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Volume 24 No. 219
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NBC Nearly Sold Out Of Ad Spots For Super Bowl LII Telecast; Expects $500M In Revenue

NBCU Exec VP/Sales & Marketing Dan Lovinger on Thursday said that the net "expects to take in" $500M in ad revenue on Super Bowl Sunday, "about the same as last year's event," according to Stephen Battaglio of the L.A. TIMES. Lovinger said that NBC had "fewer than 10 spots available" for Super Bowl LII. He added that the "average price was 'north'" of $5M for a 30-second ad, "in line with pricing in recent years." Meanwhile, Lovinger said that advertiser demand has "also been strong" for NBC's telecasts of next month's Pyeongchang Games. He projected a $900M take in ad revenue, which he "said would be a record for a Winter Olympics." Lovinger said that the net is "projecting an audience 'close' to the 21.4 million viewers who tuned in each night" to the '14 Sochi Games (L.A. TIMES, 1/12). Lovinger said pre- and post-game ad units, along with NBC's "This Is Us" post-Super Bowl LII episode, are also "well sold." Sales are so strong that Lovinger said that some days during the Pyeongchang Games are "already sold out." Lovinger "told reporters in October that a quarter of the revenue for both events would be tied to brands who are advertising during both the Super Bowl and the Olympics." He said that percentage has now "increased to a third of total ad revenue for both events." ADWEEK's Jason Lynch noted the Super Bowl brands "include a 'traditional mix' for the big game, with strong presence in automotive, theatrical, consumer packaged goods, consumer electronics and telco categories" (ADWEEK.com, 1/11). Lovinger said that he is "seeing more interest in longer commercials for the Super Bowl than short-form." Lovinger: "You will see more longer-form, longer than :30s, than you have in any other Super Bowl." Lovinger said that the automotive and movie studios categories are "again strong." AD AGE's Jeanine Poggi noted the consumer packaged goods space "remains an 'emerging' category" (ADAGE.com, 1/11).

IT'S BEAUTIFUL: The AP's Mesfin Fekadu reported Cindy Crawford has recreated her iconic '92 Super Bowl ad for Pepsi, now "featuring her 18-year-old son." Crawford recently filmed the commercial, as well as "footage from Michael Jackson's memorable Pepsi commercial." The new Super Bowl ad, dubbed "This Is The Pepsi," is part of the company’s "Pepsi Generation" campaign "honoring the brand's 120-year history in pop culture" (AP, 1/11). ADWEEK's Kristina Monllos noted it is "not clear which agency is behind the new ad or when it will run during the game." As part of the campaign, Pepsi will have "pop-ups at big events like the Super Bowl" (ADWEEK.com, 1/11). AD AGE's E.J. Schultz noted Pepsi did "not release other creative details on the spot, including what other celebrities might appear" (ADAGE.com, 1/11). THE WALL STREET JOURNAL's Vranica & Lombardo noted PepsiCo last year "benched Pepsi" for Super Bowl LI, giving the "high-profile in-game ad time to its new water brand LIFEWTR as health-conscious consumers sought out lower-calorie sparkling and flavored waters." Pepsi will also once again "sponsor the halftime show" this year featuring Justin Timberlake (WSJ.com, 1/11).

I'M SO FANCY
: Headphones and speakers brand Monster Products announced at CES this week that it will make its "Super Bowl debut with a spot starring Iggy Azalea." AD AGE's Poggi wrote, "Given what's expected to be hyper-sensitivity to how women are portrayed in Super Bowl commercials amid the #metoo movement, it will be interesting to see how Monster Products utilizes Azalea, whose career has been riddled with controversy" (ADAGE.com, 1/11). ADWEEK's Erik Oster noted Monster Europe tweeted about the announcement, adding that Azalea would "help launch the brand’s new Airlinks Elements wireless headphones, presumably the product being promoted in the Super Bowl spot" (ADWEEK.com, 1/10). Poggi writes amid recent sexual harassment allegations across the entertainment and sports industries, "microscopic scrutiny will be applied to the way Super Bowl advertisers portray women." Some of the "worst offenders" over the years, like GoDaddy and Carl's Jr., have "cooled their objectification of women in recent years." However, a "less obvious problem" is the "huge, persistent gap between the number of men who are front and center in Super Bowl ads and the number of women in big roles." While brands may "refrain from showcasing scantily-clad women," in many cases, they "simply aren't featuring women at all" (ADAGE.com, 1/12).

GOODBYE ELEPHANT: ADWEEK's Oster noted Wonderful Pistachios "will sit out Super Bowl LII." Last year, The Wonderful Co. "ran 15-second sports for both its brands, Fiji Water and Wonderful Pistachios," which previously appeared in the Super Bowl in '13, '14 and '17 (ADWEEK.com, 1/11).