SBD/February 2, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Popular Cell Phone Game "Angry Birds" To Be Worked Into Last-Minute SB Ad

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Twentieth Century Fox has bought a “last-minute spot during the Super Bowl" to promote the theatrical release of "Rio" that includes an "embedded code for the 3D toon's tie-in with Rovio's hit cellphone game ‘Angry Birds,’” according to Marc Graser of DAILY VARIETY. The 30-second ad will air during the fourth quarter of Fox’ broadcast Sunday. The ad buy is “surprising” considering Fox reportedly sold out of its Super Bowl inventory in October. Twentieth Century Fox said that it “purchased its ‘Rio’ spot last week.” The “code within the ‘Rio’ spot -- a first for a Super Bowl ad -- will direct viewers to a special level in ‘Angry Birds,’ which will offer gamers the chance to enter a sweepstakes to win a trip to the ‘Rio’ premiere March 22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.” The studio “had planned to sit out the Super Bowl again this year” (VARIETY.com, 2/1). Fox said that the spot “will be the first Super Bowl ad that requires viewers to pause the spot and watch frame-by-frame to capture an embedded code.” AD AGE’s Andrew Hampp noted other marketers are “adopting somewhat similar tactics” for their Super Bowl ads this year. Kia's 60-second spot “will include the answer to a question that consumers need to advance” in its "One Epic Contest" to win one of five ‘11 Optimas (ADAGE.com, 2/1).

HomeAway.com hoping test baby scene will
create a "Super Bowl-worthy" moment
ONE WAY TO GET NOTICED:
ADWEEK’s Tim Nudd reported HomeAway.com is “anchoring its upcoming 30-second Super Bowl spot around a baby that gets thrown forcefully into a glass wall, its face distorting horribly at impact and further disintegrating as it slides down the glass.” HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples said that the company is "just trying to get noticed.” Sharples: "We used the test baby scene to create a 'Super Bowl-worthy' moment that breaks through the clutter of so many ads." Nudd wrote, “Seriously, they figured this was the best way to promote vacation homes. … Whether or not they've created a Super Bowl-worthy moment for Sunday, they're currently in the lead for the WTF moment of the night” (ADWEEK.com, 2/1). Northwestern Univ.'s Kellogg School of Management marketing professor Tim Calkins said HomeAway is taking “quite a risk” with the ad. Calkins: “There is a good chance people will remember the smushed baby and miss the real point of the commercial. The baby could also offend some viewers, or at least leave them with a negative feeling about the brand” (MARKETING DAILY, 2/2 issue).

GET OVER IT: TV fitness trainer Jillian Michaels will appear in Go Daddy's Super Bowl ads, and she said, "For people who have a problem with it, honestly, get a life. There's so many things you can be worrying about. A Super Bowl spot is not one of them." Michaels will appear in three ads alongside Danica Patrick, and Michaels said the spots are "very respectful of me and Danica.” Michaels: “It's okay to be sexy. It's okay to have fun. It's okay to be racy." The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Bryan Alexander reported Michaels “refused to give details about the ads except to say that one in particular -- 'The Contract’ is meant to be played for supreme humor.” She added that even in the “raciest of the three ads – ‘I have more on in the Go Daddy spot than I do my own exercise DVDs’" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 2/1).

TAKING IT TO THE MAX: PepsiCo will air six Pepsi Max and Doritos fan-generated ads on Sunday as part of its "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, and Frito-Lay North America Senior VP Ann Mukherjee said she is "not at all" nervous about the public’s reaction to the spots. Mukherjee: “We have been doing this … as a Doritos brand for four years and now partnering with Pepsi Max, it’s just gotten even better. If you look at the quality of the ads, we couldn’t be more proud.” PepsiCo Americas Joint Ventures President Jill Beraud added, “When you see these commercials … you will be laughing, and it is great entertainment, great advertising for both Doritos and Pepsi Max” (Fox Business, 2/1).

FOX EXCLUSIVE: Fox Broadcasting President of Marketing & Communications Joe Earley noted that the network "could have as much as four minutes' worth of time for ads for its shows” within the Super Bowl broadcast. AD AGE’s Brian Steinberg noted four minutes “would actually fall far short of recent Super Bowl promo loads,” as last year’s game on CBS featured “eight minutes and 15 seconds of promo time for the network.” Fox will “use its time to draw attention” to "Glee," an episode of which will air after the Super Bowl ends, as well as other shows coming up during the week, such as "House" and "American Idol." New programs that will “get the spotlight” on Super Bowl Sunday include "The Chicago Code" and "Traffic Light." Fox also has tentative “plans to offer sneak previews of two programs widely anticipated” for the fall: "Terra Nova," the “would-be blockbuster series about a family that journeys back in time to the prehistoric era,” and "X Factor," the “new singing showcase” produced by former "American Idol" host Simon Cowell (ADAGE.com, 2/1).

CANADIAN AD SALES
: CTV yesterday confirmed that its ad inventory for Super Bowl XLV “has climbed above pre-recession levels.” Media buyers said that the rates CTV is charging for airtime this year “are at or slightly above last year’s rates.” In Toronto, Dana Flavelle notes Super Bowl airtime in Canada “costs around $100,000 for a 30-second spot.” Some advertisers, including Labatt Canada, said that they “plan to unveil brand new ads during the game." Labatt will run two spots promoting its Budweiser brand. Industry observers said that the Canadian ads “will most likely be overshadowed by their glitzier U.S. counterparts.” Flavelle notes U.S. ads “can’t be seen” in Canada, “at least not live on TV during the game” (TORONTO STAR, 2/2).

ALL IN FAVOR: HCD Research yesterday announced that it will conduct a national study among Super Bowl XLV viewers to rank the Super Bowl ads during the game. The company will host the study and report the final results on its mediacurves.com website the morning of Feb. 7. This marks the fifth consecutive year the company has run the study (HCD Research).
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