Football Fans in Canton, Ohio, Raise Cheers for Traditional Advertisers, Pan the Dot-Coms

Anheuser-Busch Wins Big in Online Ad Survey in Hall of Fame City; Healtheon/WebMD's "Muhammed Ali" Spot Draws Boos

CANTON, Ohio (January 31, 2000) ­ Residents in this city known as the birthplace of professional football like tradition and adventure in their Super Bowl ads, according to results of an online survey released today.

Anheuser-Busch's "Rex the Dog" ad and PepsiCo/Mountain Dew's spot showing a biker catching a cheetah were tops in a web-based poll sponsored by Innis Maggiore Group, an advertising agency based here in the home of the Pro Football Hame of Fame.

Meanwhile, Healtheon/Web MD's ad featuring Muhammad Ali was voted the worst.

"It would appear that tradition and adventure cleaned up, while gimmickry and mystery fell a little short," said Dick Maggiore, president of Innis Maggiore Group.

"The Canton area has long been recognized as a bellwether of how people in the heartland of America think. It's interesting to note that local fans preferred a mixture of homespun values with tongue-in-cheek humor in the ads that aired."

With the average price of 30-second spots quoted at $2.2 million, observers noted that Internet-based advertisers, commonly known as "dot-coms," were out in force this year to reach not only potential customers but the financial marketplace as well.

In Canton, they didn't turn many heads. Healtheon/WebMD was the big loser in the ad game, according to voters in the survey. The medical website's ad, featuring boxing legend Muhammad Ali shadowboxing into the camera lens, was widely panned by respondents.

An ad by job site finished third-worst.

Anheuser-Busch was the big winner, with four ads rated in the top ten. In second place was Mountain Dew's "Biker" ad, followed by Federal Express's delivery to the Land of Oz.

More than 100 area residents registered for the survey, which was conducted online Sunday immediately after the St. Louis Rams' thrilling victory over the Tennessee Titans. Participants were asked to rate their five favorite, and five least favorite, ads during the telecast.

In addition to Innis Maggiore Group, sponsors of the survey were Fishers Foods, a leading regional grocery store chain, and Data Direct, a Canton-based e-Commerce and web solutions provider.

Innis Maggiore Group Inc. is a leading provider of qualitative and quantitative research, as well as other advertising and public relations services. The agency employs 27 people and reported 1999 capitalized billings of more than $12.5 million. Key clients include Republic Technologies International, Aultman Health Foundation, Oasis Floral Products, Square Two Golf, Schumacher Homes, Parker Hannifin, Rainbow Rentals, Waterlink, Akrochem Corp. and Alpha Enterprises. Innis Maggiore Group is a member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

The ten best ads in Canton, Ohio, according to the survey:

  1. Anheuser-Busch, "Rex the Dog”
  2. PepsiCo/Mountain Dew, "Biker"
  3. Federal Express, "Delivery to Oz"
  4. Nuveen, "Christopher Reeve Walks"
  5. E-trade, "Monkeys"
  6. EDS, "Cat Herders"
  7. Anheuser-Busch, "Baby Clydesdale"
  8. Anheuser-Busch, "Only the Best for Fred"
  9. 7-Up, "Make 7-Up Yours"
  10. Anheuser-Busch, "Wayne Gretzky"

The ten worst ads, according to the survey:

  1. Healtheon/WebMD, "Muhammed Ali"
  2. WWF, "Beauty Pageant Fight"
  3., "Robert Frost Poem"
  4. BMW, "Running Through the Woods"
  5. Motorola, "Inquisitive Snakes"
  6., "Wall Street Journal Interactive"
  7. Nuveen, "Christopher Reeve Walks"
  8. Oxygen Media, "Babies: I Am Woman"
  9., "Angry Brides"
  10., "Financial Chaos Monster

For more information contact:

Jim Cyphert
PR Director
Innis Maggiore
P: 330-492-5500
C: 330-501-9886
Email Jim Cyphert

"Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make."

- Bill Bernbach

"Positioning is the single most powerful concept in marketing. To stake a position means an organization, product, or service stands for one thing in the minds of prospects."

- Dick Maggiore



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