Heartwarming & Comedy Beer Ads Win

Home of Pro Football Hall of Fame Votes on the Best and the Worst

CANTON, Ohio (February 2, 2004) - The little donkey that led the Clydesdales wound up leading the hearts of survey voters in Canton, Ohio, who also overwhelmingly wanted to send FedEx's alien commercial back to whatever galaxy it came from.

Innis Maggiore Group, an advertising and public relations agency based here, conducted its sixth annual on-line poll in which Canton-area residents rate the multi-million dollar commercials that run during the game. Canton is the birthplace of pro football and the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"An ad that touches someone's heart or funnybone always does well here in Canton, and last night was no exception," said Dick Maggiore, president and CEO of Innis Maggiore Group. "The funniest ads usually score the highest in this football city, but this time a feel-good ad with a clever and humorous approach is our big winner."

The same could not be said for the FedEx commercial, in which an alien wearing a mask of a human face continuously tells workers to use the overnight delivery service.

"Nothing is worse in advertising than an ad that tries to be funny and just isn't," Maggiore said. "That's why we got such a negative reaction on the 'alien' spot." That was also the case for second place among the worst spots: H&R Block's Willie Nelson Doll. "Willie Nelson's tax problem was last year's joke," Maggiore said. "It's an old punchline and that's why it didn't work this year."

Canton's survey participants, however, were split when asked to choose the funniest spot. Anheuser-Busch had the top two favorites -- Sleigh Ride, featuring the flatulent horse who ruined a man's effort to propose to his girl friend barely edged out the dog who could fetch a Bud Light by attacking a man in his most vulnerable spot.

"Those are the kinds of laughs that really go over for a football audience, especially here in Canton," Maggiore said.

Here are the five best Super Bowl ads as selected by Canton fans:

  1. Anheuser-Busch "Donkey wants to be a Clydesdale"
  2. Anheuser-Busch "Sleigh Ride"
  3. Anheuser-Busch "Dogs"
  4. General Motors Corp. "Soap"
  5. 7-Up "Slam Dunk"

The five worst in the survey:

  1. FedEx "Alien”
  2. H&R Block "Willie Doll"
  3. American Legacy Foundation "Shards 0' Glass"
  4. American Online "Motorcycle"
  5. IBM "Linux Prodigy"

In addition, the Innis Maggiore survey asked participants to pick out the funniest ads and the stand out commercials:


  1. Anheuser Busch "Sleigh Ride"
  2. Anheuser-Busch "Dogs"
  3. Frito Lay "Grandparents"
  4. Pepsi Cola "Mountain Men"
  5. 7-Up "Slam Dunk”

Stand Out

  1. American Legacy Foundation "Shards O' Glass"
  2. Philip Morris USA "Philip Morris USA"
  3. General Motors "Turbulence"
  4. IBM "Linux Prodigy"
  5. White House Office of Natl Drug Control Policy "Drug Control Policy"

"Four of the top five stand out ads made a strong public statement that obviously affected our participants even if they did not like the ad," Maggiore said. "That would explain why two of the stand-outs also appear among the bottom five ads."

Innis Maggiore Group is an advertising and public relations firm with more than 50 associates at offices in Canton and Youngstown, Ohio. The company quadrupled in size between 1997 and 2002, and is projecting 2003 capitalized billings of more than $30 million. In May 2003, Advertising Age ranked Innis Maggiore the fastest-growing agency in Ohio for two consecutive years. Key clients include Aultman Health Foundation, FitWorks Fitness Centers, Liquid Control Corp., Louisiana-Pacific Corp., NEOUCOM, Nickles Bakery, Parker Hannifin, Progressive Foam Technologies, Rainbow Rentals, Republic Engineered Products and Smithers-Oasis Co. Innis Maggiore is a member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Direct Marketing Association, the National Investor Relations Institute and the Public Relations Society of America. 

For more information contact:

Martha Belden 
Director of Public Relations
Innis Maggiore
P: 330-492-5500
Email Martha Belden


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