Super Bowl

Are Bears the New Monkeys of Super Bowl Advertising?

Bruins Fake and Real Appearing in at Least Three Big Game Ads

By Published on .

There was a time when the Super Bowl was not only synonymous with funny advertising, but synonymous with funny monkey advertising. Now, it looks like bears may be taking monkeys' place.

OK. Before you start, I know: Most of the ads featured chimpanzees, which are apes, not monkeys. But monkey is a funnier word. At any rate, there were so many super simian spots that Ad Age ran a poll in 2011 asking readers to pick their favorite. CareerBuilder won.

Times have changed. For a number of good reasons, the use of real chimps and other apes in ads is a thing of the past. Only young chimps can be used in acting, but young chimps have often been taken from their mothers. Acting also doesn't come easily to them. Then when they age out, they're dangerous and typically get sent to places we'd rather not think about. Most major ad agencies have sworn off of using them. (When CareerBuilder returned to the game with live chimps, the ads were done in-house.)

But fret not, fans of wildlife put in human situations. Bears are here to save the day. (Sorry, goats.)

So far, this year, we've seen not one, not two, but three ads featuring bears. And we all know three is a trend. Sure, two of the bears -- the one in Carmax's "Slow Clap" and the other in Beats' teaser spot with Ellen DeGeneres -- are fake. But the bear in the Chobani ad is 400 pounds or so of yogurt eating fuzz. (Surprisingly, Toyota missed out on an opportunity by not including Fozzy in its Muppet-themed ad for Highlander.)


Advertising Age Player


Advertising Age Player

Beats ("The Ellen Show" announcement)

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