A Kia automaker commercial that aired during the Super Bowl and featured scenes from Las Vegas raised some eyebrows.
In mid-December, when the National Football League announced it was modifying its advertising policy for the 2009-2010 postseason, the guidelines stated gaming destinations would be allowed to advertise but could not refer to gaming, include scenes of gaming resorts or shots of the Las Vegas Strip.
The commercial featured a colorful cast of animated characters -- a red Gumby-like figure, a stuffed bear, a sock monkey, and a robot -- riding in a Kia down the Strip. The characters posed in front of the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada" sign and appeared in scenes with Monte Carlo and Bally's signs. There were some generic scenes as well, showing parties and mountain settings.
Since 2003, the NFL has cracked down on all things Las Vegas, from prohibiting Super Bowl commercials with Las Vegas ties to threatening resorts with lawsuits if they use the name Super Bowl to promote game-day parties.
Three years later, the league even put a clause in the contract with NBC that forbids the mention of Las Vegas, which blocked the network from next-night promotion of the hit series "Las Vegas."
Vince Alberta, vice president of public affairs for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said they were unaware that the ad was airing but pleased with the result.
"We ended up getting international exposure without having to make an investment. I think it demonstrates the strength of the Las Vegas brand," Alberta said.
The LVCVA initially developed an ad strategy for 2010 that did not include the Super Bowl. After the NFL announced it was relaxing its ad policy, the LVCVA decided to stick with its original plan, Alberta said.
The NFL policy change came after Pepsi and Fed-Ex dropped their Super Bowl ad campaigns.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Celine Dion is reportedly in New York City this week at a fertility treatment center. She was impregnated in August but it was announced in November that the embryo transfer was unsuccessful. She is reportedly announcing on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" this week that she is returning Caesars Palace in March 2011 ...
Pants on the ground: Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie, one of quarterback Peyton Manning's favorite receivers in the Super Bowl on Sunday, spent part of his childhood in Spring Valley. Former TV personality Ron Futrell said his sons Aaron and Tyler often played in the streets with Collie and his brother Zack as pre-schoolers.
"Ozzie, as we called him, had a habit of losing his drawers as he ran around the neighborhood. Many times he would show up at our house and we would have to let him borrow some drawers to make it through the day."
Actor Channing Tatum with his wife, actress Jenna Dewan, at UFC 109 and Strip House (Planet Hollywood Resort) on Saturday. They were celebrating big news with champagne. His latest movie, "Dear John," in which he has the lead role, knocked mighty "Avatar" out of first place for the first time in seven weeks. "Dear John" hauled in $32.4 million, with "Avatar" second at $23.6 million. ... The Zowie Bowie duo of Chris Phillips and Marley Taylor showed up together, with their dates, on Saturday at Vince Neil's Dr. Feelgood's Rock Bar & Grill.
THE PUNCH LINE
"Toyota is asking anyone who owns a new Prius to return it to the dealership as slowly as they possibly can." -- Jimmy Fallon