In New Terry Tate Spot, Reebok Hits Nike Head-On

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We confess to having a touch of Terry Tate fever here at Creativity/AdCritic HQ, and not just because the campaign is outrageously funny and well-executed. Rather, it's because the common criticism of Reebok's Super Bowl spot -- that it didn't brand enough -- now seems ridiculously off the mark. As advocates of creative advertising, we love it when ads that get dissed for not hitting the bullet points turn out to be the most effective advertising of all. And so far, Terry Tate is looking pretty effective.

According to Reebok, web surfers logged 1.2 million film views at the shoemaker's website in the week following the Super Bowl. For those keeping score, BMWFilms.com racked up 13 million film views in its first year. And according to this week's Lycos 50, Reebok was the brand that got the biggest boost from the game. Terry Tate himself was a more popular search term than the Dixie Chicks and Osama bin Laden, while searches for Reebok, not counting searches for Tate, jumped by 90 percent. So much for not enough branding.

No doubt sensing a cultural phenomenon in the making, Reebok sends Terry Tate straight at the competition tonight during Fox's American Idol. In a new commercial, Tate berates a streaker for his lewd behavior at a sporting event in a spoof of Nike's recent "Streaker" ad. A risky move, but one that might advance the only real advertising challenge Nike has faced in a decade.

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