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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 7, 2011

Marketing students name Darth Vader top ad spokesperson of the Super Bowl

University of Iowa marketing students were moved to buy Volkswagens by a little boy in a Darth Vader costume during the Super Bowl, but were turned off from buying canned iced tea by a claymation hip hop performer.

Volkswagen's spot featuring a little boy's fantasy of using "The Force" to start the family car was the top vote getter in Sunday's annual Super Bowl ad watching party sponsored by the Tippie School of Management's Graduate Marketing Association.

The 83 marketing students and faculty who attended the Kinnick Stadium party voted on what they thought were the best and worst overall ads.

Other top vote-getters included the E*Trade baby getting a suit, border guards sharing a Coke, Bridgestone's "Reply All" spot and Audi's prison for old luxury.

But the voters were unmoved by an animated Eminem bragging about Lipton's Brisk iced tea, which was voted the worst spot. Other commercials the voters found less than effective were's secret government agency that swindles homeowners and Careerbuilder's chimps that park too close.

Hyundai had the dubious distinction of placing two ads among the worst with two spots for its Elantra, one where the company breaks the "good enough" compact car trance, and the other featuring the psychedelic truth about compact cars.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, University News Service,, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell)