Super Bowl Ads From Cash4Gold And GE: Where Are They Now?

Sure, Super Bowl ads are a great way to generate a lot of buzz for your company or product. But how do you fare in the long term? Consumer Reports Home took a look at two stars of Super Ad Bowl 2009: Cash4Gold and General Electric.

Here at Consumerist, we can tell you a lot about Cash4Gold. But the smart grid technology advertised by GE has fared a lot better…due to federal stimulus money.

About $4.5 billion in federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is being doled out by the U.S. Department of Energy to help utilities turn the existing power grid into a smart network. This modernization is designed to enable two-way communication between utilities and consumers.provide safer, more-efficient management of the electric grid, and save you money.

One might call it Cash4Current. No?

A tale of two Super Bowl ads: GE’s smart grid and Cash4Gold

Consumerist’s Super Bowl Ad Liveblog
Cash4Gold’s Superbowl Ad Targets History Buffs With Mc Hammer And Ed Mcmahon


Edit Your Comment

  1. xenth says:

    As retarded as the stimulus package is, at least a smarter power grid is useful. Over by me its being used to tear up and repave a road that was paved just 6 months ago.

    • atomw7 says:

      @xenth: Same here, our road isn’t a main street, but it’s 4 miles long. The main roads that are just as long that have pot holes and bumps didn’t get paved.

      • rorschachex says:

        @atomw7: You’re lucky that it’s just one road. Here in NYC they decided to fix EVERYTHING at the same friggen time. Not to mention that the MTA is fixing every friggen subway line at the same time as well. Weekends here suck.

    • TheOrtega says:

      @xenth: Same here in Milwaukee, they started paving stuff that didn’t need it for no reason. There are tons of spots else where that need it badly, not to mention it’s taking FOREVER.

    • xrmb says:

      @xenth: guess what, same road thing in Virgina, they repave things that are easy and quick to repave, not things that need it.

    • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

      @xenth: oh, the “main road” just outside the subdivision got sidewalks, curbs, 2 crosswalks, and partially repaved.
      although, it started out with about 3/4 of a mile of sidewalks, the city just connected all the fragments, and made it look nice.

    • beretta3000 says:

      @xenth: Blame the rules of stimulus. To receive money for roads, it has to be 60-days from being “shovel-ready”, i.e. ready to build.

      There are very very few major road construction projects out there that are “shovel-ready” but aren’t funded. If a major road widening is 60 days from construction, it has all it’s funding and it’s gearing up to start.

      The only way to get stimulus money for roads is to throw together quick projects that require very little engineering and no land purchases. In other words, repaving projects.

  2. atomw7 says:

    Save us money? Not with the c(r)ap and trade scam. >:(

  3. Joeb5 says:

    smarts girds are need to make power production at home work well with the rest of the gird.

  4. H3ion says:

    As long as they don’t bring back that damned sock puppet, I don’t care what they advertise at the Super Bowl. Go-Daddy anyone?

  5. Sudonum says:

    Cash for Current??? You mean I can trade in my old unused electrons for cash!!!!

    • XTC46 says:

      @Sudonum: No, but you’ll be able to get credit for any power you generate but dont use as long as its getting pumped back into the grid.

  6. MaxSmart32 says:

    The post honestly makes no sense at all. Or am I just stupid? Or both?

  7. flipnut says:

    I hope another company besides GE is developing smart grid technology and gets the government money. We’ll be waiting forever while GE has meetings, and six sigmas this into the ground. I always thought highly of GE until I became a contractor for them, they can’t fix a bowl of Raman noodles without 5 teams, 2 black belts, 10 green belts, and 50 meetings.

    • Rachacha says:

      @flipnut: The U.S. Department of Commerce/National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working on the development of standards. With the efficiency of the US Government, that should get things movin…never mind, we’ll never see it.

    • TVarmy says:

      @flipnut: I believe Google is working with GE on the smart grid. Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, though. Do you really want to need an invite to use Google Current [beta]?

  8. nstonep says:

    GE Money is a decent credit card baron. They don’t bother me at all.

  9. silver-bolt says:

    I liked that commercial. It was quite whimsical.

  10. TVarmy says:

    @xenth: Agreed. A smart grid gives utilities companies more bang for their buck when they expand operations, which we’ll need for our growing population, electric cars, and the growing demand for renewable energy to fight global warming.

    I particularly like a new scheme to link together the three major US grids (Texas, Eastern and Western) so that we can more easily balance out the load across them. After all, if there’s demand to the west, but the wind is blowing in the east, why not send the power where the demand is? The plan is to build a 25 mile long triangle of three substations in New Mexico linked by superconductors that carry 5 GW of power (think 3-5 nuclear power plans worth of electricity). The kicker? The stated budget is only $1 billion dollars. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s an optimistic number, but the benefit is so great to the environment and economy for such a relatively small amount of money. The governor is all for it, and they’re just waiting for the funding.


  11. Dondegroovily says:

    @TheOrtega: A bad road is really expensive to repair. So the key to not having every road be bad and bankrupting the state to pay for that is to keep the good roads good so they don’t become bad roads.

  12. OrlandoDude says:

    Ah yes. GE. The parent company of NBC. No wonder they treat the current administration with kid gloves. Wouldn’t want to jeopardize that stimulus money coming their way, would they?

  13. Villnius says:

    The “Smart Grid” technology isn’t as great as advertised.

    If you’ve got a windmill and/or solar panels attached to your house, it’s good. If you generate more than you use, then that extra power feeds back into the grid, and you actually see the meter go backwards, and maybe even get a cheque at the end of the month instead of a bill. With the smart meter, you may even be able to get time of day rate bonuses (ie. higher rates at peak hours) — if the utility offers it.

    However, the thing is, most of us DON’T have power generation capability built into our houses. For the rest of us, smart meters can double or triple your power bill. Some of our neighbors have already seen it after the power company made them mandatory. It’s because of those time of day rates. During peak (11am-5pm) it’s 3x their lowest rate. During Semi-peak hours (5:01pm-1:00am) it’s 2x their lowest rate. During off-peak hours (1:01am-10:59am) you get their lowest rate. Thing is, under the old threshold (ie. use more than a set limit and get charged more) or single rate systems, that lowest rate was what most people paid.

    • Conformist138 says:

      that would suck. i work nights, my main waking hours at home (when power would be used) is 8am-3pm. All double and triple. Yay for me, I’d get to pay more. Wonder if the boss would give me a cost-of-living raise… Doubt it, bastards haven’t offered any kind of raise of anyone in the 2+ years I’ve been here. *sigh*

  14. beretta3000 says:

    I’m in the electric utility biz and can say that Smart Grid is more then just the smart meters. It’s about remotely operated switches, monitoring equipment, and efficiency in general. You would not believe the amount of power wasted because our power grid is not optimized.

    Smart meters play a part, but for my utility, it’s more about using what we have more efficiently then forcing our customers to become more efficient. GE is a major player, but there are a lot more out there then them.

  15. kwilliams312 says:

    I agree with beretta3000, I worked for a power company (municipal, non-profit) and we’re implementing SmartGrid technology. The implications are awesome. Just think, we can better understand our customer’s power needs in near-realtime; instead of on a monthly meter-read basis.

    > Thing is, under the old threshold (ie. use more than a set limit and get charged more) or single rate systems, that lowest rate was what most people paid.

    Think of how much energy costs to the power company (they don’t generate it all, the trade/buy it). During peak times its more expensive; thus you’re getting charged more appropriately.