Field Reports1 Mar, 2009 By: Thomas Haire, Jacqueline Renfrow Response
Aronson, Netzley Discuss Cash4Gold's Super Bowl Success
By Thomas Haire ([email protected])
POMPANO BEACH, Fla., and CARLSBAD, Calif. — If you were among the more than 97 million Americans watching Super Bowl XLIII on NBC Feb. 1, you likely saw the first spot for a DR industry-centric product — Cash4Gold — since OxiClean's Super Bowl ad buy earlier this decade. Based on the results, even if you missed the game, you've probably seen the buzzed-about ad featuring down-on-their-luck celebrities MC Hammer and Ed McMahon — within the first 24 hours after the original airing, more than 1 million viewings on Web sites like Yahoo! Video, YouTube, NBC.com and others were reported.
How did a spot for a DRTV product become the most talked about ad on Super Sunday? Believe it or not, it was pretty simple — if you listen to Cash4Gold CEO Jeff Aronson and his media partner, Euro RSCG Edge CEO Steve Netzley.
"Since connecting with Euro, we've enjoyed massive growth during the past two years — our sandbox has been getting bigger and bigger," Aronson tells Response. "Less than four weeks before the Super Bowl, I went to Steve and said, 'I want to play in the biggest sandbox — the Super Bowl on NBC."
Netzley, who says his agency's relationship with Cash4Gold started out as TV media only but has evolved to include search, production and other facets, avers, "This was 20 days before the deadline to submit for the game. My first thought was, 'Really?!' Then, I thought, we need creative that will stand up for the client."
Working with Arnold Worldwide and Hungry Man Productions director and Super Bowl ad veteran Brian Buckley, Aronson and Netzley quickly came up with the concept for the ad, which would eventually be called "One-Up." But what celebrities would fit into the concept?
"It was a non-stop negotiation," says Aronson of the process of finding talent. The list of celebrity targets was narrowed to four before Aronson and Netzley set their sights on Hammer and McMahon. He adds, "They loved the concept from the beginning, but negotiating their appearances was a back-and-forth. We all loved the idea of them playing off each other."
Netzley contends, "The concept was dependent on the celebrity being seen as sympathetic by the majority of the country, celebrities who could be considered users of the service because of their own financial difficulties. It was a really short list."
Finally, 10 days before the Super Bowl, negotiations were finalized, and two days later, the team was filming the spot at McMahon's house. "We created all the items used as jokes in the ad — in fact, Hammer didn't see any of the items used until the day of the shoot," Netzley says.
The process didn't slow down from there, as Aronson says the spot was edited and finalized on the Tuesday before the game and submitted on deadline day to the NFL and NBC. However, the rush was well worth it.