SBD/Issue 76/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

CBS Has Sold 95% Of Available Ad Slots For Super Bowl XLIV

CBS President of Network Sales Jo Ann Ross said that CBS "has sold 95% of its 62 ad slots" for the February 7 broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV, according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. CBS Sports Exec VP/Sales & Marketing John Bogusz said that the first half of the game is "sold out." The news comes "despite the fact that the nation still is climbing out of the economic downturn and that two of the longest-running Super Bowl advertisers -- Pepsi-Cola and General Motors -- have said they'll pass on this year's game." Advertisers said that prices "have ranged from a few 30-second slots as low as" $2M to some at up to $3M. The first quarter "costs most, the fourth quarter, least." Most Super Bowl ad "veterans are back, including Anheuser-Busch and Coca-Cola, along with four foreign automakers and a to-be-announced Detroit brand." Also, Doritos and CareerBuilder are "sponsoring consumer-made ad contests" for the game. Doritos Dir of Marketing Rudy Wilson said that entries for the company's contest "doubled from last year to 4,000." And there are entries "from two celebrities: former football star Ed 'Too Tall' Jones and rapper Flavor Flav" (USA TODAY, 1/4). In L.A., Meg James notes "given the huge reach, many advertisers are confident that the game will reign supreme." Sources indicated that CBS has been charging $2.5-3M per spot, "roughly the same rates as last year's" game. American Honda Senior Manager for National Advertising Tom Peyton, whose company bought a 30-second spot, said, "There is nothing else like it in the world of television. If you have the right product, and the right message, the Super Bowl is a terrific environment to be in." Bogusz noted the network's pregame show is "well sold, but we do have inventory that is still available." Meanwhile, James writes PepsiCo's "decision to sit out the Super Bowl, once deemed a can't-miss showcase for major advertisers, underscores how the Internet is reshaping marketing by providing companies less expensive ways to convey their messages to consumers who might be likely to buy their products" (L.A. TIMES, 1/4).

VIVA LAS VEGAS: In Las Vegas, Richard Velotta reported the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA) will meet later this month with its ad agency, R&R Partners, to determine if the city's "What happens here, stays here" ads "can be aired during the Super Bowl." Other tourism companies said that they are "working to capitalize" on the NFL’s "modified ad policy that would lift a ban that prevented cities with legalized gambling to run TV spots during" the postseason. The new rule "allows Las Vegas to advertise, but it still prohibits ads featuring specific hotels and casinos or any gambling references or imagery." Although some of the Las Vegas ads are "set in resorts, others don't have any gambling or individual property reference." Meanwhile, travel Web site "plans to advertise during the playoffs and possibly the Super Bowl." The ads "don't show casinos or gambling images" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 1/1).

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