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spot Check: Olympic Edition!
September 25, 2000
It's the Olympics of advertising, too, which is why NBC sold a record $900 million worth of ad time for its Sydney telecasts. Not surprisingly, advertisers have gone all out in their quest for the gold, unveiling several ambitious Olympic-themed spots during the 2000 Games. Herewith, a critical roundup of the first batch of Olympic commercials.
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September 25, 2000

Spot Check: Olympic Edition!

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It's the Olympics of advertising, too, which is why NBC sold a record $900 million worth of ad time for its Sydney telecasts. Not surprisingly, advertisers have gone all out in their quest for the gold, unveiling several ambitious Olympic-themed spots during the 2000 Games. Herewith, a critical roundup of the first batch of Olympic commercials.

1) Spot: Foster's "Opening Ceremony"

Summary: A hand flips a sign on the door of an outback bar from CLOSED to OPEN, prompting a stampede of roughnecks to the watering hole. The subtitle that follows reads OPENING CEREMONY.

Critique: The latest in the beermaker's long-running "How to Speak Australian" campaign, the spot is at once both fresh and familiar. What's Aussie for funny?

Grade: Four rings.

2) Spot: Nike's "Horror"

Summary: A hockey-masked maniac chases scantily clad U.S. 1,500-meter star Suzy Favor Hamilton through the woods, only to run out of breath.

Critique: A clever takeoff on teen slasher movies that's appallingly inappropriate in the family-friendly context of the Olympics. Adding shock value was the fact that the spot's first airing on NBC immediately followed Cathy Freeman's poignant lighting of the Olympic torch.

Grade: Execution—four rings; taste—zero rings.

3) Spot: Buick's "Tiger Olympic"

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