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TheStreet Open House

Your Pre-Game Peek at 2013 Super Bowl Commercials

Stocks in this article: F GM TM

Mercedes-Benz

The Super Bowl is being played in a New Orleans stadium with the Mercedes-Benz name on it. Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue queen bee and America's bombshell of the moment Kate Upton agreed to be in the company's commercial. She's standing just feet away from buckets full of soapy water.

This should have been an easy and decisive win for Mercedes. Instead, the company turned puberty incarnate into the least riveting extracurricular Super Bowl entertainment this side of a two-minute version of My Dinner With Andre. We're not saying that one of the most prestigious luxury automakers on earth suddenly has to become GoDaddy, but there was a time when advertisers in this country knew how to handle the Great American Bombshell.

Cindy Crawford and Pepsi in 1992. Ali Landry and Doritos in 1998. Megan Fox and Motorola in 2010 ... OK, maybe that's not the best example. The point is, your ad team doesn't have to behave like absolute pigs just because someone beautiful signed on for your ad, but you shouldn't waste the ad budget treating your star like furniture. If you're not comfortable with outright objectification, crack a joke or write some plot.

As it stands, Upton's only direction in this ad seemed to be "impersonate a car." By having a bunch of ogling guys stare directly over a Mercedes at Upton, Mercedes is basically telling viewers to ignore the car and pay attention to this really boring thing a supermodel's doing. That's going to do wonders for those mid-winter sales.

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