Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 116

Marketing and Sponsorship

Coca-Cola’s iconic polar bears will star in two commercials during Super Bowl XLVI and another after the game as part of the company’s “Open Happiness” campaign. The two bears will be cheering for opposing teams, which will be differentiated by the color of their respective scarves. The company’s first spot, titled “Superstition,” will air during the first quarter. The 30-second spot shows one of the bears crossing its arms and crunching up its toes in a ritual that it believes will help its team win. As the bear sits awkwardly, the other bear helps it drink a Coke. “What we want to communicate for the Super Bowl is the concept of open happiness, of bringing friends and families together,” said Coca-Cola North America CMO Alison Lewis. The company’s second spot comes in the second quarter and is titled “Catch.” Coca-Cola prepared two different versions of the 60-second ad and will decide which to air depending on what has happened in the game up to that point. It features one of the bears trying to catch a Coke bottle thrown to it. As the bear skates across ice juggling the bottle, it inadvertently crashes through other bears, who are made to appear as defenders, before finally catching the Coke in touchdown-like style as it falls toward the ground. The final spot is a 30-second commercial that airs on ESPN after the game entitled “Argh.” The company has two different versions of this ad as well and will air the one featuring the bear supporting the losing team. In it, the bear slowly walks outside with its head down after its team loses and lets out a roar to vent its frustration. When it comes back to slump down on the couch, the other bear hands it a Coke (Matt Schiffman, THE DAILY).

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: AD AGE's Natalie Zmuda noted having two different versions of an ad "appears to be a first-of-its-kind endeavor, requiring the beverage giant to have execs on site at NBC during the game." Coca-Cola North America Senior VP/Integrated Marketing Platforms & Content Pio Schunker said that execs will be in the traffic room to "decide which spot runs when the game goes to a commercial break." If the teams are tied, the decision will be made "based on the most-recent plays and which is deemed most in need of a Coke." Schunker: "It's probably not something (NBC) wants to set a precedent on, but the idea was appealing to them because of the buzz factor. It's certainly (tough) to do, but we managed to talk them into it for those reasons." Coca-Cola will "also have execs on hand at ESPN to manage" their final spot that will air after the game (, 1/26).

IN-GAME INTERACTION: In addition to the commercials, Coca-Cola’s polar bears will be available to interact with fans during the game at The live stream will show the bears' reactions to and comments on plays and commercials throughout the game. Users will be encouraged to interact with the bears by writing comments, asking questions and uploading photos and videos, which will be saved and featured on the site. Fans who want to gloat to friends when their team scores will be able to post links to short videos showing one of the bears dancing in celebration of a touchdown (Schiffman). Schunker said that Coca-Cola does "not anticipate people spending the entire game with the polar bears on an alternate screen." He said, "We imagine people might interact for a minute or two on any given time frame. We don't envision people spending four hours with the bears" (Portland OREGONIAN, 1/27).

MULTIPLE PLATFORMS: In addition to the host website, viewers will be able to follow the bears’ comments on Twitter by searching the hashtag #GameDayPolarBears. Coca-Cola will also have live streaming available in banners on various sites like and “What we’re really looking for with this integrated interactive experience with digital, mobile, social, is much more engagement,” Lewis said. “The whole concept is about impression, which we’re going to get through the Super Bowl, but also expression, which is the whole idea of the sharing, the interactivity, the connectivity of the open communication.” Following the game, fans will be able to use either the “Ahhh Giver” or “Argh Reliever” Facebook app to send someone a digital coupon for a Coke out of happiness or out of sympathy. “Throughout the whole program we’re thinking about the before the Super Bowl, during the Super Bowl and after the Super Bowl,” Lewis said. “It’s helping to drive this program from entertainment value all the way through to commercial value" (Schiffman).

A-B InBev's lineup of ads for Super Bowl XLVI “reflects a bit of a shift for the big brewer on TV's biggest stage,” and it “highlights two of the company's top priorities for the year to come -- reviving its flagship brand, and launching a new one,” according to Tim Logan of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The six-spot lineup “focuses largely on two beers that A-B InBev hopes will have a very good 2012: Budweiser and Bud Light Platinum.” Platinum, which hits retail Monday, will get “a pair of 30-second spots in the game's first quarter.” A-B VP/Marketing Paul Chibe said, "The first says ‘What is Platinum?' The second is ‘Who's Platinum for?' The point is to get the word out there." Budweiser will get “two minute-long spots in the game's middle quarters,” with both to “focus on the beer's long heritage, one set at the end of Prohibition and the other catapulting through the decades since.” Bud Light will get two ads and one, produced by St. Louis-based Cannonball, is a "partnership with the NFL and the song-identifying smartphone app Shazam, and will run before the halftime show.” The other will involve “some 20-something guys, a pool party and a well-trained pet.” But Chibe said that it “has a subtle difference from many previous efforts.” Chibe: "If you look closely at that ad, you realize that the joke is not on the consumer (of Bud Light)." A-B InBev last month announced that it “had hired Chicago's McGarryBowen to lead Bud Light, and Translation, a smaller agency co-owned by rapper Jay-Z, to handle brand extensions like Platinum.” The Super Bowl ads will be “the first big work for both” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/27).

INSIDE THE ADS: AD AGE’s E.J. Schultz notes viewers “looking for a new look and feel for Bud Light under McGarryBowen will have to wait a little longer.” The in-game spot features “a scrawny rescue dog named ‘Weego’ who responds to his name being called – ‘Here Weego’ -- by fetching Bud Lights from the fridge.” Chibe indicated that with McGarryBowen having only been on the account for a month, the Super Bowl ad and “a longer term strategy shift for the brand were kept separate.” The second Budweiser spot begins where the Prohibition “tale ends and then marches through history, with people enjoying Buds along the way.” Scenes include the “end of World War II, the moon landing, the 1980 Team USA Olympic hockey victory and more.” Chibe said that the spots are “meant to portray optimism.” Meanwhile, one of Platinum’s Super Bowl spots “shows the brand being concocted in a new-age looking factory, while the other one features young professionals enjoying Platinum at the office, post work hours” (, 1/27).

COVERING ALL OUTLETS: In N.Y., Stuart Elliott writes A-B, like many other sponsors, “is surrounding its spots with a presence in social media.” The Bud Light Platinum commercials “will end with a Twitter hashtag, #MakeItPlatinum,” while the "Weego" spot will direct viewers to the brand’s Facebook fan page to help raise money for the Animal Rescue Foundation. Meanwhile, Bridgestone is promoting its two spots "with three online sweepstakes and efforts on Facebook, at; YouTube, at; and Twitter, at” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/27).

Honda's Super Bowl ad will feature actor Matthew Broderick reviving the title role from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and the spot is "going to mimic much of the original film, except this time prominently featuring Hondas," according to a source cited by Matt Hardigree of The "big jump the two valets do in Cameron's dad's Ferrari" from the movie will feature a Honda CR-V in the commercial. The source said that Honda is "pouring a lot of money into this ad," as "The Hangover" director Todd Phillips was hired to "put it all together" (, 1/27). The GLOBE & MAIL’s Susan Krashinsky notes a 10-second teaser was uploaded to YouTube Thursday featuring Broderick “in a bathrobe, undoubtedly playing a grown-up Bueller.” The Super Bowl date “then appears on the screen.” Krashinsky writes of all the ad teasers to date, it is the "most enigmatic: it is not linked to any corporate YouTube account and does not specify the product.” However, the spot "could end up being the most-talked-about ad of the Super Bowl” if it is a take off of "Ferris Bueller" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/27).

EARLY RELEASE: Audi Thursday announced that its 60-second spot set to air in the first break after kick-off is live on the automaker’s YouTube channel. In the spot, the new ’13 Audi S7 arrives at a vampire party in the woods and brings with it an unexpected surprise. The ad was created by Venables Bell & Partners, S.F. (Audi).

THIS MEANS WAR: The GLOBE & MAIL’s Krashinsky writes the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl “are a period of war,” and the fight “is playing out on consumers’ laptops and tables, as well as their television screens.” GM Monday “took to Google to buy up some strange search terms -- ‘barking dogs,’ for example -- so that when people search for VW’s bit of canine comedy, GM’s ads will also appear.” GM Dir of Advertising & Sales Promotion Kevin Mayer said, “The digital gamemanship within this, is where I think the Super Bowl can be won and lost" for advertisers. Krashinsky writes in case its ad "doesn’t generate the buzz Kia is hoping for, they too are prepared to take to the Web to steal another brand’s thunder.” VW GM of Brand Marketing Brian Thomas said that they “watched their competitors ‘drafting’ last year, and have been preparing their search strategy, buying key terms both leading up to the game and during the game that are related to their spot.” GM is taking its online battle “a step further this year: In addition to bidding on keywords, it has designed a number of online banner ads featuring actor Rainn Wilson of ‘The Office,’ intended to draw eyes away from competitors’ ads.” It will place those displays “alongside other companies’ ads online, on YouTube and other sites.” Wilson will “point down at the rival ad on screen, mocking the theme and inviting the viewer to click through to see GM’s ad” (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/27).

While some brands “have bought into digital packages generally ranging from $300,000 to $600,000” for NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLVI next Sunday, advertisers have “so far not shown the same enthusiasm for the live stream as they have the sold-out TV broadcast,” according to Daniel Frankel of PAID CONTENT. A sports media buyer said, “The question that remains to us is: what’s the actual value of the Super Bowl in comparison to other things that are streamed?” NBC notified a “half-dozen of the league’s premiere sponsors before the playoffs that it would stream the Super Bowl for the first time this year.” These advertisers -- including Nike, Visa and Anheuser-Busch -- were "offered the ability to purchase digital packages that include impressions not only in the big game, but in NBC’s Wild Card playoff and Pro Bowl coverage as well.” Buyers said that with a little over a week before the big game, there is “still lots of digital inventory left for the Super Bowl.” Despite the “huge popularity of the game, media buyers don’t believe NBC’s Super Bowl stream will draw a digital audience that much greater than the 200,000 to 300,000 unique viewers that NBC says typically watch its regular season contests online or through mobile devices” (, 1/25).

Nearly 100 Japanese media members are expected to attend the MLB Rangers' Spring Training after the signing of P Yu Darvish, and the team is "likely to sell advertising space," according to Richard Durrett of ESPN DALLAS. It is a chance for North American companies "to advertise to the Japanese market or for Japanese companies to take advantage of the opportunity to increase exposure in the United States and back home." Rangers Exec VP/Business Partnerships & Development Joe Januszewski said, "We signed Yu because it makes us better as a team on the field. But it does give us an opportunity to extend our brand and explore some advertising opportunities we might not otherwise have." Durrett reported the Rangers have "limited inventory at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and will explore the possibility of having Japanese companies sponsor a sign with Darvish's starts likely to get plenty of air time in Japan." SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said that the club "would need to get creative on the days Darvish starts." Ganis: "They could sell rotational signage behind home plate and sell specific slots for only the games he pitches." Januszewski said, "We'd love to be the team of Japan. We'd love to see fans in Japan wearing Rangers hats and jerseys." However, Durrett noted the Rangers "won't get the full benefit of fans slipping on a Darvish No. 11 jersey in Tokyo." Merchandise sales overseas and international broadcasts "are negotiated by Major League Baseball, and the proceeds are spread across the league and all 30 teams." The only way for the Rangers "to keep the majority of profits from a jersey that isn't sold in stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is if they open their own stores in Japan, something Januszewski doesn't see as a possibility because of the cost" (, 1/26).

Wednesday night’s edition of Bloomberg TV’s “Sportfolio” with host Rick Horrow featured the “Top Power 100” from the business of sports, an “elite list of athletes who combine power on the field with clout in the marketplace.” Saints QB Drew Brees topped the list, followed by Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Patriots QB Tom Brady. The NFL led with 26 players and 11 different sports were represented in the Power 100 list this year. Horrow said the list “is an annual collaboration between Bloomberg Businessweek and Horrow Sports Ventures” and it is “not a poll or a popularity contest.” Patriots President Jonathan Kraft said of Brady, “He’s the ultimate leader.” Kraft said off the field, Brady “has a charisma about him ... and he just exudes a high-grade of integrity and class. If you’re a company or a brand that’s looking for somebody to be your spokesperson, I don’t think you can do any better than Tom Brady.” Kraft said having a “stable, consistent presence under center ... brings a credibility to your franchise that franchises that don’t have quarterbacks like that really are lacking and that means people are willing to invest.” Angels 1B Albert Pujols was the highest-ranking MLBer at No. 26, and analyst Summer Sanders said, “For a baseball player to breakthrough, you need another Derek Jeter or you need a player to get on ‘Dancing With The Stars.’ That’s just a fact. It’s the way athletes are staying and remaining in the top 10. It’s either performance or staying in front of everybody’s eyes.” Penguins C Sidney Crosby, who has missed nearly an entire season due to the after effects of a concussion, did not appear in the Top 100, and Legends Chair & CEO Dave Checketts said being injured “hurt him on the list." Checketts: "In terms of his talent, his ability, his marketability, he should be in the Top 100.” Sanders noted she was surprised Broncos QB Tim Tebow was not in the top 100, adding, “I expect to see him well in the Top 100 (next year)" (“Sportfolio,” Bloomberg TV, 1/25).

POCKET PRESENCE:’s Kristi Dosh examined the marketability of the two Super Bowl QBs -- the Patriots' Brady and the Giants' Eli Manning -- and noted it is “difficult to judge which star quarterback ... will win off the field.” Brady has “Hollywood looks, a supermodel wife, and an edge in endorsement deals to date, but Manning is part of a family that’s football royalty and is not as far behind in big-dollar deals as fans might think.” Brady made “about $10 million in endorsements in 2011, and Manning about $7 million.” Marketing Evaluations Exec VP Henry Schafer said that Manning “comes out on top with the general public.” His positive Q Score, which “measures likeability, is a 19,” while an average Q Score for an athlete “is 15, which is what Brady rates.” Nielsen Sports VP Stephen Master said that Brady’s national advertisements have “increased over the past couple of years, but he says Eli Manning has a strong local presence in the New York area.” Master: “Eli probably does the most local ads after” Yankees SS Derek Jeter (, 1/26).