Ad Track: Marketers relieved now that Oscars are a go

Brewer Guinness has a new tongue-in-cheek, or beer-in-hand, campaign to get Congress to make its biggest sales day — St. Patrick's Day — an officially recognized federal holiday. Ads for the effort begin next Monday and show how other holiday icons, such as Abe Lincoln, would feel about the party day becoming a holiday. Website launched last week to gather a million virtual signatures for a petition to make St. Pat's a legal holiday. As of Friday, more than 970,800 signatures had been added.

Life's a Journey (and so is love).

Blake Humphrey and Jackie Rohner of Rock Island, Ill., spent Valentine's Day at the Chicago Auto Show — getting married.

In a Dodge promotion, the happy couple won a 2009 Dodge Journey crossover SUV and an all-expenses-paid Valentine's Day wedding for 100 — on the floor of the show. They won for an essay about their "adventurous" life that they entered in the Chrysler brand's "Journey of a Lifetime" contest.

The package included the wedding dress and cake, flowers and a band. In keeping with the theme, the band played songs by the group Journey, including Open Arms.

Dodge bills the Journey as the perfect crossover to help folks "cross over" from single to married life.

Political party.

On Super Tuesday, as the media and politicians counted votes, Svedka vodka was busy playing up the "party" in politics. It launched a website advocating putting its "fembot" spokescharacter in charge of the country.

The well-endowed Terminator-like character entices visitors to to send messages to friends — or their real candidate of choice — by eCard.

Among the message choices:

•Make cocktails, not war.

•Swing voters have more fun.

•Help end global warming, add more ice.

•No cocktail left behind.

Among the real candidates, Barack Obama is in the lead, currently getting 37% of the Svedka messages sent to real candidates.


Q: Who does the voice for the Scotts lawn care ads? I see the ads often on PBS' American Experience and it sounds a lot like Donald Sutherland.

A: Donald Sutherland has done a lot of commercials, including a current ad for Coca-Cola's Simply Apple juice, but he is not the voice of Scotts. It is Jamie Hanes who has 20 years of commercial credits in addition to his theatrical career. Ad clients include Sprint from 1993 to 1998, during the Candice Bergen campaign, and about a hundred other marketers. He also has been a staff announcer for CBS and ABC and done promos for other networks and cable channels.

"I've been fired by everybody," he says.

Add one more to the list, sort of. After eight years of the same campaign, Scotts is moving on to a new campaign in April. Hanes has been the voice of reason in lawn care, but new ads are about living the green life in your own backyard.

Q: Who is the guy portraying "Sven" in the AT&T smartphone commercials? I know that I am not the only one wondering as I have seen this question posted on several message boards.

A: Frederik Hiller, 38, is Sven. In the ads, the Swede plays a very personal assistant to a family, updating them with the weather forecast and stock quotes and generally keeping the home running smoothly. The message is that the next best thing to your own Sven is the smartphone. Hiller's film credits include leading the Frisians in the start-studded epic Beowulf v

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