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AMERICAN MORNING

Minding Your Business: Ad Nauseam

Aired February 2, 2004 - 08:53   ET

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

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: It's time for "Minding Your Business." And besides that great football game, we saw some -- a lot of advertisements, some of which were pretty good, some of which sucked.
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Yes.

CAFFERTY: Andy is here to sort it out.

SERWER: There's that word again, Jack.

Anyway, I had a focus group watching it with a bunch of 40-year- old parents, 13-year-old boys and 10-year-old girls. So, that's not bad when you want to check out the commercials.

CAFFERTY: Yes.

SERWER: And I thought they were basically overall pretty lousy, I've got to tell you. Some of them were OK.

Let's look at some of "USA Today's" top-ranked ones. We've got a list here of the ones that fared well. The dog owners. The bear everyone loved. The bear looking for Pepsi, that was very cute. The donkey one I didn't get. The sleigh ride, I'm not going to talk about.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: That one was cute.

CAFFERTY: I liked the donkey.

SERWER: OK, that's the underdog. The sleigh ride, I can't talk about on television.

(CROSSTALK)

SERWER: Yes, the grandparents one, one woman watching it with me said, "What's wrong with this country?"

O'BRIEN: Yes, I would agree with that.

SERWER: So, that didn't go over very well.

CAFFERTY: Well...

SERWER: And now, let's talk about...

CAFFERTY: Quite a lot, actually. SERWER: Well, yes, actually. Let's talk about really some of the real dogs, though, Jack. First off, we have here, which one? The H&R Block, Willie Nelson. This is just a leftover from last year.

CAFFERTY: Yes, it's just terrible.

SERWER: Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY H&R BLOCK)

ANNOUNCER: Are taxes and finances getting you down? Get the Willie Nelson advice doll.

WILLIE NELSON, ENTERTAINER: It's perfect for any advice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct emundo (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Taxes are complicated!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERWER: Yes, it was just -- you know, I mean...

CAFFERTY: It was awful.

SERWER: It wasn't funny. We've seen him before.

O'BRIEN: Yes, I didn't get this ad. You know, sometimes you look up and you think, 'Did I start watching too late?'

CAFFERTY: Yes.

SERWER: Yes.

O'BRIEN: I don't get it.

CAFFERTY: Take my taxes to a shylock and get them done before I go out, just based on that commercial. What else?

SERWER: Well, let's talk about our parent -- well, not our parent company anymore. Our sister company, AOL, and talk about that. Let's check this one out here. I didn't some of this either.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get in this car and you don't even know how this thing works.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relax, Bob. This will be fine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All my brother probably knew about the AOL top speed technology was that it made things go fast.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERWER: Now, Jack, you like these things. CAFFERTY: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

SERWER: The thing here, you're going...

O'BRIEN: It's a theory, right?

SERWER: You're going -- yes, well.

O'BRIEN: It's a car and a bike and...

SERWER: Right. But you're going to kind of a narrow focus group here with people like Jack.

CAFFERTY: The commercials are better than their online service.

SERWER: Now, here is my least favorite part of the whole evening were these erectile dysfunction ads.

CAFFERTY: Oh, man!

SERWER: Let's check this out. Not terribly offensive, but...

O'BRIEN: E.D.

SERWER: E.D., thank you.

CAFFERTY: E.D.

SERWER: Yes.

All right, the problem with these things -- I mean, what the heck is going on? When you are watching these with kids...

CAFFERTY: Yes.

SERWER: ... you know, mommy, daddy, what does this mean? This is the company CBS that won't, you know, air the political ads. But, you know, I find these just as offensive. You're sitting around with children and they want to know what it's about, and you say go away.

CAFFERTY: Yes.

SERWER: The 13-year-olds started laughing and the 10-year-old girls...

CAFFERTY: That one...

SERWER: The whole thing is a mess.

CAFFERTY: That one wasn't too bad, but Mike Ditka, former linebacker...

SERWER: Yes.

CAFFERTY: ... for the Chicago Bears...

O'BRIEN: Levitra, Levitra.

SERWER: Yes.

CAFFERTY: ... selling a male enhancement product.

O'BRIEN: Levitra, he did about 25 Levitra ads.

CAFFERTY: I mean, that's a little scary.

SERWER: Yes.

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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