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February 4, 2008

Diet Pepsi Max Wins Fifth Annual J-School Ad Bowl

The big game is over and the ad refs have made their call — Diet Pepsi Max won best overall Super Bowl commercial in the 2008 Ad Bowl Poll. USC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications hosted the annual Super Bowl advertising rating that combines academics and football fun.

Students in Associate Professor Bonnie Drewniany’s Honors College Super Bowl Advertising class gathered for the big game at Newsplex, the USC/Ifra converged newsroom, on Sunday evening, Feb. 3.

The class systematically rated each ad during the Super Bowl in three categories: most persuasive, strongest brand identity and most likeable. They also calculated the overall favorite. The creators of the winning ad will receive the coveted Cocky Award.

Watch the winning video in flash format>


How the students and faculty ranked the ads

RANKING

Persuasiveness

Brand ID

likability

Best overall

First

Diet Pepsi Max

Tie: Classic Coke Balloons and Classic Coke Frist & Carville

Diet Pepsi Max

Diet Pepsi Max

Second

Tide Stain Remover

n/a

Tide Stain Remover

Tide Stain Remover

Third

E*Trade Banking Baby

Doritos Tortilla Thins

Doritos Tortilla Thins

E*Trade Banking Baby

Fourth

Classic Coke: Frist & Carville

E*Trade Banking Baby

E*Trade Banking Baby

Doritos Tortilla Thins

Fifth

Budweiser Clydesdales

Budweiser Clydesdales

Bud Light Fire

Classic Coke: Frist & Carville


How alumni and friends of the University ranked the ads

Ad Bowl Poll also has an online voting component. At the end of the game, viewers went to the J-School Web site and cast their votes.

Budweiser won best overall for its commercial featuring a Dalmatian who becomes a personal trainer for Hank the Clydesdale. Diet Pepsi Max came in second overall in the online poll.

RANKING

Persuasiveness

Brand ID

likability

Best overall

First

Diet Pepsi Max

Budweiser
Clydesdales

Budweiser
Clydesdales

Budweiser
Clydesdales

Second

Budweiser
Clydesdales

Diet Pepsi Max

Diet Pepsi Max

Diet Pepsi Max

Third

Tide Stain Remover

Doritos Tortilla Thins

Doritos Tortilla Thins

Doritos Tortilla Thins

The winning team

Diet Pepsi Max was named 2008 Ad Bowl Poll V Champion based on its first place ranking in the student poll and second place ranking in the online poll. The creators of the Diet Pepsi Max commercial will be invited to I-Comm Week March 31-April 3 to receive the Cocky award.

Why we do it

“We think that we already have a very strong advertising program. There are always things that we can do to relate what goes on in the classroom to the real world,” said Charles Bierbauer, dean of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies.

“We want students to be aware that if they’re in the advertising program, there are lots of things that they can get into,” he said.

“The Super Bowl ads are so important because all of the media attention they receive. These ads are viewed as the single best spots of the year,” Professor Drewniany said.

classFan reaction

More than 60 students, friends and faculty gathered to view the most anticipated ads of the football season. While many of them were required to be there for Professor Drewniany’s class, others came to share in the Super Bowl experience.

Student Reaction photoGraduate student Doreen Goodwin said, “I enjoyed participating and having an impact, with my votes surveyed and classified.”

Lindsay Parks, a sophomore marketing major, said the Ad Bowl experience made her look at the advertisements more in-depth. This was her first time participating in the event and she said she’d like to come next year.

“My favorite commercial was the Pepsi Max commercial because it achieved the best brand identity,” Stephanie Helling, a junior broadcast journalism major, said.

Lauren Pappas-McCaw, an international business major enrolled in the Super Bowl class, commented, “I was really surprised by Pepsi’s comeback this year.”

See which ads won in the first four Ad Bowl Polls >>

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