Charlie Brown wins (a coke) in Super Bowl ad

Charlie Brown made a surprise appearance in the 3rd quarter of yesterday’s Super Bowl to finally win something … a Coca-Cola. The cola ad featured giant inflatable balloons of Family Guy’s Stewey and Underdog fighting over an inflatable bottle of Coke. Out of nowhere Charlie Brown appears to capture the beverage prize.

The Associated Press called the ad “perhaps the most visually stunning spot” of the night.

24 thoughts on “Charlie Brown wins (a coke) in Super Bowl ad

  1. Wonderful animation. Failed and faulty sentiment and thus the ad. Didn’t care for it and (for laughs) here’s why: If we’ve got “Peanuts Forever”, then CB as a winner defies the brand. Maybe I’m reading too much into it but when shop worn characters behave diametrically counter to why we loved them in the first place, it’s a sell out and time to retire.

    The coyote never caught the roadrunner.

    Great game though. While I’d never seen someone catch a football w/ their head, I have personally caught a baseball w/ mine.

  2. I get your point, Mike. I was wondering if Schultz himself would have allowed this ending, and I decided he probably wouldn’t. But he was still producing the strip.

    Given that the strip is over, that Schultz is deceased, I think this commercial’s ending was a nice surprise. It had me cheering inside, with a “Way to go, Charlie Brown!”

    I took it as a respectful nod to the Peanuts brand and to Schulz himself, not a defiance.

  3. >>>While Iâ??d never seen someone catch a football w/ their head, I have personally caught a baseball w/ mine.

    I once caught a baseball in my catchers mask. It took about 2 minutes to dislodge it while all the runners scored.

  4. Roxan, the ad was created by Weiden and Kennedy, which is an advertising agency headquartered here in Portland, OR. You can try contacting them for information regarding the music.

  5. I guess it would have been more correct (brand and character-wise) for Snoopy to get the coke. But that’s secondary to the fact that there’s no joy in Mudville today. Mighty Brady has struck out.

  6. “I took it as a respectful nod to the Peanuts brand and to Schulz himself, not a defiance.”

    I wonder if Schulz had been alive if he would have approved of the ad, of the out of character outcome of the commercial?

    It still was an amazing spot and great fun to watch.

  7. Rick, I think you’re making fun of my infirmity. If you could be serious for a minute, the sad result of my repeatedly being “beaned” by a thrown baseball in my youth is that today, in between bites of Sealtest LowFat cottage cheese (fiber enriched), while I trying to remember what the word “vowel” means during Wheel of Fortune, my head plays a constant loop of Minnie Ripperton’s “Loving You” (extra falsetto). That, along w/ an embarassing inability to assume the government provide for my every need, my biggest handicap is that I’ve reached the pinnacle of my success as a cartoonist because I’m unable to “ape” Jeff MacNelly. At least my conscience is intact.

    (too much time on my hands today,guys. Cheers.)

    Mike Lester
    Editorial Cartoonist
    Rome (Ga.) News Tribune

  8. It’s not like Charlie Brown lost ALL the time. Anyone remember that marble game he won? Or the times he actually won at baseball? (of course, those wins were often voided, but still.)

    I think the only major things he ever has been a COMPLETE loser at are kicking the football when Lucy is holding it and obtaining the love of the little red-haired girl.

    As far as Schulz approving of the Charlie Brown balloon “winning”, I imagine he wouldn’t have minded. The real question is, would he have approved him being in the same commercial as Stewie? lol

    Regardless, this was my favorite commercial yesterday. Though, personally, I do think it would have been funny to show a post scene of a Snoopy balloon (vs. the Red Baron version) flying by and snagging the Coke.

  9. This was my favorite ad. I saw it as a tribute to Charles Schultz, who died in February 2000. The clip of the little brown-haired girl holding the football was a great touch. Schultz would never have allowed Charlie Brown to kick the football, but now CB gets the Coke – way to go! According to Wikipedia, Coca-Cola was the sponsor of the 1965 animated Peanuts debut, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Another nice tie-in.

  10. I enjoyed the ad, but it’s naive to call it a respectful nod to Peanuts and Charles M. Schulz. It’s not a tribute, it’s a transaction. The ad is simply another licensed use, like zillions of others over the last fifty years, of a Peanuts character. Have you read the new biography on Charles Schulz? It makes it clear that he would have LOVED ‘partnering’ with Coca Cola in this ad, as he did with numerous other big name companies. It’s how he made the greater part of his enormous fortune. He was called greedy by some, and that irritated him. He didn’t agree, and kept right on licensing. Today’s owners of the Peanuts licensing rights were paid a bundle from Coke to have Charlie Brown appear in that ad, and good ol’ Charlie Schulz would have definitely approved.

  11. Jeff, if Coke didn’t respect the Charlie Brown brand, they wouldn’t have made the licensing deal.

    Seems to me that respect is more of a problem between cartoonists. Bill Watterson is trounced for being crazy not to accept licensing deals, Charles Schulz is trounced for being greedy to take them.

    It was an entertaining ad that made lots of people feel good. It was even a premonition of and metaphor for the outcome of the game, with the underdog Giants winning.

    I would think all cartoonists should be happy that Peanuts can still pull in ad money, as it gives shows that cartoon characters still matter in America.

  12. Dawn, based on your answer to my previous comments, I think I need to clarify them. Of course Coke, as you say, respects the Peanuts brand, and that’s exactly what I was saying. But no one should mistake respect for a brand as tribute to an artist. I’m sure there are people at Coke who love Peanuts for itself and they respect Schulz as an artist, but first and foremost they love Peanuts for its power to help sell soda pop. Exhibit A: it’s a fun, great ad, but it’s not a wreath laid at Schulz’ grave, it’s not an endowment, or a wing of a hospital, or a donation to the National Cartoon Museum – it’s a COMMMERCIAL. Also, to clarify another point: I myself was not trouncing Schulz for making licensing deals, I was reiterating what his biographer noted, in an attempt to state what I think would have been Schulz’ answer to the folks who asked in this thread what S. might have thought about the ad. My opinion: he wouldn’t have been sitting at home saying, Gee, what a nice tribute they gave me. More likely, he might have said, Gee, what a nice check I got from making that deal. And I have no problem with that. I believe if cartoonists can make money from their creations, more power to them. I hope this clarifies what I said before.

  13. Jeff, your point is very nuanced. It reads like a criticism, but I guess your just saying CS would like the money more than a pat on the back. I kind of think this kind of thing is both.

  14. I do get the point of people saying it’s not exactly in the true spirit of Peanuts, but I think the whole idea of the commercial was that “In a Coke world, the guy who deserves to win finally does”. Not sure whether Schultz would have approved of it completely, but it’s a sweet and respectful tribute and my favorite commerical of the Bowl

  15. There have been other times where Schulz seemed indifferent about the use of his characters. I don’t think any of the members of the Royal Gaurdsmen or any of the record producers or record label ever asked Schulz or his synidicate wether it was ok to write and record a song about Snoopy, but they did. I don’t think Schulz even knew about it until someone played the song for him.

    Incidently, the Royal Gaurdsmen also recorded a song abou Alley Oop.

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