SBD/January 31, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

More Super Bowl Advertisers Looking To Expand Participation Beyond Broadcast

E*Trade will advertise on YouTube in days leading up to Super Bowl
Marketers who buy time during the Super Bowl now more than ever are "taking part in a multi-week buzz contest rather than a onetime showing of their ad during a football game," according to a cover story by Brian Steinberg of AD AGE. Anheuser-Busch is "trying to drum up pre-game interest around a Clydesdales-themed Super Bowl ad for Budweiser, starting with two 15-second 'to-be-continued' commercials that ran during the AFC and NFC championship games, amping up the tease with still shots of its three Bud Light Super Bowl ads on its Facebook page." Teleflora, "back again for its third round as a Super Bowl advertiser, has in the past used Facebook to spark conversations about its commercial." This year, it is "placing even more emphasis on the social-media aspect of the campaign." E*Trade "will show outtakes from its popular commercials on YouTube and advertise on YouTube during the days before the Bowl," while Volkswagen is "doing a 'YouTube 'takeover' the day after the game." The automaker also "found a wide swath of TV viewers going online to check out sports-news sites during the Super Bowl broadcast, so VW responded by doing a takeover of ESPN's mobile site during the game," featuring the company's Super Bowl ads (AD AGE, 1/31 issue). In Denver, Andy Vuong reports Mercedes-Benz, Kia and M&Ms "have already used Facebook and Twitter to tease their campaigns for the Super Bowl." Atlanta-based digital marketing agency AIS Media CEO Thomas Harpointer said, "I would be surprised if a minimum of 50 percent of the advertisers don't have a solid online social-media tie-in. It would be a terrible mistake if they didn't." Vuong notes while companies are "careful not to disclose what will actually air during the Super Bowl, they're clearly banking that viewers will be connected to the Internet during the game, whether via a smartphone, tablet or laptop" (DENVER POST, 1/31). Pittsburgh-based ad agency Marc USA Senior VP/Interactive Marketing Innovation Adam Kmiec: "It seems every company in the world wants their version of the social mojo" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 1/30).

PIZZA FOR THE PREGAME: USA TODAY reports Pizza Hut has sold its 30-second Super Bowl ad slot back to Fox and "will not advertise" during the Feb. 6 game telecast. Pizza Hut VP/Marketing Kurt Kane indicated that the chain instead "will focus its efforts mostly on pre-game advertising." The brand is "returning to its more traditional strategy of stacking its commercials before the game" (USA TODAY, 1/31). Meanwhile, ADWEEK's Brian Morrissey reported Groupon "will pay $2.3 million for a pre-game placement" during Fox' telecast. Groupon CEO Andrew Mason "pushed for agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky because he liked its 'Whopper Sacrifice' Facebook campaign." But sources said that Groupon "resisted Crispin's digital ideas ... wanting to make a splash in TV." Groupon "has been keeping its cards close to the vest about the ad, which will likely be quirky." Morrissey noted Groupon is "known for its lighthearted, sometimes obtuse descriptions of the businesses it partners with" (, 1/30).

: This morning's edition of ABC's "GMA" aired clips from some of the ads that will run in Sunday's Super Bowl, including Best Buy, Go Daddy, E*Trade, Skechers, Volkswagen, Pepsi, Doritos and Audi. ABC's Jon Berman reported, “When it comes to the big game next Sunday, the ad game, advertisers are pulling out all the stops." Berman said with Super Bowl ads costing $3M for a 30-second spot, the "ads better be eye-opening or eyebrow-raising. That's clearly the philosophy of Go Daddy." Deutsch, L.A., CEO Mike Sheldon: "It's still a huge deal to have an ad in the Super Bowl. It's a great medium from just a numbers standpoint: 100 million people all at one time, combined with all of those people wanting to seek out and watch the commercial, we find there's really nothing more effective" ("GMA," ABC, 1/31). Coca-Cola has purchased two 60-second spots during Fox' telecast, and top execs will "share details on Coke's advertising plans" today in a webcast (, 1/28). Meanwhile, rapper Eminem "has struck a deal for a $1 million-plus Super Bowl spot to appear as a Claymation character in a Lipton Brisk iced-tea commercial." The ad, "described by an insider as 'very funny,' will give viewers a glimpse into a day" in Eminem's life (N.Y. POST, 1/31).

NFL wil air "Play 60" spot during Fox'
pregame coverage of Super Bowl XLV
: The NFL has announced its slate of spots around Super Bowl XLV. During Fox' pregame coverage, the league will air a 30-second spot for its “NFL Play 60” anti-childhood obesity initiative. The NFL during the game will air two 10-second spots promoting its “Path to Primetime” slate of programming leading up to the ’11 NFL Draft on April 28. The league will also air a 30-second spot promoting NFL Media and a 60-second spot promoting the NFL brand. Following the game, will once again have a 30-second spot promoting gear for the Super Bowl champions. The NFLPlay60, “Path to Primetime” and spots were all created in-house, while the NFL media and brand spots were created by Grey, N.Y. (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

LIFE AFTER THE SUPER BOWL: In N.Y., Jennifer Preston notes PepsiCo "walked away from spending $20 million on television spots for Pepsi during last year's Super Bowl and plowed the money into" the Pepsi Refresh Project, a "monthly online contest for people to submit their ideas and compete for votes to win grants." Withdrawing from the Super Bowl "for the first time in 23 years and giving the money away for the Pepsi Refresh Project was considered a gamble by the beverage maker as it explored the potential of social media and cause-related marketing to make a difference in its business." But PepsiCo, "despite accusations that some winners used questionable voting tactics, says it was a huge success and plans to expand it beyond the United States this year." Preston notes for Pepsi's ad agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, L.A., the decision to "skip the Super Bowl ad last year and use the money for the Pepsi Refresh Project acknowledged the consumer shift toward social media and the need to reach the millennial generation with a project that allowed them to participate in a meaningful way." The company's Pepsi Max brand this year will "join its sibling brand, Doritos, in the Crash the Super Bowl contest" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/31).

: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Schechner & Steel report a "growing audience for professional football -- and a pair of storied teams" in the Steelers and Packers -- could give Super Bowl advertisers "slightly more bang for the nearly three million bucks they are shelling out for a 30-second spot." While strong ratings "could be a much-needed boon for News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting, which has seen its prime-time audience shrink 20% this season compared to last, it might mean more for the NFL." Fox "doesn't rake in any additional money from Super Bowl advertisers if the game's viewership exceeds expectations," but the league "can point to the rising audience as it begins to renegotiate TV deals, some of which expire after the 2013 season" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/31).
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