SBD/February 3, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Marketers Look To Super Bowl Pregame With In-Game Inventory Sold

Kraft Foods calls on Guy Fieri as part of pregame activation for its Ritz brand
With ad time during Fox' coverage of Super Bowl XLV "sold out, the pre-game festivities are taking on some of the Big Game's usual luster," according to Brian Steinberg of AD AGE. Chevrolet, Ford, Pizza Hut, Ritz crackers and E*Trade are "among the marketers using the early hoopla to supplement their Super Bowl perches or participate in the Super Bowl without actually buying" an ad during the game broadcast, where 30-second spots sold for about $3M. The "hours of lead-in this year look to be filled with ads and surprising promotions from a number of big spenders." Kraft Foods will use Food Network personality Guy Fieri in "multiple program segments" for its Ritz brand, highlighted by an hour of coverage before the Packers-Steelers game that will be known as "The Ritz Cracker Pre-Game Show." Also, Ford is sponsoring the 6:00pm ET hour ahead of kickoff, scheduled for approximately 6:29pm. In addition, E*Trade's famous "baby is expected to show up and chat with the on-air team from Fox's Sunday football telecasts, as it did during the playoffs" (ADAGE.com, 2/2). Meanwhile, AD AGE's Parekh & Steinberg reported Groupon has "secured a single spot in Fox's broadcast of Super Bowl XLV this weekend -- an unexpected turn of events because the network sold out its ad inventory around the end of October." The online company had been "planning on only pre-game and post-game commercials," but sources said that it was "able to seize on a lucky opportunity." An advertiser that had "purchased time during the game decided to pull out in the past couple of weeks, so Fox then re-sold the time to Groupon" (ADAGE.com, 2/2).

IT'S GO TIME: In L.A., Salvador Rodriguez reports Go Daddy "will be promoting the Web domain extension .co" in its Super Bowl ads. Go Daddy "hopes the new commercials will do for .co what its first commercial did for the company's growth." Since it first began airing "sexually suggestive Super Bowl commercials in 2005, Go Daddy's share of the market for registering Internet addresses has climbed to 50% from 16%." Borrell Associates analyst Peter Conti said that Go Daddy is "hoping that the new Super Bowl commercials will lead to a second rush of domain purchases." Rodriguez notes until last year, the .co extension was "designated for the country of Colombia." But because of a "dispute over rights, .co became available to the general public," and Go Daddy "subsequently became one of 10 companies worldwide licensed to sell Web addresses with the .co extension" (L.A. TIMES, 2/3). Meanwhile, Go Daddy has indicated that it will "introduce a new" female endorser during the game who will be the "GoDaddy.co Girl." Driver Danica Patrick and TV fitness trainer Jillian Michaels also will appear in the company's Super Bowl advertising (MEDIAPOST.com, 2/2). Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons discussed the company's Super Bowl ad plans on Fox Business last night, where host David Asman asked of the new spokesperson, "Is she as hot as Danica Patrick?" Parsons: "In her own right, she's smoking hot" (Fox Business, 2/2).

SO HERE'S THE PLAN: Hyundai yesterday unveiled plans for its two Super Bowl ads, with a first quarter spot titled "Hypnotized" and a third quarter commercial called "Deprogramming." Both promote Hyundai's '11 Elantra. "Hypnotized" features everyday driving imagery interlaced with placement of cards asking, "Have we been hypnotized to believe compact cars are good enough?" Then, the third quarter spot features a voiceover that says, "Compact cars can be more" (Hyundai). Meanwhile, Audi yesterday revealed that musician Kenny G will make an appearance in the brand's 60-second Super Bowl spot, set to air during the first in-game ad break. The spot will feature a prison escape scene that culminates with a cameo by Kenny G as the riot suppressor (Audi).

IS IT WORTH IT? The AP's Ryan Nakashima wonders if paying $3M for a 30-second Super Bowl spot is "worth it for companies." Go Daddy Founder Bob Parsons said, "It's not a bet, if you know the outcome." Since first airing a Super Bowl spot six years ago, Go Daddy has "gone from single digits to nearly 50 percent of market share in domain-name registry." Similarly, new business for HomeAway.com after last year's Super Bowl debut "allowed the site to recoup" 60-70% of the cost. Nakashima noted CareerBuilder's ads "helped the job-listing site leapfrog rival Monster after its first Super Bowl" in '05 (AP, 2/2).

LET'S TALK ABOUT IT: Join SportsBusiness Daily on Twitter this Sunday during Super Bowl XLV for a virtual roundtable discussion with top advertising and branding executives. Follow the dedicated hashtag (#SBDSB) to read live responses to all the Super Bowl ads from Horizon Media Senior VP & Dir of Research Brad Adgate, former Kodak CMO Jeffrey Hayzlett, Octagon First Call Dir of Talent Relations Michael Jacobson, Deep Alliance Marketing President Dave Paro and Momentum Worldwide Chair & CEO Chris Weil.
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