TechCrunch | Tech Bowl: Best Buy spotlights mobile innovators, founders in Super Bowl spot

February 5, 2012

TechCrunch — February 5, 2012 | Rip Empson

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Every year, Best Buy runs a big Super Bowl spot, and traditionally they go the route of hiring a big celebrity to hawk their brand message. Last year, it was “the Biebs” and Ozzy Osbourne. This year, Best Buy has opted for something a bit different, choosing to highlight innovators and give more than a nod to geeks in its tech-focused Super Bowl ad.

Drew Panayiotou, Best Buy’s U.S. marketing chief, told Bloomberg that the company had initially planned to continue down the celebrity track, but the outpouring of affection for Steve Jobs after the Apple CEO passed away was strong evidence that “Silicon Valley inventors are today’s stars.”

So, this year’s Super Bowl ad opens with Philippe Kahn, the current CEO of Fullpower Technologies and the guy credited with inventing the camera phone, next there’s author, inventor, and futurist Ray Kurzweil, who shows himself the father of text-to-speech synthesis. The ad also features the key characters behind Instagram, like Kevin Systrom, Square, Shazam, and Words With Friends. [...]