TONY BENNETT QBS SUPER BOWL DRIVE

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The NFL is stepping out with Tony Bennett, the 68-year-old crooner who's become a favorite of the MTV generation.

Mr. Bennett will be an integral part of the festivities surrounding Super Bowl XXIX Jan. 29 in Miami. He will headline the Frito-Lay Doritos halftime show. The "Raiders of the Lost Ark"-inspired show is being produced by Walt Disney Co. and is designed to promote the "Indiana Jones" theme attraction opening at Disneyland this spring.

Mr. Bennett, nominated for three Grammys last week, will also perform during the NFL's first prime-time entertainment special, "The NFL at 75: A Gala Celebration," slated to air Jan 26 on Super Bowl broadcaster ABC.

Sony Music Entertainment rolls a Super Bowl-theme radio campaign through its in-house agency later this month that features Mr. Bennett. Sony is also teaming with Blockbuster Entertainment Corp.'s music and video stores in south Florida for a sweepstakes promotion tied to a halftime show.

The singer also will appear during "Super Bowl TV on TNT," five hours of behind-the-scenes action slated to run the weekend of the game on Turner Network Television. Reebok International is the presenting sponsor and Coca-Cola Co. has bought ad time. Reebok will run two new Shaquille O'Neal spots.

Opportunities to advertise during the big game itself were drying up fast. Despite the price tag of $1 million per 30-second commercial, up 5.2% from last year, only two spots in ABC's 60-unit inventory remained late last week. Last year's Super Bowl scored a 45.5 rating as the Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills 30-13.

Many advertisers aren't waiting for the big game. McDonald's Corp. is already running commercials that will continue beyond the Super Bowl. The effort, from Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, concludes Jan. 31. In addition, the comedians who appear in the campaign will be featured in character for McDonald's during TNT programming and during the first hour of ABC's live pre-game show.

Anheuser-Busch is spreading the Bud Bowl over six weeks, employing new agency DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago. Miller Brewing Co. and cable network Comedy Central have launched separate promotions, each utilizing former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson. Coca-Cola is on radio and TV with a Super Bowl jingle, as is Club Med, which is running a promotion giving away tickets to next year's game in Phoenix. A-B also will advertise during the game.

As usual, the Super Bowl will be a hotbed for new automotive campaigns.

This year's crop includes American Honda Motor Co.'s introduction of its first minivan, the Odyssey, via Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif.; Ford Motor Co.'s unveiling of the redesigned Lincoln Continental with ads from Young & Rubicam, Detroit; Chrysler Corp.'s launch of the Dodge Stratus midsize sedan, via BBDO Worldwide, Southfield, Mich.; and American Isuzu Motors' new upscale Trooper Limited, with ad support from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.

Federal Express Corp., Nike, Pepsi-Cola Co. and Wilson Sporting Goods Co. also will advertise during the game.

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