Bridgestone, Coke set Super Bowl ads

Bruce Springsteen, 'Mean Joe Green' remake in spots

NEW YORK -- Bridgestone, the sponsor of the Super Bowl XLIII Halftime Show starring Bruce Springsteen, will run a pair of 30-second spots during the NBC telecast on Feb. 1. One stars Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head and another takes viewers to Saturn's largest moon.

"When it comes to getting your message out there, no advertising opportunity compares to the reach and impact of the Super Bowl," said John Baratta, president of the client's consumer replacement tire sales operations in the U.S. and Canada. "The commercials we've chosen use humor, iconic characters and some pretty amazing special effects to entertain, all while showcasing Bridgestone products and their performance."

In one spot called "Taters" that will run at the end of the first quarter, Hasbro's famous spuds duo, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, enjoy a sunny, picturesque drive until a heard of sheep show up on a tight curve.

In "Hot Item," airing in the third quarter, two travelers use a space vehicle equipped with Bridgestone tires to visit Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

The Richards Group in Dallas crafts creative for the client.

Last year, Bridgestone's Super Bowl spots included a commercial pairing Alice Cooper and Richard Simmons, and a spot that showed a speeding car approaching a squirrel, which hollers and sets off a chain of screams in the animal kingdom, including the passenger in the car.

In other Super Bowl ads, Coke Zero will air a 30-second spot that remakes Coca-Cola's classic "Mean Joe Greene" commercial from 1980.

The ad, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, mimics the tone and action of the original but casts Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu in Greene's role.

In the updated version, a young fan follows a limping Polamalu to the locker room and offers him a Coke Zero. The spot then takes an undisclosed twist that illustrates to viewers that it is possible to have, "Real Coke taste and zero calories," the client said.

The original "is one of the most famous commercials of all time, so I was blown away when they asked me to be in this new spot," Polamalu said. "I think people will get a kick out of the intensity I display to get my hands on the real Coke taste of Coke Zero."

After its Super Bowl debut, "Mean Troy" will air as a 60-second cinema commercial.

Crispin is the Miami-based shop that engineered controversial and buzz-building promos for Burger King ("Whopper Sacrifice" and "Whopper Virgins"); Domino's Pizza (its ongoing sandwich battle with Subway); and Microsoft (the Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates videos and subsequent "I'm a PC" effort).

Adweek this month named Crispin, a unit of MDC Partners, its U.S. Agency of the Year for 2008.