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CNN SUNDAY MORNING

Interview With Barbara Lippert

Aired January 26, 2003 - 10:39   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was marooned on an island for five years with this package, and I swore that I would deliver it to you because I work for FedEx.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's very admirable. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, by the way, what's in the package?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing, really, just a satellite phone, GPS locator, fishing rod, water purifier and some seeds, just silly stuff. Thank you again. Keep up the good work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: That's a good one. Well, when it comes to Super Bowl ads, our next guest says this year anything goes. We'll see everything from the Osbournes to squirrels, to zebras starring in commercials. With the early line on some of the most interesting ones out there, Barbara Lippert of "AdWeek" magazine.

Good to see you, Barbara.

BARBARA LIPPERT, "ADWEEK" MAGAZINE: Thank you. Good to see you.

WHITFIELD: All right. It seems like there's no one underlying theme but it seems humor is at the core of most of the ads.

LIPPERT: Absolutely. You're talking to a very loud room of people who are basically drinking a lot and have guacamole all over their shirts, and so you need to break through with big punches, either with cute animals or stripping down to your underwear or stuff like that.

WHITFIELD: All right. The Fed Ex one was very cute. But let's look at another one with H & R Block, where it seems like celebrities are also the stars of the show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Willie, we want you to be the spokesperson for Smoothie Shaving Cream. You could make huge money. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not about the money. This is Willie Nelson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Willie, we got a small problem. We made a little mistake on your taxes. You owe $30 million.

WILLIE NELSON, MUSICIAN: I what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Action.

ANNOUNCER: This play calls for a smoothie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cut.

NELSON: Have a smooth...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cut. Willie, make a smooth move. Action.

NELSON: My face is burning.

ANNOUNCER: Don't get bad advice. Let H & R Block double check your taxes free. We'll find what others missed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Two towels, one wet, one dry.

NELSON: My face is burning!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right, Barbara. The power of a celebrity.

LIPPERT: I'm sure his face really was burning when he actually had tax problems and had to make an album where the proceeds went to the tax man. So that really resonates because everybody likes Willie Nelson and everybody knows he has tax problems. So that's a really good use of a celebrity. Plus, you can't beat the beard and the braids combination with the shaving cream on the beard.

WHITFIELD: Yes, and everyone loves that self-defecating humor, as you put it. And they all love to see the most liked or most talked about stars these days. Let's talk about the Osbournes in their commercial debut with Pepsi.

LIPPERT: Well, also, the Osbournes are a little bit over. People are thinking, you know, they're getting very low ratings this year. They bombed on the American Music Awards. But this is perfect because it's the statusization (ph) of the Osbournes with Jack and Kelly appearing like pod people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

K. OSBOURNE: Dad?

O. OSBOURNE: Not now. I'm just...

K. OSBOURNE: We really want to show you something. O. OSBOURNE: I have got something to do. I'm trying to...

J. OSBOURNE: You really should see this.

O. OSBOURNE: What is it then? What is it?

J. OSBOURNE: These aren't Pepsis. They're Pepsi Twists.

O. OSBOURNE: You're a bunch of bloody magicians.

K. OSBOURNE: And we're not the Osbournes.

O. OSBOURNE: You're not?

DONNIE OSMOND, MUSICIAN: We're the Osmonds.

MARIE OSMOND, MUSICIAN: We're the Osmonds.

M. OSMOND: I'm a little bit country.

D. OSMOND: I'm a little bit rock 'n' roll.

O. OSBOURNE: Sharon!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Well, it's still fun to see. I guess folks have really O.D.'ed on the Osbournes but you know Pepsi is walking away with it.

LIPPERT: Oh no. And there's another kicker at the end that's even greater.

WHITFIELD: Oh yes, the Florence Henderson.

LIPPERT: With a parallel universe, Sharon, who's, you know, a woman with Wessonality.

WHITFIELD: OK. You know talking about the celebrity star power. Jackie Chan is kind of sharing the stage with Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan always kind of monopolizing or dominating the whole Hanes ads. Let's take a quick look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL JORDAN, BASKETBALL PLAYER: It's got to be the tag.

ANNOUNCER: Hanes introduces the tagless tee. No tag.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So, Barbara, what does that say about Michael Jordan sharing the stage with Jackie Chan like that? Does that mean that Michael's on his way out with the Hanes commercial?

LIPPERT: No, I think Michael's money in the bank for Hanes. You know I think that they got Jackie Chan just for the double star power. But since there's no interaction and no real story and no surprise and no build-up, they probably should have stuck with just Michael.

WHITFIELD: Yes, it was cute. They didn't have to have much on script writing for that one.

LIPPERT: That's right. Exactly.

WHITFIELD: All right, let's talk about some animals making their way into some of the commercials. Trident has something very kind of clever and fun. And then there was Levi's, too, that did something strange with the animals. Let's look at whichever one comes up first.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Four out of five dentists surveyed would recommend Trident for their patients who chew gum. But what about the fifth dentist?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No!

ANNOUNCER: One thing's for sure. Long lasting Trident is good for teeth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right, Barbara. Do you see that these are the kind of commercials where everyone's going to be talking about the commercials after the game and not necessarily the best plays?

LIPPERT: Yes. So actually, 14 percent of the people are just watching for the commercials. But speaking of the animals, you know, there's a Quiznos commercial you showed in the beginning where they show a dead parakeet.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

LIPPERT: And already, these people for welfare of aviary concerns are -- you know, bird people, are already up in arms. They're already asking them to pull the ad.

WHITFIELD: Oh, boy. All right. Well, I don't think...

LIPPERT: I think the Levi's one is -- it's another trend which is going back to the heritage of the brand, the west and bison and marrying it with futuristic imagery so like in the future we'll all have dreadlocks and look at computerized bison. WHITFIELD: Yes, I didn't get this one when I first saw it. I thought wait a minute, I'm not getting it. Of course, toward the end, I mean just Levi's Bold and that was the statement here.

LIPPERT: Right. And they also tied it into an Internet contest, which is all another thing that's happening a lot, tying in the popularity with interactive stuff.

WHITFIELD: All right. Barbara Lippert, thank you very much. It's been fun. And of course, you know, we'll be watching the game for the plays as well. But the commercials are usually most memorable. All right. Good to see you.

LIPPERT: Thank you.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




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