The pair of two-minute Chrysler spots that aired during Super Bowl XLVII “were a topic of water cooler conversations from coast to coast, if online discussions are any indication,” according to Bryce Hoffman of the DETROIT NEWS. The first, a Jeep ad with an Oprah Winfrey-voiced tribute, "launched" a partnership with the USO called "Operation Safe Return." Chrysler over the next year “will donate $1 million to this cause in the form of cash and vehicles, and Chrysler employees will be asked to pitch in and support its efforts in their communities.” Chrysler CMO Olivier Francois said that getting Oprah -- who, as “a rule, does not do ads for products that are not her own -- was not difficult” because she has “worked with the company in the past to promote charitable causes.” The second spot for Ram Truck “resurrected a Paul Harvey paean to the American farmer.” The automaker “will donate $100,000 to hunger relief charities across America for every million downloads or shares of the video from its website, up to $1 million.” The tally as of 6:00pm ET yesterday had “already reached more than 1.5 million downloads” (DETROIT NEWS, 2/5). In N.Y., Rich Lowry writes there were “only two minutes that made you stop and truly listen” during the game, and those were “courtesy of Paul Harvey.” The spot “stuck out for how thoroughly un-Super Bowl it was.” Lowry: “It was simple. It was quiet. It was thoughtful. It was eloquent. It was everything that our celebrity-soaked pop culture, which dominates Super Bowl Sunday almost as much as football does, is not.” Harvey's speech is “a little gem of literary craftsmanship” (N.Y. POST, 2/5). In Detroit, David Shepardson notes Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a “critic of the auto bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, praised the Chrysler ad -- though he didn't mention the automaker.” Grassley on Twitter wrote, "I appreciate exposure given Paul Harvey's Tribute to Farmers -- he knew food grows on farms not in supermarkets and farmers are number one stewards of land” (DETROIT NEWS, 2/5).REVISIONIST HISTORY? In N.Y., David Hinckley explains why in his top five Super Bowl ads he “didn't include the best of them all, the ‘So God Made a Farmer’ spot.” Hinckley: “It was a great ad. Moving. Visually beautiful.” But the “problem was that for almost a century America has been driving the person Harvey and this ad are celebrating, the family farmer, out of business” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/5). ESPN’s J.A. Adande said of the Ram Truck ad, “The tone of the Dodge ad just struck me as funky, in particular it didn’t mention any immigrant workers. They make up three-quarters of the farm workers in this country. Shouldn’t they be acknowledged too?” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 2/4).SETTING A TREND: In N.Y., Stuart Elliott writes the reactions to Sunday’s ads are “offering a fascinating look at the dominant types of commercials -- emotional and humorous -- that Madison Avenue prefers for its big event.” Most of the 46 commercials “can fit into one of those camps, and it was those spots that seem to have generated the most responses, positive and negative, in the many polls and surveys that were taken during and after the game.” Chrysler “stood out for a decision to run two commercials" that were "both emotional.” The Jeep commercial was “one of only six during the game to receive an ‘A’ in the Kellogg School’s annual Super Bowl Advertising Review survey, conducted among a panel of students.” The Ram spot received a “C.” That grade “seemed an outlier, however, compared with the outcomes of several other polls.” Some sponsors, like Anheuser-Busch, “pursued both approaches in separate commercials.” The company ran “an emotional commercial by the Anomaly agency for Budweiser beer that told a heartwarming tale about a Clydesdale’s reunion with its trainer.” On the “humorous side of the ledger for Anheuser-Busch, there were two spots by the Translation agency for Bud Light beer.” They featured “light-hearted looks at die-hard football fans in New Orleans who sought out the singer Stevie Wonder, playing a voodoo king, to cast Super Bowl spells for them” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/5).COMPANY EXECS DEFEND ADS: In St. Louis, Lisa Brown notes three ads designed to “introduce new A-B beers, Budweiser Black Crown and Beck’s Sapphire, were among the bottom five in the rankings of the more than 50 Super Bowl ads,” according to USA Today's Ad Meter. The ads were “sleek in design but were viewed by some as too generic.” But A-B VP/Marketing Paul Chibe said that the ads “successfully provided separation from other beers.” Chibe: “They provided a clear view and image of the brands.” Brown notes two spots for A-B’s Bud Light Platinum, which “debuted at the 2012 Super Bowl, were among the lowest scoring ads last year.” Despite that, Bud Light Platinum “went on to become one of the brewery’s most successful beer launches” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/5). In Minneapolis, Thomas Lee cites ad execs as saying that comedian Amy Poehler in Best Buy’s spot “failed to show what Best Buy does best: Woo shoppers with its product expertise.” In addition, some observers said that the commercial “didn’t focus on the Blue Shirts, the employees who explain Best Buy’s technology to customers.” But Best Buy officials said that they were “pleased with Poehler’s performance, as well as the feedback they’ve received from the ad.” Market research firm Center for Emotional Marketing President Leslie Zane said that Poehler “was a good choice.” Facing "tough competition" from Wal-Mart and Amazon, Best Buy “needs to convince consumers it can offer good prices along with expert advice and superior customer service.” Zane said that Poehler is “an A-list celebrity who conveys strong likability” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/5).
LAST KISS? Adweek Exec Editor James Cooper said the Go Daddy ad with model Bar Refaeli kissing actor Jesse Heiman was “definitely the big loser” of the night. Cooper said of the talk and attention the Go Daddy ad has received, “You have to look at the effectiveness of these ads. Yes, they’re talking about it, but I think it’s in a negative way” ("Street Signs," CNBC, 2/4). But NBC Sports Network’s Dave Briggs said the blackout during the game was harder to watch than the Go Daddy ad, saying, "It was 34 minutes. I can handle seven awkward seconds of kissing (but) 34 minutes. I was at the game, I had nothing to do, nowhere to go” (“The Crossover,” NBC Sports Network, 2/4).
GETTING IRIE: In West Palm Beach, Carol Rose noted she is from Jamaica and “loved” the Volkswagen spot with a Minnesota native speaking in a Jamaican accent. The ad was “laugh-out funny.” Rose: “Everyone in my family loved it, including my American children, as do all other Jamaicans I know.” She added, “The fact that he’s able to cheer up his colleagues by using a bunch of catch phrases? No problem, man. After all, it’s simply meant to be funny and overthinking it is what leads to folks taking offense” (PBPULSE.com, 2/4).
A COKE & A SMILE:Coca-Cola officials said that almost 910,000 votes "were cast” to choose which group would win the race to a soft drink at the end of its ad. In Atlanta, Leon Stafford noted a Coke spokesperson “acknowledged intermittent connection problems at the voting site.” The 60-second commercial “asked viewers to vote on who they wanted to win at cokechase.com.” Fans also were “encouraged to throw obstacles in the way of their team’s opponents.” Coke said that the “showgirls got 466,007; the cowboys 313,799; and the badlanders 129,796.” Sabotage votes “outnumbered the combined team votes with almost 7.3 million obstacles thrown in the competitors’ way” (AJC.com, 2/4). DRIVEN BY SOCIAL: BROADCASTING & CABLE’s George Winslow cited a Socialbakers social media analysis that noted spots from auto companies “outperformed most other advertising categories on social media.” The analysis showed that auto brands “as a whole, including Volkswagen, Jeep, Dodge, Audi and Kia had almost 1 million Facebook shares and 4,851 tweets, combined.” It also showed that the Budweiser Clydesdales spot, "The Brotherhood," had “more than four times more shares on Facebook and Twitter than the next most shared spot, which was the commercial” for the movie “Fast & Furious 6” (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 2/4).
ALL SUITED UP:USA TODAY’s Brady & Chase reported the NFL Evolution spots “promoting the NFL’s long-running commitment to safety highlighted three players involved in pending concussion lawsuits against the league.” The spots featured “dramatic portrayals of Mel Gray, Rick Upchurch and the late Ollie Matson.” NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello said, “We are aware of that, but it’s a separate issue from the message in the spot about the evolution of the game” (USA TODAY, 2/5).
LATE-NIGHT HOSTS CHIME IN: The Super Bowl ads were fodder for the late-night talk show hosts last night. Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert said, “The ads killed it this year. They had it all. A Doritos-eating goat, a man outrunning a cheetah, a guy who lost weight 15 years ago, but the tearjerker of the night was a touching story of a man’s love for a horse and that’s not just love in the horse’s eyes. It’s also gratitude that he works for Budweiser and not Burger King.” A news report was aired showing how Burger King found horsemeat in its burger patties in the U.K. (“The Colbert Report,” Comedy Central, 2/4). Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart asked why the Go Daddy ad was “objectionable” but “everybody was perfectly fine” with the A-B Clydesdale ad “where the guy was clearly (EXPLETIVE) his horse.” Stewart said after seeing an ad from the Church of Scientology, “I realized after seeing that that I actually (EXPLETIVE) love the Super Bowl. Guys getting hit really hard, hot girls kissing ugly dudes, hot dudes kissing hot horses, beer, trucks, chips. I found my answer, Scientology, and it was inside my refrigerator the whole time” (“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central, 2/4). ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel: “I did watch the Super Bowl and all I really remember is a blackout, Beyoncé, a fat kid making out with a model and a guy in a weird relationship with a Clydesdale. The big take away I got from last night is we’re paying way too much for pistachios” (“Jimmy Kimmel Live,” ABC, 2/4). CBS’ David Letterman: “They found the reason for the big power outage last night that delayed the game for over a half-an-hour. It was supermodel Bar Refaeli kissing that tool” (“Late Show,” CBS, 2/4). NBC’s Jay Leno: “Did you see the ad for Skechers shoes where the guy saves the gazelle by out running a cheetah? Can you believe that? Lance Armstrong got a commercial already?” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 2/4).
Ravens QB and Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco was, for a day at least, "America's 'it' guy," and he seems "destined for a big payday in the NFL and in endorsements," according to a front-page piece by George & Wilson of the Baltimore SUN. JL Sports VP Tom Kleine, Flacco's marketing agent, said that six endorsement proposals "had flooded in before noon" yesterday, as well as "invitations to attend award ceremonies and appear on magazine covers." But the national spotlight "doesn't mean Flacco is guaranteed a lifetime of endorsement checks." He has made some recent "ill-advised public comments," and some say that he "needs to shake the perception that he is dull as he competes for endorsements with many charismatic NFL quarterbacks." Baker Street Advertising Senior VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman said, "He's certainly a safe pick. ... He's a good-looking guy but nothing, again, terribly flashy that makes him stand out." Flacco last week struck a deal with Baltimore-based Haribo, and another of his current sponsors, Baltimore-based First Mariner Bancorp, yesterday "featured the quarterback on its website" (Baltimore SUN, 2/5). In Orlando, Shannon Owens writes under the header, "Joe Flacco Is NFL's New 'Dull' Star." Flacco is an "excellent quarterback and a terrible NFL star." His fans will "understand this as a compliment." Flacco "may not be the typical media darling whom corporations and media entities like to package and sell" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/5).
MR. PERSONALITY: ESPN’s Darren Rovell said it is "well-known in the marketing world” that Flacco is not the player with the “most personality.” The “interesting thing” is what brands Flacco will choose to endorse. Rovell: "There are going to be companies that will go after him and agents often tell you the line, ‘We’re being very selective.’ But from what I hear … is Joe is going to go after brands -- and this is serious -- that he really, really likes.” Rovell: “We’re going to see a lot of interest locally and bigger deals locally than traditional local deals are, and that’s certainly going to play itself out” (“Outside The Lines,” ESPN, 2/4). In Baltimore, Mike Preston writes Flacco after the Super Bowl victory seemed "bashful when he posed for pictures, almost embarrassed." Flacco said, "If you say there's going to be some kind of celebrity with it, I'm cool with that, but I don't know if I'll ever be comfortable with it" (Baltimore SUN, 2/5). Meanwhile, Flacco yesterday morning also announced that he and his wife, Dana, are "expecting their second child" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 2/4).
BROADWAY JOE: Flacco appeared on CBS’ “Late Show” last night and he said of getting to the show, “I came from New Orleans, Orlando and then from some airport in New Jersey.” He discussed his contract status -- he now is a free agent -- and said of talks with Owner Steve Bisciotti about a new deal, “Earlier in the year when I wasn’t signing what they wanted me to sign, he said, ‘Listen, when the time comes you can come and beat on my desk.’ I said, 'Alright, I’ll take you up on that,’ and I think the time has come.” Letterman noted the power outage during the third quarter of the game, asking, “Did you find that unnerving?” Flacco: “I just thought it was a little strange, it was kind of funny. Some of our guys had a good time with it … but we didn’t play too well afterwards.” Letterman asked whether he found the timing of the outage “suspicious” as the Ravens were leading 28-6. Flacco said, “Don’t get me started. My dad is a big conspiracy theorist so that’s the last thing we need to talk about.” Letterman asked, “Is that the kind of thing that John’s brother Jim might have been up to?” Flacco said, “That’s definitely something they would do” ("Late Show," CBS, 2/4).
GET 'EM WHILE THEY'RE HOT: In Baltimore, Steve Kilar notes the "demand for Ravens-related products is high." Sporting goods stores throughout metro Baltimore "opened just after the game as fans clamored for hats and shirts to wear Monday morning." Holabird Sports store manager Sol Schwartz said that customers yesterday morning were waiting for Ravens Super Bowl apparel "as it was being unloaded from trucks." He is telling customers to "check back for new items later this week because it takes a few days for some collectibles to be manufactured and delivered" (Baltimore SUN, 2/5). Meanwhile, Coca-Cola, the official soft drink of the Ravens, is releasing a limited-edition commemorative can to celebrate the team's Super Bowl victory. A limited number of Coke and Coke Zero cans will be released at select Baltimore and Eastern Shore area retail locations. Bud Light and Miller Lite also have released Ravens commemorative cans (THE DAILY).
Angels CF Mike Trout's agent Craig Landis confirmed that his client "reached a sponsorship agreement" with Subway restaurants, according to Josh Friedman of the Vineland DAILY JOURNAL. Trout appeared in Subway's Super Bowl ad, and supporters said that the endorsement is "a perfect fit" for the reigning AL Rookie of the Year. Landis said, "They approached us (about a deal) and we thought they were a great partner because it’s a national chain, has a great reputation (and) uses athletes in a positive light." He added of other Subway endorsers such as Michael Phelps and Michael Strahan, "They’re not just guys, they’re the top guys (in sports). They’re the most elite guys in various sports, and that’s where Mike fits in." Landis would not comment on the "length or dollar amount of Trout’s contract with Subway." Trout’s portion of the Super Bowl spot "was filmed Jan. 20 at Citi Field." Landis said Subway "did a bunch of little soundbites" with Trout in front of the camera, and the chain that could be used "later in the year." Friedman noted while Trout’s agreement with Subway "could include future commercials," there "haven’t been any other photo shoots scheduled with Subway." Trout has "other sponsorship agreements, with BodyArmor SuperDrink, J&J Snack Foods and Nike, but this [was] his first commercial" (Vineland DAILY JOURNAL, 2/2).
F1 today announced a five-year deal with Emirates in which the airline will serve as a Global Partner of the racing series. Emirates' branding starting with the March 22-24 Malaysian Grand Prix will be displayed on F1 circuit bridges, ground signs and the F1 Paddock Club (F1). The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Kerr & Blitz reported the deal is “worth about" $200M (all figures U.S.), making it “one of the biggest in motorsport.” Emirates “last dabbled" in F1 in ‘06 when it “sponsored the McLaren racing team, but the sponsorship lasted a year.” It is “understood that under the terms of the agreement its livery will not be on display at the Abu Dhabi and Bahrain Grand Prix” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 2/5). REUTERS' Praveen Menon writes Emirates has until “now focused on” soccer, but is trying to "outdo regional rivals for global prominence." Emirates Chair & CEO Sheikh Ahmed said that the airline's “total sports sponsorship" now stood at $272.3M this year. F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said it would now be "the natural thing to do" for Emirates to launch an F1 racing team (REUTERS, 2/5). The AP’s Michael Casey writes the deal for Emirates "is just the latest sponsorship deal involving a major sport.” It already is a FIFA official partner and "recently signed a five-year deal with the ATP which begins this year.” The F1 deal also “comes days after [a] new five-year shirt sponsorship deal” with Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain, the “big-spending French soccer team that signed David Beckham” (AP, 2/5).
DuPont's car-paint unit "has been rebranded as Axalta Coating Systems" and will sponsor NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon for 14 Sprint Cup races this season, according to Jeff Gluck of USA TODAY. This will "undoubtedly mean some adjustment for fans used to the DuPont car." Axalta's "first race on the car" will be the April 13 Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The "only other race announced for the car so far" is the Nov. 17 Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. DuPont's coating business was sold last year for $4.9B to the Carlyle Group, which "holds a portfolio of business that includes Hertz Rental Car and Dunkin' Donuts" (USATODAY.com, 2/4). YAHOO SPORTS' Nick Bromberg reported the DuPont-Axalta "changeover will be official in the second quarter of the year -- after the company's first scheduled race." Other brands under the now Axalta label "will fill Axalta's races until the change" is complete (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/4). SB NATION's Jordan Bianchi noted Gordon raced with DuPont as his primary sponsor during last season's finale at HMS, "where the two celebrated their 20th anniversary together with a special commemorative paint scheme" (SBNATION.com, 2/4).
INTIMIDATION FACTOR: USA TODAY's Gluck & Ryan note no one has driven the No. 3 car in the Sprint Cup Series since Dale Earnhardt's death in February '01, but Team Owner Richard Childress estimates fan support as roughly "85 (percent) positive" for the return of the No. 3. Childress' grandsons, Austin and Ty Dillon, last year "won with the number in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series." Childress: "I hadn’t really had any plans of putting the 3 back in Cup, but it’s kind of re-energized a lot of the fans." Gluck & Ryan write there was a "groundswell of support" to retire the number in the wake of Earnhardt’s death on the last lap of the '01 Daytona 500. Instead, NASCAR, which "assigns and controls the car numbers, has allowed Childress to retain the right to field it again." Dale Earnhardt Jr. "has supported the idea" (USATODAY.com, 2/5).
General Motors yesterday said it was working with Beyoncé to incorporate the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray into her Super Bowl XLVII halftime performance but "it did not work out." GM over the past two weeks called rumors of the vehicle's involvement in the halftime show "speculation." In Detroit, Snavely & Bomey write associating the Corvette with Beyoncé would have “added to an avalanche of publicity for the car, which was revealed Jan. 13 on the eve of the Detroit auto show” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 2/5).
UNIFORM DECISIONS: NBA Exec VP/Global Marketing Sal LaRocca said that the "target debut" for the league to include ads on jerseys is the '14-15 season. In Indianapolis, Anthony Schoettle writes, “NBA owners are leaning toward approving a 2-1/2-inch-by-2-1/2-inch ad placed on either the upper-left or upper-right corner of the jersey. Right now, owners want only one ad per jersey.” A source said that if advertisers "take to the ads, owners will consider adding a second patch.” Schoettle notes one proposal on the table is for teams to share 25% of the "collective jersey advertising revenue," which "gained momentum at an owners meeting in Miami in mid-January” (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/4 issue).
FOREIGN AFFAIRS: MARKETING magazine’s John Reynolds reports London Games sponsors have been “accused of abandoning their commitment to the Olympic legacy, with the Greater London Authority struggling to raise funds for sports-participation projects.” London's city government has committed to investing $11M (all figures U.S.) in "grass-roots projects in the capital over the next two years.” To boost that sum, it has “approached domestic sponsors of London 2012 ... with requests for funding of between” $787,000 and $1.6M. Sources said the GLA has “failed to secure any backing from brands as yet” (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 2/5).
OFF THE RAILS: Canadian National Railway has announced that it will be "modifying its sponsorship position in Canadian golf beyond 2013, electing to focus its efforts on Canadian youth and grassroots golf.” It will “cease to be the title sponsor of the Canadian Women's Open and Canadian Women's Tour at the end of this year” (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/5).