Ed McMahon and MC Hammer appear in this eyebrow-raising Cash4Gold spot, which spoke to the fear and uncertainty around the national economy perhaps as no other ad in Super Bowl XLIII, dubbed the "Dust Bowl Super Bowl" by Ad Age ad critic Bob Garfield.
"Another year like the last one, and next Super Bowl will feature ads from Cash4YourOrgans.com," Time TV critic James Poniewozik cracked in his own ad review.
It's also a surprising presence because viewers rarely encountered a national direct-response ad during the Super Bowl. (Soloflex proved the rule with exceptions starting with 1985's "Work of Art"). This spot by Euro RSCG Edge and Arnold Worldwide wins its way in by disguising its pitch as a winking spoof of direct-response spots. But it's a DR spot nonetheless: "Just send your unwanted gold, for cash!"
And as such, it may well have generated the most immediate return on investment of any ad in the 2009 game. What's more, it ranked second for "emotional engagement," according to media-research firm Innerscope, which found that the most emotionally engaging Super Bowl commercials that year were the ones that played on concerns about the economy.
MC Hammer is best known for his hit "U Can't Touch This," but he was not a one-hit wonder for Super Bowl ads: He previously appeared in Lays' 2005 spot "Fence."
Director: Super Bowl maestro Bryan Buckley. Production company: Hungry Man. Executive producers: Cindy Becker, Kevin Byrne, Dan Duffy. Line producer: Mino Jarjoura. Director of photography: Adam Beckman.
Chief creative officer: Pete Favat. Group creative director: Mary Webb. Associate creative director/copywriter: Sean McBride. Associate creative director/art director: Josh Tetrault. Art director: Jack Miller. Director of integrated production: Bill Goodell.
Editorial: Cosmo Street. Editor: Tom Sherma. Producers: Amy Febinger, Jerry Sukys.
Post production: Brickyard. Flame artist: George Fitz. Post producer: Diana Young. Audio: Lime Studios. Engineer: Mark Meyuhas.
AGENCY: Euro RSCG Edge, Arnold Worldwide
QUARTER AIRED: Q3