You can't go home again.
You're right, Thomas Wolfe. You can't. Similarly, you can't resurect a great campaign and expect it to have the impact it did when it first aired.
Everyone remembers (and, would wager, could sing) the old HP steak sauce ad with the lounge-singing cow in a field:
Can you imagine...
How much I love youuuu
You know the only one for me, YEAH!
Could ever be YOU!
My arms won't free you and my heart won't...
The campaign was brilliant, because it was memorable (it aired in the 1994, apparently, so I was no more than 14), and it tied in with HPs slogan "Makes Beef Sing."
However, some people can't let the past stay in the past, so now we have this:
A watered-down, lame version of this spot, which is a shadow of its former self. Those who didn't already know this spot will most likely not remember this one. The cow sings something different in this version, but I'll be damned if I can remember it.
I can only imagine how the creative meeting for this went:
"Hey... you got any good ideas?"
"Not really. You?"
"No... but remember that great one from the 10 years ago? Let's do that."
Jim Carrey said in his stand up act once: "You can always tell how pathetic someone is by how far back they have to reach for glory." This commerical is the media equivalent of the old man in the bar talking about how fast he used to run in highschool.
We ran into the same thing a couple of years ago with the War Amps commercial where they brought back Astar. The difference was, they redid the commercial shot for shot in a computer animated format... and it was lame. Just as it would be lame if I recreated the Mona Lisa. It might look identical, but it wouldn't mean nearly as much as the original.
I'm not saying that you can't use the past for inspiration, but keep things fresh. Don't try to milk success for more than it's worth, or you'll just end up ruining the memory of the success you're copying. This was a spot that deserved a decent burial.