The kiss that made the world cringe
February 6, 2013
It’s the Super Bowl commercial no one seemed to like, but it’s the one everyone is talking about. Supermodel Bar Refaeli made out with a computer nerd for Godaddy.com, and the world threw up a little in its mouth.
How poorly received was it? The commercial finished dead last among the 50-plus ad spots during the big game, according to the USA Today Ad Meter ratings released earlier this week.
Fun facts about the making of that commercial: the guy, Jesse Heiman, 34, told the Huffington Post that it took “45 to 60 takes” to get the kiss just right, and that they had to break for lunch in between. Hey, nerds are smart.
And for his audition he had to kiss a blowup doll that, he said, looked like Lindsay Lohan.
You’ve probably seen Heiman before: he’s a veteran character actor who’s appeared in episodes of HBO’s “Entourage” and CBS’ “NCIS,” the movie “American Pie 2” and was Fernando in NBC’s “Chuck.”
And now he’s a sex symbol. Yep.
“I’ve actually had guys tweet me that they wish they were me, and girls tweet me saying they wish they were Bar,” Heiman said during and interview with CNET.
“I have girls run up to me and take pictures with me, tweet me for dates.”
All this despite the fact that, Heiman says, he’s never had a serious girlfriend.
Meanwhile, first place in the Super Bowl Ad Meter rankings went to Budweiser’s “Horse and trainer united,” in which a trainer and the Budweiser Clydesdale he raised are reunited during a street parade.
There was no public outcry over that kiss.
That one registered a 7.76 on the USA Today Ad Meter, narrowly beating Tide’s “Miracle stain” spot, in which a salsa stain in the shape of Joe Montana appears on a guy’s 49ers jersey and causes a national sensation (only to be washed out by his wife, a Ravens fan). That got a 7.75.
Both can thank the 49ers for their high ranking. Both commercials were in the second half as San Francisco mounted a comeback to make the game close – one last 49ers’ comeback for Montana, as it turns out.
I talked with a man, Lew Patton, who was on the USA Today Ad Meter voting panel (there were about 1,400 voters):
“I was invited to join the USA Today Ad Meter Panel to rank the Super Bowl ads for 2013 Super Bowl. Here is the way I voted:
“My No. 1 commercial was the Dodge Ram commercial about Farmers. I thought this commercial was spot on. I thought it took courage to produce and to pay for at the Super Bowl. Everything that Paul Harvey said, was something that most all of my friends here in Texas, at least, believed. But Texas has lots of pickup trucks too. I knew while the commercial was playing that this was going to take lots of flack, but I just thought it was an awesome commercial.
“My No. 2 commercial was Jeep “Families Waiting” commercial. If you couldn’t enjoy this one, there must be something wrong with your heart. Perhaps because I am a veteran this hit me close to home. I had a sudden allergy problem in front of my guests while watching this.
“What about the Bar Refaeli commercial? I ranked it dead last as well. It was sickening, and didn’t arouse me at all. Just the opposite. I can’t think of any way this commercial could have been worse.”
Last year’s USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter winner was the Doritos spot in which a grandmother fires a baby in a slingshot. Go figure. The voting was a bit different last year, as it was opened online to the general public.
The USA Today Ad Meter top 10:
1. Anheuser-Busch (Horse and trainer reunited). 60 seconds, 3rd quarter … 7.76 rating.
2. Tide (Miracle Stain). 60 seconds, 4th quarter … 7.75.
3. Dodge RAM (Farmers). 120 seconds, 4th quarter … 7.43.
4. Doritos (Fashionista Dad). 30 seconds, 2nd quarter … 7.27.
5. JEEP (Families waiting). 120 seconds, halftime … 7.20.
6. Kia (Space Babies). 60 seconds, 4th quarter … 6.74.
7. Doritos (Goat 4 Sale). 30 seconds, 1st quarter … 6.71.
8. NFL (Deion Sanders returns). 60 seconds, 3rd quarter … 6.68.
9. Hyundai (Kid assembles team). 30 seconds, 1st quarter … 6.65.
10. Audi (Prom). 60 seconds, 1st quarter … 6.64.
Rick’s favorite among the ones not included in the top 10:
26. Oreo (Whispering in the library) 30 1 5.88.
The USA Today Bottom Five:
50. Calvin Klein (Guy in underwear) 30 2 3.88.
51. Anheuser-Busch (Black Crown party) 30 1 3.73.
52. Anheuser-Busch (Beck’s Sapphire fish singing) 30 3 3.66.
53. Anheuser-Busch (Black Crown coronation) 30 1 3.64.
54. GoDaddy.com (Bar Refeali make out) 30 1 3.30.
By the way, Will Ferrell also did a Super Bowl commercial, but hardly anyone saw it. For the second straight year he did an ad for Old Milwaukee beer, but it was only seen in small markets in Nebraska, Oklahoma and Montana.
In it, he’s kissing a woman on a commuter train as a Chinese song plays in the background.