SBD/January 20, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

History Channel Making Super Bowl Ad Debut To Promote New Season Of "Swamp People"

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History Channel during NBC’s telecast of Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5 “will air a promo for the unscripted series ‘Swamp People,’ which returns for a third season” on Thursday, Feb. 9, according to Anthony Crupi of ADWEEK. Sources said that History “paid in the neighborhood $3.5 million” for the ad, “putting it in line with NBC’s going rate.” This will be the “first time History has ponied up for a national Super Bowl spot.” The network last year “purchased a local ad” in the N.Y. and L.A. markets to promote one of its shows. While in-house network promos “are a familiar presence,” third-party networks “rarely get a chance at making a Super bowl buy.” Still, NBCUniversal “owns a 15 percent stake in History parent company A&E Television Networks” (ADWEEK.com, 1/19).

THE DOG EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: ADWEEK's Tim Nudd reported Volkswagen is “taking no chances” with this year’s Super Bowl ad as it is "continuing the 'Star Wars' theme and adding another Super Bowl staple -- dogs! -- to the mix.” No one “must be feeling more pressure” than the automaker “given the intergalactic success of ‘The Force,’” their acclaimed spot from last year's game that has over 48 million views on Volkswagen’s YouTube channel. The teaser for this year, which first aired on ABC’s "The Middle" Wednesday, features a “canine chorus” barking out the "Imperial March." The company in a statement said, "This video is not part of the actual 60-second spot that will be aired during the game. The Bark Side teaser was created to hint toward some of the exciting elements and characters that will be in the Super Bowl spot" (ADWEEK.com, 1/19). In L.A., Meg James noted the teaser “has attracted more than 1 million views since going online Wednesday night.” Deutsch CEO Mike Sheldon, whose ad agency created both spots for Volkswagen, said, “It’s trending faster than ‘The Force’ did, and this isn’t even a Super Bowl ad” (LATIMES.com, 1/19). YAHOO SPORTS’ Chris Chase noted “none of this teaser will appear in the actual Super Bowl advertisement.” And judging by “early, positive reaction, that could be a mistake unless the ad agency has something even more special planned” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/19).

SEX KIND OF SELLS
: USA TODAY’s Bruce Horovitz in a front-page cover story writes sexy ads “are slinking back to the Super Bowl.” Go Daddy Founder & CEO Bob Parsons, whose company is known for its risque ads, said, “Sex sells on the Super Bowl.” But Horovitz asks, “Or does it?” Researchers at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have found that “spots with sexual imagery take a 10% hit in ‘likability’ vs. ads without racy images.” While some of the biggest Super Bowl advertisers “have spent millions on ads that exude sexual imagery, most viewers actually prefer to see ads with kids or animals.” But there are signs that “they, and society, have moved beyond the societal prudishness that followed Janet Jackson's 2004 Super Bowl halftime ‘wardrobe malfunction.’” In addition to Go Daddy's scheduled ads with NASCAR driver Danica Patrick and trainer Jillian Michaels, model Adriana Lima will “appear scantily clad in a Kia spot, and also in an ad for another Super Bowl advertiser that won't discuss it yet.” Online consumer voting “will determine if Doritos airs one with a guy whose wish is for three ‘hot, wild’ girls.” And, in a “nod to equal time for sexy images, clothier H&M will air a spot with soccer hunk David Beckham in his underwear” (USA TODAY, 1/20).

IT'S GOTTA BE THE SHOES: Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban will appear in Skechers' Super Bowl ad, and NBC's Jay Leno asked, “How does that come about? Do you go on auditions?” Cuban said, "I'm at the movie theater and this guy starts looking me up and down. ... It turns out he works for Skechers, noticed I was wearing Skechers and the next thing I know, I'm working on this commercial with a French beagle or something that was from the movie ‘Due Date’" ("The Tonight Show,” NBC, 1/19).

ALREADY LOOKING AHEAD TO '13
: CBS said that it has “already sold a few spots in next year's Super Bowl.” CBS Senior VP/NFL Sales Tony Taranto said, "When you're the next guy up, the conversations start as early as possible with those you know are interested in the game and those you want to be interested in the game.” He added, "We've done that. We have concluded business already for next year's game with some advertisers." CBS President of Network Sales Jo Ann Ross said that the net “will seek a price increase over this year's sales.” Ross: "We're not rolling back pricing in the Super Bowl” (ADAGE.com, 1/19).
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