SBD/January 23, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Super Bowl Ads: To Release Early Or Not To Release Early, That Is The Question

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The big debate surrounding this year's Super Bowl is “should advertisers release their commercials early,” according to Meg James of the L.A. TIMES. During the last two years, a “growing number of Super Bowl advertisers have unveiled their spots several days before the big game to build excitement on the Internet.” Early releases and in “some cases minute-long viral videos designed to tease to a Super Bowl commercial are strategic ploys to create an instant social media fan base.” But brand strategist Adam Hanft said, "Now there is a feeling that you get more bang for your buck if you hold the commercial back." Advertisers are “eager to get the biggest bounce possible from their sizable investments,” but they are “divided on whether to release their spots early.” Anheuser-Busch VP/Marketing Paul Chibe said, "We have been watching that debate closely. This year there are some ads that we are going to hold back and a few that we are releasing early." James noted Paramount Farms is preparing its first Super Bowl ad for its Wonderful Pistachios brand, featuring South Korean rapper Psy. The company “hopes its ad will go viral -- during the game.” Paramount Farms VP/Marketing Marc Seguin: "What's a better 'big reveal' than unveiling your commercial before 100 million people who are viewing it all at once?" But Deutsch, L.A., CEO Mike Sheldon “has a different view.” His ad agency “created much excitement" last year for Volkswagen's ‘Star Wars’-themed commercial by releasing a minute-long teaser "a couple of weeks before the game.” Sheldon said, "You'd be crazy not to release early. There is so much excitement and attention paid to the Super Bowl prior to the game" (L.A. TIMES, 1/22).

GO YOUR OWN WAY: USA TODAY’s Laura Petrecca notes Coca-Cola and Audi both will employ a “choose your own ad-venture” approach this year. Coca-Cola yesterday unveiled its plans, and Audi tomorrow at midnight ET will “release three versions of its Big Game commercial on its YouTube channel.” It will “start out with a young man who heads to the prom dateless, but confident, since he’s driving his father’s new 2013 Audi S6 high-performance sport sedan.” Once at school, he “brazenly takes the principal’s parking spot.” At the dance, he “boldly kisses the prom queen and is confronted by the prom king.” What happens next is “up to consumers.” After the three versions are posted, viewers “will have 24 hours to vote on one of the three possible endings.” The final ad will “appear on Audi’s YouTube channel this Saturday, as well as during the game on CBS” (USA TODAY, 1/23).

DETAILS COMING OUT
: The AP’s Mae Anderson reported Best Buy has enlisted actress Amy Poehler "to get its brand message across in a humor-focused spot.” The company's 30-second ad, which will run in the first quarter, will “convey a branding message and comes as the electronics retailer works on a turnaround plan to combat tough competition from online retailers and discounters.” The spot will be “supported by a social media component, and a second ad will air after the game detailing several special offers” (AP, 1/22). AD WEEK’s Andrew McMains notes music “plays a starring role" in Hyundai's ads this year.” A spot prior to the start of the game will feature an “original song and cameo from an established indie band," while a spot slotted for the first quarter uses Quiet Riot's "Bang Your Head" to "set the scene for a kids' football showdown.” Hyundai will run a total of “five ads on the big day -- a 60-second and two 30-second spots in the half-hour leading up to kickoff and two 30-second spots during the game” (ADWEEK.com, 1/23).

SHIRT & SHOES REQUIRED: AD WEEK’s Tim Nudd noted the teaser for Gildan’s debut Super Bowl ads “features a scruffy young man trying to make a graceful exit after waking up in a stranger's bedroom after a night of debauchery.” As the man makes “his getaway without waking up the girl, he realizes he's left behind his favorite T-shirt.” He “weighs the pros and cons of going back to get it.” The spot ends with the line: "It's about time you had a favorite T-shirt" (ADWEEK.com, 1/21). MARKETING DAILY’s Carrie Cummings noted Gildan “enlisted advertising agency DeVito/Verdi to come up with the 30-second spot” in an effort to “debut on the national stage as a major contender for Hanes and Fruit of the Loom.” Gildan Branded Apparel VP/Marketing & Merchandising Rob Packard said, “We want our message to be heard, and the Super Bowl provides us an opportunity to shout it from the largest mountaintop” (MEDIAPOST.com, 1/22).

UPTON GIRL: AD WEEK’s Nudd noted Mercedes-Benz on Saturday released its official 40-second teaser for its Super Bowl ad, with “no sign” of model Kate Upton, though she will "star in the finished spot, created by Merkley + Partners and director Dante Ariola.” The teaser “shows a mysterious wind blowing into an old New Orleans cafe, which causes a jukebox to fire up” and begin playing the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil." Mercedes released a second teaser on Monday with Upton, but she "mostly stands by -- in a small black tank top and jean shorts -- while some guys in football jerseys wash the all-new Mercedes-Benz CLA.” The ad is "expected to air in the fourth quarter of the game” (ADWEEK.com, 1/22). ABC’s Linsey Davis noted the preview "as far as we can tell is a slow-motion car wash of sorts that seems to focus more on model Kate Upton's ‘Daisy Dukes’ and tank top than anything else." While the ad is for Mercedes’ new model, “many might argue” Upton is the “real star of the ad” ("GMA," ABC, 1/23). 

MORE TEASERS: Skechers has a spot “scheduled to air during the two-minute warning before halftime,” and a recent teaser shows a "man in Skechers GOrun 2 shoes chasing a cheetah" (ADWEEK.com, 1/20). Cars.com for its Super Bowl ad released print, digital and social teasers that pose the question "why drama?" The spot will air during the first quarter and will be created by mcgarrybowen, Chicago (Cars.com).

PASSING ON THIS YEAR: CareerBuilder VP/Corporate Communications Jennifer Grasz said that the company is “taking a break from the game.” AD AGE’s Brian Steinberg noted the company has been “a member of the Super Bowl ad roster since 2005 and has used chimpanzee-themed commercials to make its mark.” Grasz said, "The Super Bowl has been a good investment for us over the years. We decided to pursue other marketing opportunities this year." She said returning to future games is "definitely a consideration" (ADAGE.com, 1/22). Meanwhile, in Nashville, G. Chambers Williams III noted Bridgestone has “abandoned its sponsorship of the Super Bowl halftime show for 2013, turning it over to Pepsi, and also has chosen not to advertise at all during the big game.” Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations VP/Consumer Marketing Phil Pacsi: "After the Super Bowl last year, we began to re-evaluate our relationship with the NFL. ... We had a great run with that and achieved our goals of getting Bridgestone recognized” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 1/20). 
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