When you really think about it, life holds so few pure pleasures. Chief among ours? The satisfying sight of Justin Timberlake getting “groined” by a wooden mailbox stand. Repeatedly. Backwards, and in fast-forward mode. Also, frame by frame.
On TiVo’s list of the most-eyeballed Super Bowl spots, Pepsi’s Timberlake commercial ranked No. 2, second only to E*Trade’s talking-n-puking baby effort. Our theory is that the pop ad might have scored so well because it was equally “adored” by JTim lovers and haters, who were both so kind as to rewind.
While many entities rank Super Bowl ads by asking people which ones they preferred, TiVo compiles its list through audience-measurement data, which reveals exactly what subscribers are watching (and rewatching) in “play” speed. “This isn’t a poll or survey saying, ‘Tell us which one you liked best’—it’s derived from which ads people watched most,” said Todd Juenger, vp/general manager, TiVo Audience Research and Measurement. Confirming what many already believe, ads are the main attraction. The aggregated data avows that popular spots often score a 25% higher rating than any moment of the football game.
In Pepsi’s ad, Timberlake is chilling with friends in a cafe when he’s violently flung out the window and through the streets courtesy of some mystery magnetic force. The “Sexy Back” singer slams into walls, car doors and other debris along his journey to a suburban yard. Once there, we learn that a young woman is “pulling” him through the power of Pepsi as she sucks—yes, that’s usually Timberlake’s job, but stay with us—on her soda through a straw. “Every sip gets you closer to Justin Timberlake mp3s!” and other booty thanks to Pepsistuff.com, the VO goes.
“I’m sure there are throngs of adoring teenage girls who want to see it again and again,” Juenger said. “And I bet others really like to watch him get beat up.”
TiVo’s Top Ten-Rated Super Bowl 2008 Commercials
1. E*Trade: “Baby” (spitting up)
2. Pepsi Co: “Justin Timberlake”
3. Doritos: “Mouse Trap” (user-generated)
4. Coca-Cola: “James Carville and Bill Frist”
5. Ice Breakers: “Carmen Electra”
6. Bridgestone: “Headlights”
7. Bud Light: “Cavemen”
8. Vitamin Water: “Horse Race”
9. Cars.com Plan B: “Witch Doctor”
10. Life Water: “Thriller”