SBD/February 1, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Around Half Of Super Bowl Ads Available To View Prior To NBC's Telecast Sunday

Roughly half of the spots slated to run in NBC’s telecast of Super Bowl XLVI “were already available on the Web Wednesday to be shared, excerpted, covered, discussed and even reviewed,” according to Steve Johnson of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Experts said that this is the “highest proportion yet of early unveilings,” meaning viewers who have sought out ads in advance “could experience deja vu during the game itself.” Volkswagen of America GM of Brand Marketing Brian Thomas, whose company released an extended version of its ad today, said, "The Super Bowl is almost a three-week PR and social media campaign, and you have to think of it that way." Johnson notes for the ads whose exact content is “being held back until the game, many will have, at minimum, been ‘teased,’ or previewed, often with productions nearly as elaborate as the ads themselves.” Volkswagen released a teaser ad called “The Bark Side,” and Johnson said, "To not release the spot, frankly, I think, is a little archaic.” Marketing and communications company Leo Burnett Chicago Chief Innovation Officer Mark Renshaw said, "To me, if I was going to release something (ahead of time) to a community of fans, I wouldn't be releasing a film. I'd release a setup to it. On the day you would connect the dots" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/1). Social media ad agency Big Fuel Managing Partner & COO Mike McGraw said, "There is less and less of an argument for unveiling your spot in the Super Bowl for the first time, and I'd be surprised if everybody doesn't pre-release" next year (NEWSDAY, 2/1). Pepsi Beverages CMO Simon Lowden said, “One of the secrets this year is going to be to recognize it is not just about the traditional ad meter. The social space is really taking over so we’re really extending out experience" (“Squawk on the Street,” CNBC, 1/31). Click here for an entire list of Super Bowl XLVI commercials.

ALIEN INVASION: AD AGE’s Michael Learmonth reports Hulu returns to the Super Bowl "with one pregame commercial and one during the game” starring actor Will Arnett. The new ad “hits some of the same notes the last campaign did, when Alec Baldwin first introduced Hulu's plot to destroy the world by melting human brains.” Now the premise is that the whole TV industry "is populated by aliens in disguise using TV to turn human brains into 'mushymush,'" with Hulu Plus as its secret weapon. The spot was created with agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky (ADAGE.com, 1/31). Hulu is “still unsure when the commercial will run” (NYTIMES.com, 1/31).

A DOWNY AND A SMILE: ADWEEK’s Andrew McMains reported P&G’s Downy Unstopables ad that airs during NBC's pregame show between 5:30-6:00pm ET is a remake of the infamous Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola spot that aired during Super Bowl XIV in '80. Greene stars in the new spot, but the “kid” is now played by comic actress Amy Sedaris. In the spot, Sedaris “hands Greene a bottle of Unstopables, a fabric freshener that P&G introduced last year,” rather than a Coke like the original ad. Ad agency Grey Group “needed permission from Coke to remake a memorable part of its advertising history.” The agency initially “sought to use the original footage and insert Sedaris digitally.” But Grey, N.Y., Chief Creative Officer & President Tor Myhren said that Coke “rejected that idea but said it was OK for Grey to reshoot the story line” (ADWEEK.com, 1/31).

GIVING IT THEIR BEST SHOT: In N.Y., Kate Taylor reports N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will appear in a 30-second regional ad that features them “ribbing each other as they cheer for their respective teams and cities.” They then “turn to the purpose of their spot, declaring that one thing they agree on is the need for stricter federal gun control laws.” The spot was shot in N.Y. yesterday. The ad is “being paid for by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, to which Mr. Bloomberg is a contributor” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/1).
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