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Volume 24 No. 157

Marketing and Sponsorship

The winner of the USA Today/Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter was a spot "about a crafty grandma who slung a sling-wearing baby across the yard to snatch a bag of Doritos,” according to Horovitz, Petrecca & Strauss of USA TODAY. Placing a close second in the Ad Meter results “was Anheuser-Busch’s beer-fetching dog, Weego.” Two carmakers “tied for third: Kia, whose ad featured a guy with ultraracy dreams that include supermodel Adriana Lima; and Chrysler, which turned actor Clint Eastwood into almost as big a Super Bowl presence” as Giants QB Eli Manning. The results resemble “but do not mirror those of Sunday’s evening’s focus group panel” of 268 adults. That competition was won “by the other Doritos spot about a savvy, cat-killing dog that uses Doritos to bribe its owner into silence about its dastardly deed.” Doritos' dog ad “ranked six in the online voting” for the Ad Meter (USA TODAY, 2/8). USA Today Senior VP/Marketing Sandra Micek said that the panels for the Ad Meter focus groups “will continue, providing ‘an immediate litmus test of what’s registering with viewers’ of the Super Bowl.” She added that the Facebook voting “will ‘broaden our reach,’ creating ‘the nice combination of the panels and what’s happening in the broader conversation.’” Facebook VP/Global Media Solutions Tom Arrix said that the venture with USA Today is “the first time that Facebook has offered its users a chance to vote on the merits of Super Bowl spots." Arrix said, “We’re seeing the Super Bowl, formerly a one-day experience, evolving into more of a campaign.” He added that sponsors are “seeking attention before, during and after the game” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/8).

Doritos Sling Baby
Bud Light Weego
Chrysler It's Halftime in America
Kia A Dream Car. For Real Life.
M&M's Just My Shell
Bud Light Platinum Factory
2.20 Body Paint
Lexus GS Super Bowl 2012
Bud Light Platinum Work
2.12 The Cloud
INTERNET CHATTER:’s Scott Fulton III wrote under the header “Analytics From ‘Most Social Super Bowl’ Reveals Chat Wasn’t About Football.” Fulton looked at social media during the game and wrote it is “astonishing to see that TV commercials make up some 42% of all Super Bowl-related online chatter” (, 2/6). Boston-based social analytics firm Bluefin VP/Marketing Tom Thai said, “What’s different in 2012 is NBC can say to its advertisers, ‘We’ll sell you the eyeballs, but we’ll also sell you social engagement’” (BOSTON HERALD, 2/8).

CAR ADS POPULAR ON YOUTUBE: In Detroit, David Shepardson notes Chrysler’s Eastwood commercial “was viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube in less than 48 hours after its posting by the automaker.” An ad for the Fiat 500 Abarth, titled "Seduction," has been seen “5.5 million times on YouTube.” The GM spot “implying that a Ford pickup owner couldn't survive a Mayan apocalypse -- while Chevy Silverado owners could -- has been seen at least 5.8 million times.” GM said that its 30-second spot for the '13 Cadillac ATS “that aired at 9:37 p.m. EST, during a timeout in the fourth quarter, was the single most watched commercial in U.S. television history.” Kantar Media found the spot “had the highest rating of any of the spots that aired.” That ad, however, has “received only about 600,000 hits on YouTube.” But Shepardson wrote the “biggest Super Bowl auto traffic online this year appears to be for Honda Motor Co.'s Acura ad that featured comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno battling over who would get the first NSX.” The spot had “more than 16.5 million views.” Honda's CRV ad featuring actor Matthew Broderick “has been seen at least 13.5 million times on YouTube” (DETROIT NEWS, 2/8).

MLS Galaxy MF David Beckham Monday appeared on syndicated radio show “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” with host Ryan Seacrest to discuss his latest endorsement deal with H&M and his underwear line with the company. Beckham discussed the marketing surrounding his new line, which included placing huge shopping bags around London with his image on them. He said, “There was one next to London Bridge. There were a few in different shopping centers around London, a couple in some tube stations. They did an amazing job actually. H&M really mastered this collection unbelievably. I’m very proud of that.” The underwear line at H&M was “something that I created actually before H&M came in. It was something I wanted to do after the success of being with Armani. I love underwear, I love wearing it. It’s something I just kind of wanted to create myself. We funded it, me and Simon (Fuller) together, and created it. H&M came in literally two days after we put the advertising campaign out and they said, ‘We see something great happening here, we want to be part of it and we can put it in 1,800 stores in 40 different countries,’ which is something I could never have done within the first week of it. It’s been a great partnership so far." H&M has drawn headlines this week for its commercial during Super Bowl XLVI, in which Beckham appears only in his underwear. Beckham said, "I’m very shy because when we were watching the Super Bowl, we were in a room of about 20 people when it came on and actually I had nowhere to look. It was kind of embarrassing.” Beckham did say his kids “loved” the commercial, but added, "I think they were also embarrassed as well because there were other people in the room" (“On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” 2/6).

EPL club Chelsea D John Terry was "left out" of Umbro's upcoming marketing amid allegations that he racially abused a Queens Park Rangers player during a game, according to John Reynolds of MARKETING magazine. An Umbro spokesperson declined to "discuss future campaigns" but confirmed Terry, who last week was stripped of his captaincy of the England national men's soccer team, "(will not) appear in our current campaigns." Terry was "most recently used by Umbro last August, in a campaign to promote its latest England away kit." Terry has also appeared in ads for "Samsung, Nationwide, video game 'Pro Evolution Soccer' and Sweden-based betting company Svenska Spel". The latter has stated that it "no longer wishes to work with Terry" (, 2/7). Terry's deal with Umbro is worth about US$6.4M and will "remain in place pending his trial in July." While the contract is "understood to expire this summer," Umbro has "refused to comment on whether the deal will be renewed." Samsung also appears to be "distancing themselves" from Terry. A statement from the company yesterday was "at pains to focus on the firm's deal with Chelsea and not any particular player" (London TELEGRAPH, 2/8). Terry has been with Umbro since he was 18 (London DAILY MAIL, 2/8).

Agents of prospective British Olympians sponsored by Nike have told the British Olympic Association that “their athletes would be in breach of contracts if they are forced to wear Team GB’s official ‘presentation outfit,’" which is sponsored by adidas, according to Jacquelin Magnay of the London TELEGRAPH. They have “warned the BOA that athletes might take off their shoes before walking out to the presentation dais.” One agent said, “They are quite happy to wear Adidas tracksuits, but their footwear is almost part of them, it is wrong to tell them they have to change their shoes.” The BOA said that not only was adidas “sponsoring the team, the rule that athletes had to wear the company’s footwear at all times during the Olympics, including on the podium, would be strictly enforced.” The only exception is that competitors “can wear any brand of footwear during competition because it is classed as technical equipment.” Magnay notes cyclist Mark Cavendish and runners Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe, among others, are Nike endorsers. British Olympic Association Head of Olympic Media & Communications Strategy Darryl Seibel said, “It is a standard part of the team members agreement and has, in fact, been in place for at least the last two Olympic Games dating back to 2004.” The agents said that at previous Games, “there had been a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ between the footwear companies not to make an issue of it” (London TELEGRAPH, 2/8).

Dunkin' Donuts announced Bruins RW Tyler Seguin has renewed his sponsorship deal with the company and "will serve as a brand spokesman through September of this year," according to Ira Kantor of the BOSTON HERALD. In honor of the renewal and Valentine's Day, Dunkin' Donuts will host a "Romance/Bromance meet and greet lunch" with Seguin on Monday. Fans can "enter for a chance to win by clicking on the 'Tyler Seguin Sweeps' tab on the company’s Facebook page through Feb. 9." Six winners will get to have lunch with Seguin "for themselves and a friend, a $19 Dunkin’ Donuts card and Boston Bruins gear." As part of the renewed agreement, Seguin will "appear in radio ads to help promote such campaigns as 'What Are You Drinkin'?' and 'Caught Cold,' the company’s iced coffee marketing campaign." Seguin will also be featured in Dunkin' "social media campaigns this year, conducting Facebook chats with fans, and promoting both the local Boston-area Twitter handle, @DunkinBoston, and the company’s Turbo Shot coffee" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/8).

Lawyers are "seeking class-action status" for a lawsuit that claims Baseball HOFer George Brett "has been falsely advertising necklaces and bracelets as being able to help improve health and sports performance," according to Ryan Foley of the AP. A lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Des Moines claims that Washington-based Brett Bros. Sports Int'l "has falsely claimed its Ionic Necklaces help customers relieve pain in the neck, shoulders and upper back, recover from sports fatigue and improve focus." The lawsuit stated that the company "has also falsely claimed its bracelets, which include two roller magnets, would relieve wrist, hand and elbow pain." It added that the claims appeared on the company's website from '08-10, and "still appear on the packaging of the products and on the websites of its distributors." Brett has been president of the company since '01 and "appears in its advertisements" (AP, 2/7). In K.C., Mark Morris notes the lawsuit "makes no allegation that the necklace physically injured" the plaintiff. The lawsuit "wants the company to stop misrepresenting its products, provide a full accounting of profits from those products, and give all the profits back to the buyers." Brett Bros.' website yesterday "continued to sell the necklaces but claimed only that they were 'stylish, soft and comfortable.'" Morris notes a "swarm of similar lawsuits last year helped drive a Brett Bros. competitor, Power Balance, into bankruptcy" (K.C. STAR, 2/8).

MARKETING magazine's Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith noted Unilever deodorant brands Rexona, called Sure in the U.K., and Clear are to "sponsor British Formula 1 team Lotus in a multi-year deal." The deal "uses the Rexona global brand identity" outside of the U.K., while the "Sure brand name is only used in the UK." The Rexona and Clear brand logos will "appear on the Lotus F1 Team's overalls and cars." A marketing campaign to "raise awareness of the sponsorships is currently in development and is expected to launch in time for this year's first F1 race in Australia," on March 18. The deal was brokered by JMI (, 2/6).

RIDING THE BANDWAGON: In Oklahoma City, Jennifer Palmer noted the market for Thunder gear has "exploded and businesses are jumping on the big-league-city bandwagon for a piece of the retail action." Owners of Oklahoma City-based screen printing business Tree & Leaf Clothing "began making a line of Thunder parody shirts in 2009." Co-Owner Dustin Gilpin said that their designs "neither feature a Thunder logo nor a player's full name because they don't want to infringe on copyrights or trademarks." He added that the company has a "working relationship with the Thunder" (OKLAHOMAN, 2/5).

INNER CONFIDENCE: In his latest TV commercial for the "MLB 2K12" video game, Tigers P Justin Verlander's inner voice says as he plays the video game, "I won't just be perfect, I'll be the most perfect. They'll say, 'Hey, Justin, how do you do it?' Well, I'm part cheetah, part ninja, that's how. In fact, I'm a ninja riding a cheetah." Angels P C.J. Wilson eventually joins Verlander and their inner voices "get into a spat" (, 2/7).

THE WHEELS COME OFF: Cyclist Alberto Contador’s doping conviction could cost him more than US$6.6M in "fees, fines and lost earnings,” according to The site also reported that “at least one potential sponsor -- Hugo Boss -- has ended its relationship with the rider due to the outcome of the case” (, 2/7).