CareerBuilder’s Monkey Ad Is Super Bowl Favorite

It may be the Year of the Rabbit in China, but in the U.S. today, it’s the year of the dog. And the monkey, too.

Two dog-themed commercials are emerging as the most popular of the Super Bowl commercials. Bud Light’s “Dog Sitting” spot tied with the teased pug going for the Doritos in the venerable USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter. The two spots earned an 8.35 score from panelists assembled by the newspaper who voted as the ads were being shown during the game.

In 6th place is CareerBuilder’s “Parking Lot” ad. The USA Today panel scored the ad featuring chimps in the office parking lot a 7.54. That’s just  a hair behind Pepsi’s 5th place Love Hurts ad and just ahead of another Pepsi ad “First Date.”
Over at the The The Wall Street Journal, which assembled a panel of chief marketing and creative executives and others experts, they also liked the CareerBuilder ad. Lars Bastholm, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy New York & Chief Digital Creative Officer Ogilvy North America, offered this opinion: “Monkeys are always a winner. Careerbuilder would always have a hard time topping last year’s amazing spot, so monkeys are a good, safe choice.”

Differing mightily with Bastholm was last year’s ad panel and PETA.

CareerBuilder’s “amazing” spot during last year’s Super Bowl got panned by the USA Today panel, which ranked it 51 out of the 63 spots. The ad was called “Casual Fridays,” and was built around an office of nearly naked people.

This year’s “Parking Lot” ad brought a complaint from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and actress Angelica Huston, opposing the use of monkeys in advertising.

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The monkey theme is a reachback to CareerBuilder’s famous 2005 Super Bowl debut. In its first Super Bowl ads, CareerBuilder scored big, placing all three of its ads in the top 10. Its creative agency won all sorts of awards for the ad, but got ousted from the account two years later in a very public divorce.

Bringing back the monkeys may have scored with the experts and with the newspaper ad panel, but in Facebook voting its 68 Likes (as of the time this is written) puts it pretty far down the list. The Doritos “Pug” ad got 580 Likes.

(Demonstrating the fickle, even totally inexplicable, nature of all this, the Bud Light ad has 70 Likes. And if you go over to Hulu, there’s a completely different set of results that bears almost no relationship to the USA Today poll.)

Just to be thorough, Monster did not run an ad this year. Last year, it’s “Fiddlin Beaver” ranked 10th in the USA Today voting. A Monster executive said the company views the Super Bowl as brand advertising and believes the Monster brand is sufficiently strong in the North American market that it didn’t need to spend $3 million for a 30-second spot, plus whatever the production costs would be.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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