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Volume 24 No. 115

Marketing and Sponsorship

Anheuser-Busch unveiled its planned commercial lineup for CBS' broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII, and the roster will include a "double dose of Budweiser Black Crown and a sip of Beck’s Sapphire,” according to Tim Logan of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Black Crown, a new drink going on sale later this month, will get “a key slot as the first ad to air after kickoff, and another 30-second spot later in the game.” Sapphire will get “its own 30-second introduction.” A-B also “plans two 60-second ads for Bud Light and one for Budweiser,” for a total of “4½ minutes of airtime.” The company is “not skimping on production values” as it hired Sam Bayer, who "directed Chrysler’s highly regarded 2011 ad starring Eminem, to direct its Black Crown ads and one for Bud Light.” The 60-second spot for Budweiser is titled “Brotherhood” and will “focus on the heritage of the Clydesdales and their early years.” The Bud Light ads will "continue what has been a subtle shift in the last few years, away from sometimes-sophomoric ads where the beer consumer is the butt of the joke, and toward ones where the consumer is in on the joke.” A-B VP/Marketing Paul Chibe: “The humor will be based on a human truth, not just a sight gag in a commercial. There’s more to it than just a guttural laugh because someone got kicked” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/11). AD WEEK’s Andrew McMains notes Budweiser lead agency Anomaly, N.Y., produced the two Black Crown ads. Chide said that the first spot “explains how consumers picked the recipe for the new lager and the second places the brand in a party setting.” Chide said that Beck's lead shop, Mother, produced the Sapphire ad that is "both humorous and stylistic.” The Sapphire name “comes from the name of the hops used to produce the beer,” and also is a type of jewel. Thus the ad “seeks to answer the question, How would a jeweler launch a beer brand?” (, 1/11).
MORE DETAILS: AD AGE’s E.J. Schultz reports one of the Black Crown Super Bowl ads is “expected to include a scene of a brewmaster saluting a group of American beer drinkers.” Two 15-second "teaser ads" will run during the NFC and AFC Championship games for Black Crown, which Chibe referred to as a "modern expression" of Budweiser. The Sapphire spot “will run sometime after halftime.” The two Bud Light ads, via Translation, will continue the NFL-themed "Superstitous" campaign and both are "set in New Orleans.” The Super Bowl will be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Schultz writes it is “somewhat surprising that A-B InBev did not choose to plug Platinum during the Super Bowl,” as it debuted the drink during last year's game. But the brand is “likely to get more airtime soon -- perhaps during an upcoming winter awards show such as the Grammys” (, 1/11).

DRINK TO THIS: USA TODAY’s Laura Petrecca notes Super Bowl XLVII will be “overflowing with beverage promotions.” In addition to A-B, other beverage-product advertisers during the game include Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, MiO and home soda-making machine seller SodaStream. Most of the beverages will “leverage the splashy game ads with Super Bowl tie-ins via social media and in-store promotions.” Meanwhile, Pepsi and A-B, which are both NFL sponsors, are “combining their brand power for joint retail displays.” Pepsi’s soft drinks, as well as “its chips such as Doritos, will be touted alongside A-B’s brews” (USA TODAY, 1/11).

Chevrolet is "right in the middle of sponsorship of a huge athletic contest" with a global audience that "could far exceed that of the Super Bowl," when EPL clubs Manchester United and Liverpool FC play Sunday, according to Dale Buss of General Motors Interim CMO Alan Batey said the platform is "huge for us, and it’s really only the beginning of our relationship" with the teams and league. Buss reported Chevy is marketing Sunday’s match in three ways: a "social campaign featuring videos of each team's players talking about the sport on Facebook with its ChevroletFC (for 'fan club') platform," as well as "'on-ground' appearances of signage and various Chevy vehicles and activities at Old Trafford ... and a cause-driven sponsorship of 'One World Futbol Project,' the charity co-founded by musician Sting." Given the intensity of the ManU-Liverpool rivalry, it is "hardly surprising that Chevrolet has stepped into some controversy surrounding the game." An ad already running in the U.K. has "set the social media universe ablaze because it makes it seem as if the rivals are united by fusing together the faces of players from the opposing teams, uttering the same words." Cadillac and Chevrolet Europe Dir of Communications Vijay Iyer said, "We’re feeding on the rivalry but talking about what unifies them" (, 1/10).

State Farm Assistant VP/Marketing Communications Tim Van Hoof said that “despite their similarities,” Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Clippers G Chris Paul’s roles as company endorsers “differ,” according to Elyse Dupre of DIRECT MARKETING NEWS. State Farm “teamed up with advertising agency DDB in Chicago to dub Rodgers the king of the Discount Double Check and with marketing and advertising agency Translation to show Paul modeling the helpful nature of the State Farm agents.” Still, when “homing in on the best personalities for the brand, Van Hoof says State Farm selected athletes that emulate the company's morals.” Van Hoof said that State Farm “drafted Rodgers after seeing his true green and gold colors shine through during the Brett Favre retirement, trading debacle.” Likewise, Paul's “knack for assists also characterized him as a perfect player for the insurance company to align itself with.” Van Hoof acknowledged that partnering with athletes “does pose the risk of deterring rival fans, but doesn't peg the Green Bay Packers as a ‘divisive’ team.” Van Hoof: “It would be difficult to put a New York Yankee team or player in front of the world without people having a very strong opinion … whereas I think teams like Green Bay tend to be less polarizing.” Van Hoof said that in addition to the TV spots, State Farm “featured Rodgers in social, digital, in-office materials, homepage, and email plays.” He also noted that the company is “still determining the extent of Paul's presence.” Van Hoof said that incorporating brand figures “across multiple channels is crucial to delivering consistency.” Van Hoof: “When you have affinity to the NFL, or that team, or that player, it just reestablishes and helps our overall ROI” (, 1/8).

In Minneapolis, Sam Black reported Minnesota-based KLN Family Brands announced a new relationship with NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. that "will begin with the launch of four flavors of potato chips." KLN and Earnhardt have formed Dale Jr. Foods, which will release chips in Crispy Original, Carolina Barbecue, Creole & Green Onion and Zesty Jalapeno flavors. The chips "will be available nationwide ... starting in February" and will be sold in various sizes (, 1/9).

SUGAR & SPICE: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Danielle Rossingh reports tennis player Maria Sharapova spent $500,000 to set up Sugarpova, her own candy brand, but she "may more than double her money" in just the first year. The brand was introduced Thursday in Australia ahead of Monday's start of the Australian Open. IMG Tennis' Max Eisenbud, who reps Sharapova, is "forecasting sales of 1 million bags in a year as distribution starts in the U.K., Australia, Japan, Canada, Russia, India and China." Sharapova makes as much as $1.10 per bag (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/11).

I NEED A HERO: In N.Y., Adam Edelman reports former MLSer David Beckham will star "in an upcoming ad campaign for H&M directed by Guy Ritchie" in which he is cast "as an action hero." In the "humorous campaign, Beckham is seen running through the streets of Beverly Hills dressed only in his underwear." The ad will debut on Feb. 6 and is "meant to coincide with Valentine's Day" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/11).

RUSSIAN DRESSING: In DC, Sarah Kogod wrote a new Gillette ad featuring Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin is "awesomely confusing." The spot, which is airing in Russia, has "everything -- rainbow kites, library ladies, ghosts, a random guy with a chainsaw, Elvis being kidnapped by a monkey." Kogod: "So much randomness." It also gives a "few different looks" for Ovechkin (, 1/10).

In Baltimore, Chris Korman cited data which notes that sales of Ravens LB Ray Lewis’ No. 52 jersey have “risen nearly 2,000 percent since he announced his retirement” last week. Lewis’ jersey since that time is the “top-selling NFL jersey for the online retailer." The popularity of Lewis’ jersey “helped all Ravens gear sell at a 68 percent increase (from the last week of the season) in the days leading up to the first round of playoff games, more than any other team” (, 1/10).

REV IT UP: Kia Motors will extend its sponsorship deal with the Australian Open for an additional five years through '18. The automaker has been associated with the tournament for 17 consecutive years, making it the longest-running major sponsor of the event. Kia will continue to supply more than 100 cars each year for the transportation of players, officials and visitors. In addition, branded and integrated on- and offline experiences, including the interactive Grand Slam Oval fan area at Melbourne Park, the live site at Fed Square in Melbourne, "Kia Fan of the Day" and "Kia Fan of the Tournament" contests will remain (Kia).

SPACE CADET: AD AGE’s Jack Neff reported Unilever is “linking its first Super Bowl commercial for Axe to a chance for one person to win a trip to space.” The effort is “part of a global promotion by Axe and Lynx, its U.K. equivalent, promising to send a total of 23 people beyond the Earth's atmosphere as part of what the brand bills as its biggest product introduction ever -- Apollo deodorant and personal-care products.” Unilever has “enlisted former U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin as pitchman” (, 1/10).

CHECK THIS: REUTERS’ Jonathan Stempel reported Nike “won a victory at the U.S. Supreme Court barring a smaller rival from suing to void the company's trademark for its top-selling Air Force 1 sneakers.” Chief Justice John Roberts “wrote for a unanimous court on Wednesday that Nike's promise not to pursue an infringement lawsuit against Already LLC, maker of Yums sneakers, meant that the Texas company could not pursue its own trademark challenge.” Wednesday's decision “upheld a November 2011 ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.” In addition, Wednesday's decision “may help companies such as Nike rival Adidas SE and luxury goods makers Coach Inc and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, which often sue to prevent alleged imitators from interfering with their revenue streams and customer goodwill” (REUTERS, 1/9).