Coca-Cola hopes to build on its strong showing in last year's Super Bowl with a ’13 ad that gets fans involved via social media and allows them to vote on a commercial to debut immediately following this year’s game. The company yesterday debuted its 60-second “Mirage” spot, which showcases three teams -- a pack of cowboys, a group of “Badlanders” and a troupe of Vegas-style showgirls -- racing through a desert for a giant bottle of Coke. Fans can vote for their favorite group via social media or CokeChase.com now through the end of the game, when the final portion of the ad will air. Coca-Cola will release a 30-second teaser today across all major TV outlets, with a 60-second spot from Wieden + Kennedy debuting nationally during the game’s first half on Feb. 3. Coca-Cola's spot last year drew record numbers, with nearly 9.0 million viewers tuning in to watch a live stream of the brand’s iconic polar bears watching the game in real time. Though last year’s spot was popular, company execs wanted to try a different route in ‘13. Coca-Cola Senior VP/North America Marketing Alison Lewis said that fan engagement was key to the idea of the campaign this year. Lewis said, “Last year it was a much more passive experience where people watched what the polar bears were doing. This year it’s far more active because two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl and during the game we’re asking people to engage and vote on which ending they want to see" (Josh Carpenter, THE DAILY).
SOCIAL CLUB: DIGIDAY.com's Giselle Abramovich noted social media integration is a "huge component" of Coca-Cola's effort. Fans’ actions via social media will "determine how the storyline plays out, and that’s Coke’s shot at active engagement." Real-time updates on the chase and character engagement will "take place on every major form of digital and social media." During the game last year, all Coke "asked people to do was watch the bears watch the games." There was no "call to action to share, or vote, or anything of the sort." This year, there are "all sorts of activities for consumers" (DIGIDAY.com, 1/22).
WAITING TOO LATE? AD AGE's Natalie Zmuda wrote Coke's "post-game strategy could be risky." The Super Bowl audience has been "known to disperse in the past, particularly when the game is seen as a blow-out going into half-time." It is "not clear that the second Coca-Cola ad will even be considered an official 'Super Bowl ad,' as commercials shown after the end of the game typically cost significantly less." Coca-Cola execs said that they were "confident the post-game spot would get the outsize audience they desired." This year marks the "earliest date Coca-Cola has released its Super Bowl creative." It is "hoping most folks watching the Super Bowl will already have seen its 60-second spot before kickoff -- a trend that's been hotly debated in the ad world" (ADAGE.com, 1/22).
The big debate surrounding this year's Super Bowl is “should advertisers release their commercials early,” according to Meg James of the L.A. TIMES. During the last two years, a “growing number of Super Bowl advertisers have unveiled their spots several days before the big game to build excitement on the Internet.” Early releases and in “some cases minute-long viral videos designed to tease to a Super Bowl commercial are strategic ploys to create an instant social media fan base.” But brand strategist Adam Hanft said, "Now there is a feeling that you get more bang for your buck if you hold the commercial back." Advertisers are “eager to get the biggest bounce possible from their sizable investments,” but they are “divided on whether to release their spots early.” Anheuser-Busch VP/Marketing Paul Chibe said, "We have been watching that debate closely. This year there are some ads that we are going to hold back and a few that we are releasing early." James noted Paramount Farms is preparing its first Super Bowl ad for its Wonderful Pistachios brand, featuring South Korean rapper Psy. The company “hopes its ad will go viral -- during the game.” Paramount Farms VP/Marketing Marc Seguin: "What's a better 'big reveal' than unveiling your commercial before 100 million people who are viewing it all at once?" But Deutsch, L.A., CEO Mike Sheldon “has a different view.” His ad agency “created much excitement" last year for Volkswagen's ‘Star Wars’-themed commercial by releasing a minute-long teaser "a couple of weeks before the game.” Sheldon said, "You'd be crazy not to release early. There is so much excitement and attention paid to the Super Bowl prior to the game" (L.A. TIMES, 1/22).
GO YOUR OWN WAY: USA TODAY’s Laura Petrecca notes Coca-Cola and Audi both will employ a “choose your own ad-venture” approach this year. Coca-Cola yesterday unveiled its plans, and Audi tomorrow at midnight ET will “release three versions of its Big Game commercial on its YouTube channel.” It will “start out with a young man who heads to the prom dateless, but confident, since he’s driving his father’s new 2013 Audi S6 high-performance sport sedan.” Once at school, he “brazenly takes the principal’s parking spot.” At the dance, he “boldly kisses the prom queen and is confronted by the prom king.” What happens next is “up to consumers.” After the three versions are posted, viewers “will have 24 hours to vote on one of the three possible endings.” The final ad will “appear on Audi’s YouTube channel this Saturday, as well as during the game on CBS” (USA TODAY, 1/23). DETAILS COMING OUT: The AP’s Mae Anderson reported Best Buy has enlisted actress Amy Poehler "to get its brand message across in a humor-focused spot.” The company's 30-second ad, which will run in the first quarter, will “convey a branding message and comes as the electronics retailer works on a turnaround plan to combat tough competition from online retailers and discounters.” The spot will be “supported by a social media component, and a second ad will air after the game detailing several special offers” (AP, 1/22).AD WEEK’s Andrew McMains notes music “plays a starring role" in Hyundai's ads this year.” A spot prior to the start of the game will feature an “original song and cameo from an established indie band," while a spot slotted for the first quarter uses Quiet Riot's "Bang Your Head" to "set the scene for a kids' football showdown.” Hyundai will run a total of “five ads on the big day -- a 60-second and two 30-second spots in the half-hour leading up to kickoff and two 30-second spots during the game” (ADWEEK.com, 1/23).
SHIRT & SHOES REQUIRED: AD WEEK’s Tim Nudd noted the teaser for Gildan’s debut Super Bowl ads “features a scruffy young man trying to make a graceful exit after waking up in a stranger's bedroom after a night of debauchery.” As the man makes “his getaway without waking up the girl, he realizes he's left behind his favorite T-shirt.” He “weighs the pros and cons of going back to get it.” The spot ends with the line: "It's about time you had a favorite T-shirt" (ADWEEK.com, 1/21). MARKETING DAILY’s Carrie Cummings noted Gildan “enlisted advertising agency DeVito/Verdi to come up with the 30-second spot” in an effort to “debut on the national stage as a major contender for Hanes and Fruit of the Loom.” Gildan Branded Apparel VP/Marketing & Merchandising Rob Packard said, “We want our message to be heard, and the Super Bowl provides us an opportunity to shout it from the largest mountaintop” (MEDIAPOST.com, 1/22).
UPTON GIRL: AD WEEK’s Nudd noted Mercedes-Benz on Saturday released its official 40-second teaser for its Super Bowl ad, with “no sign” of model Kate Upton, though she will "star in the finished spot, created by Merkley + Partners and director Dante Ariola.” The teaser “shows a mysterious wind blowing into an old New Orleans cafe, which causes a jukebox to fire up” and begin playing the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil." Mercedes released a second teaser on Monday with Upton, but she "mostly stands by -- in a small black tank top and jean shorts -- while some guys in football jerseys wash the all-new Mercedes-Benz CLA.” The ad is "expected to air in the fourth quarter of the game” (ADWEEK.com, 1/22). ABC’s Linsey Davis noted the preview "as far as we can tell is a slow-motion car wash of sorts that seems to focus more on model Kate Upton's ‘Daisy Dukes’ and tank top than anything else." While the ad is for Mercedes’ new model, “many might argue” Upton is the “real star of the ad” ("GMA," ABC, 1/23).
MORE TEASERS: Skechers has a spot “scheduled to air during the two-minute warning before halftime,” and a recent teaser shows a "man in Skechers GOrun 2 shoes chasing a cheetah" (ADWEEK.com, 1/20). Cars.com for its Super Bowl ad released print, digital and social teasers that pose the question "why drama?" The spot will air during the first quarter and will be created by mcgarrybowen, Chicago (Cars.com).
PASSING ON THIS YEAR:CareerBuilder VP/Corporate Communications Jennifer Grasz said that the company is “taking a break from the game.” AD AGE’s Brian Steinberg noted the company has been “a member of the Super Bowl ad roster since 2005 and has used chimpanzee-themed commercials to make its mark.” Grasz said, "The Super Bowl has been a good investment for us over the years. We decided to pursue other marketing opportunities this year." She said returning to future games is "definitely a consideration" (ADAGE.com, 1/22). Meanwhile, in Nashville, G. Chambers Williams III noted Bridgestone has “abandoned its sponsorship of the Super Bowl halftime show for 2013, turning it over to Pepsi, and also has chosen not to advertise at all during the big game.” Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations VP/Consumer Marketing Phil Pacsi: "After the Super Bowl last year, we began to re-evaluate our relationship with the NFL. ... We had a great run with that and achieved our goals of getting Bridgestone recognized” (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 1/20).
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson made a combined $131.5M in on-and-off-course earnings in ’12, according to a ranking of the top 50 earners in the sport compiled by GOLF DIGEST. The top 50 collectively earned more than $400M off the course last year. Despite Woods’ loss of “a half-dozen endorsements following his scandal and tens of millions in off-course money,” he still “bounces back in 2012 with new overseas deals and bonus money triggered by his three victories.” On-course income includes “all money earned on the PGA Tour and the five international tours and the Champions Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and the Japan LPGA.” It also includes “unofficial money won in non-tour events.” Off-course income includes “estimates of all money earned from endorsements, bonuses, appearance fees, corporate outings, speaking engagements, licensing fees (video games, trading cards, etc.), course architecture, books, instructional videos and businesses that capitalize on a person's status as a player, such as product lines including clothing, wine and turfgrass” (GOLF DIGEST, 3/ '13 issue).
TOP EARNERS IN GOLF
Davis Love III
Bo Van Pelt
Miguel Angel Jimenez
TEEING UP: GOLF magazine’s Jessica Marksbury notes CBS golf analyst Nick Faldo “decided to partner” with N.Y.-based Bernette Textile Co. to launch golf apparel venture Claret & Green, which “will debut this spring.” Bernette President Jeffrey Siskind said, “Claret & Green is very much in the image of Nick. He’s had a lot of input into the kind of products that are going to embody the brand, so they are classic.” Faldo said, “I’ve always been interested in the clothing side of golf. I love the detail. You can say you want buttons and zips and all sorts of things, and they go, ‘Yeah, we’ll give it a go.’ So I think that’s the most exciting thing.” Both Faldo and Siskind are “confident that the brand will carve a niche for itself.” Faldo said of the Claret & Green logo, “The shield represents the knighthood bit, which is cool. And the stripes are my six major wins in the order I won them (maroon for the Open and green for the Masters)” (GOLF, 2/ ’13 issue).
Textron, which today announced a 10-race sponsorship with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the No. 1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray, is eyeing sales increases across the NASCAR industry for its Cessna airplanes, Bell helicopters, E-Z-Go golf carts and Bad Boy Buggies ATVs. Speaking at a press event, Cessna CEO Scott Ernest said that the company has a 20% penetration rate among owners, drivers and sponsors. He declined to say how much it hopes to boost its percentage of that market, but did say that it will have a dedicated sales team working to sell planes across the NASCAR industry. He added that the company will use the sponsorship to promote six new lines of planes. Ernest: “The ability to network in this world was important. We’re going to continue to invest and grow our product here.” E-Z-Go is working to increase its golf cart sales at racetracks across the sport. Atlanta Motor Speedway currently uses its carts and it is in discussions with Charlotte Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. E-Z-Go President Kevin Holleran said the company has not made a concerted sales effort at racetracks in the past. But he added, “Now with Ganassi, I would anticipate we’ll be able to do that much, much better.” The company’s Bad Boy Buggies ATV brand will be the No. 1 car's primary sponsor of races in Talladega and Charlotte. Holleran said that the sponsorship is designed to raise awareness of Bad Boy Buggies among NASCAR fans who hunt. He added, “There’s a great opportunity there.” EGR President Steve Lauletta said the team only has four races to sell on the No. 1 car in '13, which is a major decrease in the inventory it had available at the end of last year after Bass Pro ended its 18-race support of the team. McDonald’s will sponsor 15 races, Textron (Cessna, E-Z-Go and Bad Boy Buggies) will sponsor 10 races, Liftmaster will sponsor four, Bass Pro will sponsor two and Banana Boat will sponsor one race. Four races that have been sold will be announced at a later date. Lauletta said the team is in an enviable position to start the season.
UFC fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will “appear in an ad campaign for a pair of training shoes Reebok is marketing as ‘All Terrain Vehicle’” as he prepares for his final fight with the MMA outfit on Saturday at "UFC on Fox 6" in Chicago, according to Kevin Iole of YAHOO SPORTS. Reebok held a news conference in Chicago yesterday “to announce the deal with Jackson.” However, the company’s name “won't be seen anywhere” during Fox’ broadcast of the event, because Reebok is “not a UFC-approved sponsor and thus Jackson has been barred from wearing any of its branding into the Octagon.” Reebok VP & Head of U.S. Marketing John Lynch said that the company was “interested in Jackson because of his personality and the image he portrays and not because of where he competes.” Lynch said, "We think his personality will transcend where he is at. I understand the UFC is the 800-pound gorilla in this sport. We get that. But we believe he's got a tremendous amount of juice on his own.” Lynch added that Reebok's “desire isn't necessarily to be affiliated with the UFC brand.” Lynch said that Reebok “isn't troubled by whatever issues Jackson has or has had with the UFC, because it wasn't looking to land a fighter per se to endorse the ATV shoe.” Lynch: "There's a celebrity side of him and a fighter side of him. I'm not the one who is best to differentiate all of that, but for us, we're looking at him as a guy who embodies fitness and training" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/22).
Nike beginning in March will "host 10 companies for a three-month, mentor-driven" Nike+ Accelerator program, facilitated by Colorado-based company TechStars, according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. Mentors for the program include Nike VP/Digital Sport Stefan Olander and Foursquare co-Founder Naveen Selvadurai. Nike "wants outsiders to come up with ideas about how to be active -- and do so using Nike digital products." The company is "accepting applications for the program" through Feb. 3 and winners "will be selected at the end of February." The program will "run through June." Nike will "provide development tools, office facilities, technical platforms and support for the winning companies." The program "ends with a 'technology investor demonstration day' at the World Headquarters" (OREGONLIVE.com, 1/22).
YEAR IN REVIEW: In Portland, Erik Siemers notes Nike's first year as the NFL's primary apparel supplier "is coming to a close." NFL Senior VP/Consumer Products Leo Kane, when asked about the biggest surprise Nike brought to the table, said, "Their social media and the Nike community, how powerful that is, that probably exceeded our expectations." Siemers asks Kane how much influence Nike has in uniform changes and if they are driven by Nike or the teams. Kane said, "We don't want to bring on a world class partner like Nike and then not ask them to come to us with any ideas." When asked what to expect for '13, Kane said, "I think Nike sees the potential in evolving the sidelines. I think you'll see us make really, really great product for the sidelines. You'll see a big step-up in the 2013 line" (PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/18).
NEW LOOK: In DC, Sarah Kogod noted some Wizards players Monday night wore "special Nike sneakers, paying tribute to Martin Luther King." The shoes are part of the Black History Month collection and will be available "in stores and online starting" Saturday. Nike in a release said a "consistent design aesthetic weaves through each shoe, with a color palette including black and grey highlighted in orange." The color orange is "particularly meaningful with its bold hue and tie to Nike’s DNA since its 1972 inception" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 1/22). In Detroit, Joe Rexrode noted Michigan State will wear "special Nike uniforms" for Sunday's men's basketball game against Indiana. The uniforms are "similar to the Nike Pro Combat uniforms the MSU football team wore" in its '11 game against Michigan. Nike "chose the game for MSU to wear the uniforms" (FREEP.com, 1/22).