fictional day at its offices. And lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret will invite viewers to watch its sexy fashion show on the Internet.

These are the among the standouts in this year's Super Bowl, the biggest advertising event of the year. About 30 companies will pay a record average price of $1.6 million for each of the 58 half-minute commercial slots on Sunday's telecast from Miami. That is $53,333 per commercial second, and a hefty 23 percent premium over last year's average.

The price is roughly three times the highest-rated TV series in prime time. Despite the cost, the game makes a compelling buy, largely because of the national holiday atmosphere surrounding the game. The research firm Eisner & Associates said its survey of 1,000 adults last weekend indicates about 7 percent of the audience tunes in just to see the ads and more than one-third expect to discuss them Monday morning. "It's not just the Super Bowl of football, it's the Super Bowl of advertising," said Jerry Solomon, who buys commercial time for clients of SFM Media. "Everybody talks about the commercials." Apple Computer is widely credited for making the Super Bowl a commercial showcase with its 1984 ad that introduced the easy-to- use Macintosh computer to a public baffled by complicated machines from rivals. Apple also advertised the following year, but has been absent since then. Its new ad features the talking computer HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey and is set some time in the future. HAL reminds a visitor named Dave that "computers began to misbehave" in the year 2000, creating a "global economic disruption" because they were not programmed to recognize the new millennium. But HAL notes Macintosh models alone worked perfectly and asks, "You like your Macintosh better than me, don't you, Dave?" "We are not trying to outdo ourselves or other people," said Apple spokeswoman Rhona Hamilton. "It's a very topical message." A first-time Super Bowl advertiser, the World Wrestling Federation, gives a look at a "typical" day at its offices. …

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