Why Bridgestone Has Three Ads for Two Bowl Slots

First Spots in Big Game Feature Richard Simmons, Alice Cooper

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Bridgestone Firestone North America was so impressed with three ideas pitched by its agency, the Richards Group, for the Super Bowl that it produced all three, even though it had bought only two 30-second slots during the game.

The third, a 60-second spot for the Bridgestone brand, will break in movie theaters the day after the Super Bowl, said Phil Pasci, VP-marketing of both brands at the tire marketer.

Generating awareness
The Bridgestone brand released 10-second snippets of its first Super Bowl ads, which aim to generate awareness by using humor, animals and celebrities, Mr. Pasci said. The marketer also is name sponsor of the halftime show, when its brand logo will appear in the corner of TV screens.

Michael Fluck, brand marketing manager of Bridgestone, said the client doesn't have a dedicated creative team on its account at Richards. The marketer challenged Richards to develop work that was fit for the Super Bowl but could extend beyond the football game.

The agency opened the task to all its two-person creative teams, each made up of an art director and a copywriter. Mr. Fluck said 22 teams submitted a total of more than 140 concepts, eight of which the agency presented to the client.

"We loved the three of them so much we knew we'd use the third one elsewhere," Mr. Fluck said. One worked best as a 60-second spot, prompting the decision to go to movie screens.

The spots
The marketer's first Super Bowl commercial, which will air during the break between the first and second quarters, is dubbed "Scream" and shows how Bridgestone tires can keep a motorist from squishing a squirrel on the road. Shane Altman is the art director, and Mike Bales is the copywriter.

Alice Cooper, Richard Simmons and a deer appear in the second spot, called "Unexpected Obstacles," which will air during the third quarter. Jeff Hopfer is the art director, and Ron Henderson is the copywriter.

The 60-second cinema spot, "Lucky Dog," was done by Peter Everitt, art director, and Mike Duckworth, copywriter.

Bridgestone plans to make its Super Bowl ads available in as many places as it can, including on MySpace, where visitors can vote for their favorite Super Bowl commercials.

The Super Bowl "allows us to get our brand in front of a lot of people we might not normally reach," Mr. Fluck said.

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