Soloflex, the direct-response powerhouse and icon of 80's and 90's fitness, returns to the Super Bowl with the Leonardo da Vinci-themed "Work of Art" it used in the 1985 game.
Jerry Wilson, who founded the company in 1978 with an idea to use strong rubber bands for resistance in an exercise machine, told Ad Age in an email years later that the decision to shell out for Super Bowl air time may have been as much about ego as business strategy: "just wanting to reach the Superbowl ourselves."
The 1985 ad cost $500,000 and the 1987 one cost $700,000, Wilson said. Was he worried about the risk? "No," he said. "I had the cash to gamble."