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Volume 24 No. 155

Marketing and Sponsorship

NBC’s telecast of Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday “will have more than 14 car-related ads, which will take up nearly two dozen of the 70 30-second ad slots that carried an average sticker price of $3.5 million,” according to Petrecca & Horovitz of USA TODAY. Advertisers are “rolling out big-budget commercials to rival the splashiest of soft drink marketing.” Auto advertisers have “revealed high-octane commercials that feature celebrities such as Matthew Broderick and Jerry Seinfeld, as well as showing their autos doing extreme stunts -- including a Chevy Sonic skydiving and bungee jumping.” Hyundai, Lexus, General Motors, Audi and Volkswagen have released “full versions of ads online,” while Toyota, Honda and Acura have released teasers. Petrecca & Horovitz write it is “no accident” that Honda turned to Broderick and Acura turned to Seinfeld and NBC's Jay Leno, as “all appeal to Boomers, who have the wherewithal to buy more cars than just about anyone” (USA TODAY, 2/1). In Chicago, Lori Rackl notes automakers are “taking the funny route this year.” GM has a “winning entry in its consumer-generated ad contest, ‘Chevy Happy Grad,’ in which a graduate mistakenly thinks his parents have given him a Camaro, and Toyota with a hilarious spot for its reinvented Camry.” Pavone PR Strategist David Shoffner: “We have a lot of car ads and a lot of rookies, which I think are both indications of a rebounding economy” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/1). In Boston, Donna Goodison notes Volkswagen will “again give a shout-out to ‘Star Wars’ fans this year with its ad during the third quarter of the big game.” The automaker’s spot, “The Dog Strikes Back,” is set for pre-release today and features the '12 Beetle and a "surprise ‘Star Wars’ ending.” Volkswagen, ad agency Deutsch, L.A., and Lucasfilm “created a replica of the creature-filled ‘Star Wars’ cantina” (BOSTON HERALD, 2/1). Meanwhile, Lexus will air a 30-second spot at the end of the first quarter of the game that features the ’13 GS and hints at the additional new cars Lexus will unveil in the coming year (Lexus).

BEHIND THE SCENES: ADWEEK’s David Griner reported Honda's “pitch-perfect homage to ‘Ferris Bueller's Day Off’ has quickly become one of the most talked-about Super Bowl ads in recent history. RPA Exec VP and Exec Creative Dir Joe Baratelli, whose California-based agency created the ad, said that the agency “wanted an ad that celebrated the redesigned Honda CR-V as a car for enjoying life, not just for running chores.” Baratelli: "The film embodies the theme of getting out and doing stuff. And our client saw the potential of tapping into the fandom of ‘Ferris Bueller's Day Off’ for the Super Bowl. We started talking with Paramount and Broderick's people and decided we wanted a feature comedy director. That's when Todd Phillips came on board, all the while improving the script. We all wanted to be respectful of the original movie.” Griner noted one of the “subtle ideas that keeps the spot from sullying the original movie is that it's not actually a sequel” to “Ferris Bueller's Day Off.” Baratelli: "It was always Matthew Broderick. We felt it was more interesting and believable to have it be about him, as an actor, paralleling the movie. A real person skipping work and having an adventure fit in with the campaign and the Honda brand better, rather than trying to recreate the Ferris Bueller character" (, 1/30).

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 (, 1/31). Hulu is “still unsure when the commercial will run” (, 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” (, 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).

Giants QB Eli Manning will “permanently move out from under brother Peyton’s shadow" if he wins his second Super Bowl title Sunday, and he could add "as much as $3M to his current $7M in yearly endorsement earnings,” according to Baker Street Advertising Exec VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman in his annual pre-Super Bowl marketability report. Though Eli Manning “may never match the on-camera charisma and acting chops of his big brother, he’s already proven his worth as a pitchman, particularly in regional New York area campaigns.” With Peyton Manning’s playing future “up in the air, the smart Manning marketing money is on Eli.” Meanwhile, Patriots QB Tom Brady is “well-positioned to overtake” Peyton Manning as the NFL’s "richest endorser -- but only if he’s willing to devote the time and energy that major marketers demand.” He offers advertisers “the complete package: winning talent, model-quality looks, an appealing personality, and a squeaky-clean record.” However, Brady is “very particular about his marketing deals, and has turned down millions in endorsements to stay focused on football and family.” Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is a "unique character,” and if he “makes a difference on Sunday, national advertisers will take notice.” Dorfman notes defensive linemen “rarely land major ad deals,” but Giants DE Justin Tuck is “an exception, with a resume including Subway, Foot Locker, EA Sports, Nike, even a SoBe Lifewater spot” that ran during Super Bowl XLIII. He is “comfortable on camera, and can deliver a line pretty well,” and a “strong game and another ring for Justin should keep his agent’s phone ringing” (THE DAILY).

BRADY VS ELI: Brady ranked second on THE DAILY's survey of the NFL's most marketable player, and ADWEEK’s Anthony Crupi wrote the Patriots QB has “proven his value as a pitchman for more than a decade.” While not “at the very top of the list of sports spokespeople, Brady’s contracts with Movado, Glaceau Smart Water, Under Armour and Ugg bring him $10 million per year.” He “doesn’t do an awful lot of TV,” and in “large part, the quarterback’s endorsements are limited to glossy magazine ads.” Octagon First Call Managing Dir David Schwab said, “The major difference between Tom Brady and other elite quarterbacks comes down to the sort of categories they align themselves with. Peyton Manning works with marketers who are either official NFL sponsors or spend a lot of their budgets in and around football, whereas Brady lives in a more aspirational space.” Crupi wrote TV money and “a much bigger roster of brand partners give Manning the edge over Brady.” Industry estimates “put Manning’s annual endorsement haul at around $15 million, or a little more than twice what” Eli Manning earns. Should the Giants beat the Patriots on Sunday, Eli Manning “can expect to fend off a horde of marketers heretofore unsure of how to leverage his sleepy charm” (ADWEEK, 1/30 issue).

THIRST QUENCHER: YAHOO SPORTS’ Matthew Darnell noted Gatorade was “about the only thing” Peyton Manning discussed “with any emotion or sincerity” through a 15-minute interview with ESPN’s Trey Wingo yesterday. But ESPN “wasn't surprised by any of this.” A former employee “obtained an email that shows ESPN was aware that the Gatorade plug was coming, and that it'd deal with it and cut it out of the interview for later use” (, 1/31).

The "must-have souvenir from the first few days" of Super Bowl XLVI is a "humble, hand-knitted scarf, originally intended to keep warm -- and make noticeable -- the 8,000 local volunteers who are the backbone of any Super Bowl week," according to Judy Battista of the N.Y. TIMES. However, the scarves are "not for sale." The Super Bowl Host Committee got the idea to have members of the community "knit them and give them to volunteers from a similar effort staged at the Special Olympics a few years ago." As a result, the host committee "received 13,024 six-foot-long, blue and white scarves." The colors were "meant to match the Indianapolis Super Bowl logo," but they also "conveniently are the colors of the Indianapolis Colts." The scarves came "from 45 states, Washington, D.C. and four other countries." The project did "not dictate a pattern or a stitch, and so they are [as] varied as their creators, some with stripes, some with fringe." The scarves have "become an unintended symbol of Indianapolis’s embrace of the homespun feel for its Super Bowl" (, 1/31). Indianapolis Host Committee President & CEO Allison Melangton said, "Two years ago, we asked people in Indiana to knit scarves for out volunteers, many of which will be working outside. It started out as an Indiana project, and it reached out across the globe."'s Nancy Gay noted Super Bowl Host Committee Chair Mark Miles two years ago "though the scarf project was pretty wacky." He said, "At the time it didn't register with me. I thought the idea of getting 8,000 scarves was preposterous." However, Miles this week is "wearing a Super Scarf knitted by a surgeon." Miles: "He does surgery for breast cancer and he taught himself how to knit for this project" (, 1/31).

Officials from Insight Enterprises and the Fiesta Bowl announced Friday that they were ending a 14-year title sponsorship deal for the Insight Bowl, but "neither party disclosed that Insight had two years left on a contract that paid millions of dollars to the financially struggling bowl game," according to Craig Harris of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Insight’s ’10 annual report filed with the SEC said that the company "owed the bowl" $5.9M through '13. Previous SEC filings indicated that the contract "was back-loaded, making it likely Insight owed roughly" $2M each for '12 and '13. The Fiesta Bowl is "seeking a new sponsor for the game, which lost money six times" from the '00-01 season to '09-10. Both sides said that Insight ending its sponsorship "had nothing to do with the Fiesta Bowl's financial and political scandal." Fiesta Bowl Exec Dir Robert Shelton yesterday said that his organization allowed Insight to "break its contract because the company had been such an outstanding business partner for so many years." Shelton added that the Fiesta Bowl "didn't demand an exit fee." Insight Senior VP/Product Marketing Brian Davis said that the company "wanted to reallocate its marketing dollars as it has moved from a regional company to a global business with roughly" $5B in revenue. He added that the company "will continue its sponsorship" of the D'Backs and NFL Cardinals (ARIZONA REPBULIC, 2/1).

DISC Sports & Spine Center, the USOC's official medical service provider, has signed eight athletes for a promotional campaign that will run through the London Games. Track and field athletes Lolo Jones (hurdles), Brianna Glenn (long jump), Jenny Adams (hurdles) and Brad Walker (pole vault), swimmers Eric Shanteau and Jessica Hardy, BMX rider Mike Day and triathlete Sarah Haskins will be featured in a "Champion Care" program that will see DISC offer video, interviews and training footage highlighting the athletes' journey to the Games. The video will be posted on the DISC website and YouTube. The athletes will receive cash stipends to help underwrite their training and value-in-kind healthcare treatment (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

GALAXY QUEST: In Toronto, Randy Starkman reports Gold Medal-winning Canadian speed skater Christine Nesbitt last weekend at the world championships wore the logo of Dutch telecom company Galaxy Group "over her heart and on her left shoulder." Nesbitt is a "huge name in the Netherlands and speed skating is televised there like hockey is [in Canada] so they'll get tons of exposure." Canadian athletes and teams "have to take it where they can get it," as there was "no windfall" for Gold Medalists in the '10 Vancouver Games. Nesbitt did sign a deal recently with compression wear company CEP Canada, but it likely "wasn't for significant dollars" (, 1/31).