For Super Bowl XLI in 2007, the Blockbuster video-rental chain and its longtime agency, independent shop Doner in Southfield, Mich., brought back CGI pet-shop buddies Carl the rabbit and Ray the guinea pig from 2002's Super Bowl XXXVI ("Gotta Dance").
This time the duo promoted Total Access, Blockbuster's bid to catch up with the upstart Netflix, which was disrupting the home-movie business by delivering DVD rentails through the mail. Blockbuster's counter-move offered both mail delivery and its massive chain of physical stores.
"We're celebrating the early success of Blockbuster Total Access -- which we believe is the best movie rental offering in the marketplace -- by bringing back two popular characters, Carl and Ray, for America's biggest sporting event," Margaret Landis, VP-consumer communications at Blockbuster, said in a statement announcing the ad buy. More than 700,000 new customers signed up for Total Access in its first two monts, November and December 2006, the company said then.
"Mouse Click" was well-received by Super Bowl viewers. Carl and Ray's big-game debut five years earlier had scored in the top 10 of USA Today's Ad Meter; their return almost did the same, achieving an 11th place showing. It also won MSNBC.com's "highly unscientific readers poll."
The Total Access program wasn't enough for Blockbuster in the long run, however. The company filed for Chapter 11 in 2010.
Tippet Studio handled the animation in "Mouse Click," with the voices of James Woods (Carl), Jim Belushi (Ray) and Bobcat Goldthwait (the mouse). (That's Alec Baldwin you hear in the voiceover.)
Director: Steve "Spaz" Williams. Production company: Complete Pandemonium. Producer: Clint Goldman.
Doner executive creative director: John Decerchio. Creative director/art director: Don Fibich. Copywriter: Dan Margulis. Executive VP/director of integrated production: Sheldon Cohn. Producer: Josh Reynolds. Account supervisor: Kevin Weinman.
VFX: Tippett Studio. VFX supervisors: Frank Petzold, Scott Souter.
QUARTER AIRED: Q1