SBD/January 28, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • Coca-Cola Leaps Into Action With Super Bowl Ad; VW Channels "It's A Wonderful Life"

    Coca-Cola yesterday announced it will have two 60-second ads during Super Bowl XLVIII, with one titled "Going All the Way" that will "celebrate underdogs," according to Leon Stafford of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. The spot features a kid who "runs a touchdown after a fumble on a football field" in suburban Green Bay. Instead of "stopping under the goal posts for a celebratory dance ... he continues running all the way to Lambeau Field." Once there he "attempts a 'Lambeau Leap' ... before falling to the ground in happiness." A Lambeau groundskeeper "extends a hearty congratulations with a 'Hey kid, here' as he hands him a Coke." The spot will air during the "second half of the game." Coca-Cola North America Brands President Katie Bayne said that information for the second ad is "being held back as a surprise" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 1/28). AD AGE's E.J. Schultz noted the "Going All the Way" ad was created by Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, directed by Jake Scott and produced by RSA, with House of Pain's "Jump Around" as the soundtrack. Most of the people in the effort "are Green Bay-area residents." Meanwhile, Coca-Cola's other spot "will run in the second quarter" (ADAGE.com, 1/27).

    ON A WING & A PRAYER: USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz writes Volkswagen with its Super Bowl ad is "once again nostalgically reaching back into the movie theme bucket." The 60-second ad is "loosely linked" with the Jimmy Stewart film "It's a Wonderful Life." The automaker "reinvents" a classic line from the movie with a father telling his daughter, "Every time a VW reaches 100,000 miles, an engineer gets his wings." One engineer in the ad gets his wings "while testing a car in a wind tunnel -- and is blown away," while another "gets his riding in an elevator and is slapped in the face after one of his new wings pats a female rider on her backside." One worker "gets his in the men's room" (USA TODAY, 1/28).

    COMEDY CENTRAL: ADWEEK's David Griner noted the Oikos Greek yogurt ad starring "Full House" stars John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier "barely even registers as a punch line." The ad "largely plays out the same" as '12 Oikos Super Bowl spot, which "focused on Stamos romantically sharing a yogurt with a ladyfriend" (ADWEEK.com, 1/26). Meanwhile, ADWEEK's Tim Nudd noted in the Hyundai ad starring actor Johnny Galecki, an "attractive woman pulls up next to" Galecki, and they are "both driving 2014 Hyundai Elantras." Galecki with an awkward smile says, "Nice ride." The woman replies, "Nice try," before leaving. He "trails her, eventually catching up, and humorously tries out other lines, with extremely limited success." After another "amusing celebrity cameo, the spot ends with a visual that's comically over the top" (ADWEEK.com, 1/27).

    PICKING YOUR SPOTS: AD AGE's McCarthy & Poggi reported Ford will debut an ad featuring actor James Franco "after the coin toss but before the kickoff" in a "calculated risk" by the company. Buying the pregame spot "saves money" for Ford. MediaCom Chief Client Officer Adam Komack estimated that 30-second ads "between the coin toss and kickoff" cost $3-3.5M instead of the reported $4M during the game. But Ford "could be accused of cheaping out -- and avoiding a mano-a-mano ad contest" with rivals GM and Chrysler. Ford "declined to comment on which models" will be promoted in the ad (ADAGE.com, 1/27). AD AGE's Jeanine Poggi noted MetLife also has "opted to buy more modestly-priced time for a 30-second ad and a 15-second version to run in the pre-game and pre-game kick-off." The ad, titled "Anthem," features Peanuts character Schroeder "playing the National Anthem in the middle of MetLife Stadium with the Peanuts crew." MetLife "skipped last year's Super Bowl after buying into the game for the first time" in '12 (ADAGE.com, 1/27).

    LATE NIGHT SPECIAL: In Cincinnati, Alexander Coolidge reports Procter & Gamble is "expanding its Old Spice brand into men's hair care and will advertise the move" following Sunday's game with two ads. P&G "has not disclosed if it will advertise during the game" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/28). Meanwhile, Esurance will air a 30-second spot immediately after the Super Bowl, the first time the company has purchased national advertising around the game (Esurance).

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  • Time To Shine: AT&T Set To Debut Sochi Ads Focusing On "Less-Heralded" Athletes

    AT&T is "focusing on the less-heralded athletes" of the Sochi Games in the "It's Our Time" campaign, which debuts its first spot on Monday during NBC's "Today," according to Beth Snyder Bulik of AD AGE. The spot features skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace "lifting weights in her home basement, feeding her kids, watching them play soccer, and then later saying good-night via video before she jumps onto her sled for a late-night training run." BBDO, N.Y., created the campaign. AT&T VP/Brand Management & Advertising Rudy Wilson said, "These aren't made-up stories, these are real stories about sacrifice and determination and how they made it." BBDO Chair & Chief Creative Officer David Lubars said, "These are the less-famous athletes who do what they have to do in real life, but also train hard. They're athletes trying to make their mark." Other athletes who will be "featured in the four TV spots" include alpine snowboarder Justin Reider, short-track speed skater Alyson Dudek and Paralympic alpine skier Heath Calhoun. In each, "some type of AT&T-enabled communications plays a support role" (ADAGE.com, 1/28).

    SOCIAL ISSUES? In N.Y., Stuart Elliott reports Coca-Cola, McDonald's and other big advertisers for the past week have been "having to fend off gay rights activists who have hijacked their Olympic promotions on social media." The "tug of war involving McDonald’s began Jan. 21 when the company introduced on its Twitter feed a hashtag, #CheersToSochi." Activists who have been protesting a Russia law against homosexual propaganda "filled Twitter with posts that used the hashtag for their own purposes." The "hijacking then spread to other sponsors of the Winter Games, most notably Coca-Cola" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/28).

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  • Puma, Arsenal Ink Five-Year Kit Deal As Company Looks To Restablish Itself In Sports

    Arsenal joins sprinter Usain Bolt and golfer Rickie Fowler as Puma endorsers

    EPL club Arsenal “secured its biggest ever commercial deal by agreeing to a five-year kit agreement” with Puma, according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources said that it was “worth slightly more” than the contract extension signed in ‘12 with Emirates airline for the club's shirt sponsorship and stadium naming-rights deal. Puma will replace Nike as Arsenal’s kit supplier beginning in July. A source said that Arsenal’s decision to go with Puma “may have been influenced by the Nike renegotiations” with EPL club Manchester United and “worries about being overshadowed by that proposed deal” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 1/28). REUTERS' Keith Weir noted the agreement "shows Puma's determination to re-establish itself as a core sports brand" under new CEO Bjoern Gulden after moving more into lifestyle and fashion (REUTERS, 1/27). Gulden said, “Arsenal have been a key strategic target for Puma for a number of years now. Arsenal represents a major commercial and marketing opportunity to reinforce Puma’s credibility as a global sports brand, and we have full confidence the plans in place to activate this partnership will have a significant global impact" (MARKETINGWEEK.co.uk, 1/27). The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Kathy Gordon noted Arsenal joins Gold Medal-winning Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and golfer Rickie Fowler in Puma's “stable of high-profile sports sponsorships.” The company's “renewed focus on performance sports is an attempt to halt a slide in sales and profit after years of concentrating on lifestyle clothing.” Puma hired advertising firm JWT to “head its relaunch.” Puma plans to “start a consumer-focused marketing effort in August under the tagline ‘Forever Faster’" (WSJ.com, 1/27).

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  • Brooks To Introduce Transcend Shoe, Building Off "Run Happy" Campaign

    Brooks' campaign includes online ads, events, a PR effort and social media content

    Brooks Sports on Saturday will debut a campaign to introduce the Transcend line of footwear "in the vein of the lighthearted" slogan "Run happy" that Brooks has been using since '10, according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. Brooks with Transcend "adds to the mix imagery that is, literally and figuratively, out of this world." The Brooks website shows the slogan "Rise above the run,” and depicts a Transcend shoe "against a background of fluffy clouds." Print ads using similar photography "extol the Transcend as 'a galactic wonder ride.'" Another section of the Brooks website "features images of clouds, skies, balloons, rockets, chimps in spacesuits, satellites and galaxies." A woman in a video clip "describes the features of the Transcend while standing amid a planetarium’s worth of stars and planets, a setting with a charming, childlike feel out of a Wes Anderson movie." The campaign also includes "online ads, events around the country, retail promotions, a public relations effort and content in social media like Facebook and Twitter." In a "mash-up of media," about 1,000 readers of the March issue of Runner’s World will receive copies of the magazine with "ads that will play videos about the shoe." The creative agency for the campaign is Oregon-based The Great Society, and the media agency is OMD. The Transcend, which retails for $160 a pair, is Brooks' "most recent entry into a category of performance athletic footwear." Elliott notes the Transcend campaign "will start at the same time that Madison Avenue will be pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into ads meant to be seen on Super Bowl weekend. Brooks Senior Dir for Global Brand Marketing Heather Snavely said that the "timing is coincidental" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/28).

    READY FOR ANYTHING: AD AGE's Meredith Derby Berg reported Saucony's two-minute ad, called "Ready," will be "released this spring via social channels and select digital media" as part of the athletic-shoe marketer's "Find Your Strong" strategy "aimed at forging a connection with the specialty-runner consumer." Taking the strategy "a step further," Saucony is "releasing an inspirational 22-minute documentary called 'Finding Strong.'" The film "focuses on running worldwide and how it can change life's trajectory." It tells "stories from five countries, the U.S., Japan, Brazil, Africa and Finland." The film has premiered in N.Y., Boston and Austin, and "10 to 15 screenings will take place in key markets." It will be "released digitally in late March or early April" (ADAGE.com, 1/27).

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