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Experts rate the leaked commercials



Experts rate the leaked commercials

The stars of “Wayne’s World” were reunited, Amazon’s Alexa got replaced by a flirty Michael B. Jordan and Bruce Springsteen made his commercial debut for Jeep.

Celebrity cameos in this year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials veered on the zany and were heavy on nostalgia, as companies tried to relay upbeat, hopeful messages amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But brands also took the opportunity to say something meaningful about our unprecedented times, according to a team of top ad executives assembled by The Post.

“Advertisers are leaning heavily on how 2020 was the worst year in recent memory,” said Jennifer DaSilva, president at Berlin Cameron.

“Most of the spots are optimistic and hopeful as we embark on a new year.”

Here’s what our panel of experts made of the Super Bowl 55 ads:

Amazon – “Alexa’s Body”

“Again, please,” was likely what every woman in America said after seeing this ad, according to Nicole Michels McDonagh, of Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners.

Amazon turned its virtual assistant Alexa into a sex symbol with the help of Michael B. Jordan in this fun and memorable ad.

However, some of our experts felt the spot’s sultriness was heavy-handed, especially for a family-friendly product.

“Yes, the sexual innuendo is over-the-top at times, but high marks for sheer entertainment,” said Chris Graves, Chief Creative Officer at Team One.

“Really well-crafted as a film,” Graves added. “And appreciate the attempt to give a somewhat intrusive technology a human face — an extremely good-looking human face.”

Average grade: A

Bud Light — “Last Year’s Lemons”

Bud Light’s spot was a nod to the “lemon” of a year we’ve just had — though “this ad is anything BUT a lemon,” said DaSilva.

Most of our experts enjoyed the clip’s quirky metaphor for 2020 and its take on the age-old adage: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

In the ad, giant lemons raining down on weddings and other parties, and though we’ve seen unexpected objects falling from the sky before, this one was “nicely produced and fun to watch,” said Graves.

“Thank you, Bud Light,” said Jennie Moore, Creative Director at WONGDOODY in Seattle.

“We could either laugh or cry about last year, and this helped me share in a much-needed laugh.”

Overall grade: A-

Uber Eats — “Wayne’s World”

Comedians Dana Carvey and Mike Myers of “Wayne’s World” brought viewers back to the 1990s for this fun ad.

“A lot of brands have made Super Bowl Sunday into ‘Throwback Thursday,’” noted Andy Nathan, founder and CEO of the Fortnight Collective.

“The Wayne’s World local access cable TV show working to help local restaurants makes a lot of sense for Uber Eats and what they promise.”

Add the cameo from Cardi B and the ad becomes even more “fun, eye catching and entertaining,” said Moa Netto, Chief Creative Officer at RAPP US.

SPIN CEO Jimmy Hutcheson added: “The one thing that always hits a mark is nostalgia.”

“In recent years, Super Bowl commercials have tapped into that by resuscitating beloved movie characters,” Hutcheson said.

“Thus, it makes perfect sense that grabbing Mike Myers and Dana Carvey for a Wayne’s World reunion would absolutely make sense and work.”

“Adding current pop icon Cardi B to that equation? Brilliant,” said Hutcheson, “a big win for Uber Eats to appeal to people from multiple generations.”

Average grade: A-

Cheetos — “It Wasn’t Me”

Cheetos enlisted celebrity couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis for this ad, set to Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me.”

“I liked how they were able to leverage the cultural power of an iconic song while keeping the product at the center of the narrative,” said Netto.

Eric Stein, Chief Creative Officer at Hooray Agency, agreed on the choice of tune.

“Shaggy steals the show. Mila and Ashton work ‘ok’ as support,” said Stein, who gave the ad a C.

Tim Smith, president of Chemistry in Atlanta, said: “I wanted to like this one but it seemed off.”

“Shaggy and the music was great but the acting and singing of two stars I really like, was awkward.”

Average grade: B-

Scotts Miracle-Gro — “Big Game Commercial”

The slew of celebs making an appearance in this ad felt forced, according to our experts.

It was also another hit at nostalgia with John Travolta’s special appearance.

But event that wasn’t enough to save this spot.

“The Super Bowl ads are teeming with celebs this year, and a big chunk of them seem to be in this spot,” said Graves.

“It’s strangely compelling as you try and figure out how one relates to the next. Then Travolta shows up and all bets are off. All to promote a contest to win a lawn and garden of your dreams? It’s a lot to process.”

Average grade: C

Robinhood — “We are all investors”

Robinhood was recently in the headlines in connection with the GameStop saga, but the investing app’s first Super Bowl commercial fell flat, according to our experts.

“I think Robinhood was smart to use the current PR to reinforce brand awareness on the biggest stage,” said Smith, adding: “Having said that I think they missed the mark on a Super Bowl spot.”

“The spot is beautifully shot but a too quiet for the stage.”

Husani Oakley, Chief Technology Officer at Deutsch NY, noted that “There was probably not enough time to make any changes,” in the aftermath of the stock market madness.

Still, ” I don’t think the spot would have worked well even in a pre-#GameStopGate world.”

“The basic idea — that everyone invests in something, so why not invest via Robinhood — is spot-on, but the execution falls pretty flat, and doesn’t quite live up to it’s potential.”

Average grade: C

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Minimum wage hike can’t be in COVID relief bill: Senate official




Minimum wage hike can't be in COVID relief bill: Senate official

Democrats can’t include a $15 minimum wage hike as part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, a key Senate official ruled on Thursday.

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough’s decision dealt a blow to progressives, who had been pushing to include such a provision in the bill.

MacDonough, the nonpartisan arbiter of Senate rules, issued a guidance saying she didn’t believe the change complied with guidelines of reconciliation, the fast-track process that Dems are using to pass the bill.

Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders, who previously said he was optimistic that MacDonough would back the provision, slammed the finding on Thursday night.

“I strongly disagree with tonight’s decision by the Senate Parliamentarian,” the Vermont lawmaker said in a statement.

“The fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour continues,” he added.

Republicans, meanwhile, hailed the decision.

“Very pleased the Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that a minimum wage increase is an inappropriate policy change in reconciliation,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. 

“This decision will, over time, reinforce the traditions of the Senate.”

Some moderate Democrats, including Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have voiced opposition to including the minimum wage boost in the relief bill.

That suggests Dems would lack the votes to push through the provision, should they opt to break decades of Senate precedent, ignore the parliamentarian’s view, and keep it in the bill.

With Post wires

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Hasbro reassures fans that Mr. Potato Head isn’t going anywhere




Hasbro reassures fans that Mr. Potato Head isn't going anywhere

So mash for that.

Hasbro is scrambling to reassure fans that Mr. Potato Head still exists — amid uproar over its gender-neutral rebranding announcement.

“Hold that Tot – your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere!,” the company tweeted on Thursday evening.

The classic toy firm sparked a social media frenzy on Thursday morning when it announced that it would be dropping “Mr.” and “Mrs.” from the brand as part of a gender-inclusive push.

“Culture has evolved. Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences,” Kimberly Boyd, Hasbro’s senior vice president of global brands, told Fast Company.

“The way the brand currently exists — with the ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ — is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure.”

Many on social media dismissed the move as half-baked, while others just rolled their eyes at the hubbub.

Several hours later, Hasbro clarified that it was the toy brand that was being changed to “Potato Head” — and that the beloved Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters would still exist, names and all.

The company will also be releasing a Potato Head “family kit” that will let kids “create all types of families,” it said in a statement.

“While we’re renaming the Mr. Potato Head brand to Potato Head to better reflect the full line, the iconic Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head characters aren’t going anywhere,” a spokeswoman for the firm, Catalina Ramirez, told The Post.

“The new product we announced today Create Your Potato Head Family is a kit that includes enough potatoes and accessories for kids to create all types of families,” she added.

Several toymakers have recently updated their brands to appeal to kids today — including Barbie, who shed her blonde image and got a makeover to include more skin tones and body shapes.

Thomas the Tank Engine also added more female characters and American Girl is now selling a boy doll.

With Post Wires

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El Chapo’s wife voluntarily surrendered to feds: report




El Chapo's wife voluntarily surrendered to feds: report

The beauty queen wife of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman turned herself in to federal authorities when she was arrested Monday, a report said Thursday.

Emma Coronel Aispuro voluntarily surrendered at Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia, sources “familiar with the situation” told Vice News.

The sources suggested to the outlet that it could be a sign the 31-year-old is willing to cooperate with the feds.

Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., where Aispuro was charged, declined to comment.

“I’m not going to respond to an anonymously planted story,” Aispuro’s lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, told The Post.

Aispuro was hit with a number of drug trafficking charges after her arrest Monday for allegedly working with her husband’s organization to bring cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana into the United States.

She is also accused of helping orchestrate El Chapo’s elaborate escape from a Mexican prison in 2015.

The escape plot worked, but Guzman was recaptured in 2016.

He was eventually hauled to the US, and convicted on a slew of drug-trafficking raps in Brooklyn federal court in 2019. He is currently serving a life sentence in Colorado.

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