Editor’s note: This article was originally published January 30, 2014
Singer Jack Ingram, Hollywood film and TV star Eva Longoria and former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith.
H-E-B’s Super Bowl ads have featured a host of well-known celebrities with Texas roots – and 2014 is no different.
Troy Aikman, another former Cowboys player, was tapped to star in this year’s ad, which will debut during Sunday’s Seattle-Denver matchup on Fox.
The 60-second regional commercial, portions of which were filmed in Austin and Bastrop, will air in cities across Texas, the grocer said.
In the ad, a store worker named Milly spots a newspaper article about H-E-B’s search for its next Primo Pick – unique, Texas-produced products available exclusively at San Antonio-based H-E-B.
In an extended daydream sequence, the grandmother fantasizes about winning the competition. Her culinary creation, Better Than Good Bacon Jam, makes her an instant celebrity. She lands in a parade, gets her own statue and is featured on the cover of Texas Monthly magazine.
Even Aikman is a fan, rushing to snap a selfie with Milly when he spots her on the street. Seconds later, the football legend is shoved aside by a family eager to get their own snapshot with Milly.
Shocked, an incredulous Aikman throws his hands into the air and says, "C’mon, I’ve got three (Super Bowl) rings!"
While the events depicted in the commercial are, of course, fictional, Better Than Good Bacon Jam is a real product currently available in H-E-B stores, the grocer said.
The ad launches a six-week, 27-city statewide tour to find the next Primo Pick. Find more details at heb.com/quest.
"H-E-B is proud to offer our customers the best of Texas products," said Cory Basso, H-E-B’s group vice president of marketing and advertising. "We are excited to launch this Quest for Texas Best and find that next big homegrown product all Texans will be talking about, and maybe the next real-life Milly."
The Super Bowl traditionally is when advertisers like H-E-B pull out all the stops, launching elaborate advertising campaigns that have people talking for days after the big game.
Because of the large audience tuned in, the commercials aren’t cheap. A 30-second spot airing nationally costs around $4 million this year, according to Advertising Age, a trade publication. Regional spots like H-E-B’s are less expensive, but still pricey.
Companies advertising on Sunday’s telecast, Advertising Age says, include Toyota, Dannon, H&M, Anheuser-Busch and Bank of America.
For many viewers, the commercials are almost as big of a draw as the Super Bowl itself, says Duke Castiglione, a sports anchor for Fox station WNYW.
"My wife isn’t into football at all," Castiglione said, "but she wants to see the commercials. We always DVR the game and break down the commercials the next day."
Super Bowl XLVIII5:30 p.m. SundayKTBC, Fox 7