SBD/September 4, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Dannon Rejoins Super Bowl Ad Roster, Looking To Take Advantage Of Early Buzz

Actor John Stamos starred in the Oikos yogurt ad during Super Bowl XLVI
Dannon yesterday "announced its plans to advertise its Oikos Greek Yogurt brand in the game again following a one-year absence," according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. That brings the total to four the number of major companies which have "announced plans to advertise" during Fox' broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII with "a fifth on tap early next week." Dannon joins previously announced sponsors A-B, Intuit and GM, and "more advertisers are breathlessly awaiting to do the same." The reason for the "rush" is "in three letters: ROI." Horizon Media National TV Dir David Campanelli said, "It's a little surprising it hasn't been this early in the past." Fox is reportedly charging a record high average price of $4M per 30-second slot, and "when the air is that thin, advertisers are under increasing pressure to justify their investments with sizable returns that can be documented." Dannon Senior Dir of PR Michael Neuwirth said that "one big draw for Dannon announcing so early is 'to be part of' all the advertising reporting that goes on well before the game." The "evolving world of social media strategies is nudging some marketers to announce early so they can already start posting and interacting with consumers via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube" (USATODAY.com, 9/3). In N.Y., Claire Atkinson reports Dannon "hasn't yet decided on an ad agency." While major NFL sponsors and "perennial Super Bowl advertisers ... tend to make their presence known early, it's unusual for most advertisers to try to gather marketing buzz so far in advance" (N.Y. POST, 9/4).

ALL GREEK TO ME
: AD AGE's E.J. Schultz noted Dannon made its Super Bowl debut in '12 with its Oikos Greek spot featuring actor John Stamos, but the company "sat out last year's game because it wanted time to evaluate the long-term viability of its Oikos Greek brand." Dannon's '12 Super Bowl spot "made history as the first yogurt brand ever advertised during the game." The marketer used crowd-sourcing agency Poptent for its '12 Super Bowl ad with assistance from WPP's Y&R. Neuwirth said that Dannon is "still evaluating strategies and creative options" for '14. Neuwirth added, "Stamos could play a returning role, that is to be determined" (ADAGE.com, 9/3).

DRIVEN A FORD LATELY? FORBES.com's Dale Buss wrote "traditional logic about the Super Bowl would argue" that next year's game would be "the ideal occasion for Ford to end its long Super Bowl time-out and get back in the game" after seven years of not advertising during the event. Ford next year is "expected to introduce an update of its F-150 pickup truck ... as well as a new version of the classic Mustang." But Ford placing an ad "still might not happen," as Ford CMO Jim Farley's "avoidance of the Super Bowl has been related to more than just concerns about return on investment, and even more than the schedule of Ford product launches." He and his colleagues have been "trying to recast Ford as a transforming brand and company that no longer fit their traditional mold, and Super Bowl ads in part would only reinforce a legacy definition of Ford and reiterate a message that doesn’t really move the brand forward" (FORBES.com, 9/3).
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