Advertising’s Biggest Game

January 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

COMMERCIALS

It’s time for the annual pre-game scouting report ahead of advertising’s biggest game, which happens this Sunday, February 2.

The Stats:

In the Nielsen Company’s list of the 10 most watched single-telecast TV programs of 2013, the top 4 were the Super Bowl and its kickoff and post game programs.

That’s why this year advertisers are reportedly paying Fox Sports $4 million for a 30-second ad – that’s $133,333.33 per second.  With the expected audience of up to 110 million (not including social media viewers), that’s about 3½¢ per viewer.  Of course, there’s also the cost of production, celebrity fees that can range from $250,000 to $1 million, and the publicity campaign required to promote the ad.

Here’s what we can expect from advertisers’ investments, according to Ad Age® media news and other sources.

Seasoned pros:  Budweiser & Bud Light will have 5 ads between them including appearances by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Don Cheadle and Reggie Watts as well as the Clydesdale trainer from last year’s “Brotherhood” commercial along with a horse and a puppy.  Doritos is repeating its popular “Crash the Super Bowl” contest for the 8th year, running 2 ads created and submitted by consumers.  Coca-Cola has released few details, other than the product’s role in American society will be celebrated.

Rookies:  WeatherTech, a car mat manufacturer.  Squarespace, a “design-centric” website platform.  Near-rookie Heinz Ketchup will run for the first time in 16 years and the second time ever.

Drivers:  Car companies will again be major players – including Audi, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Toyota, Volkswagen, and CarMax.  Some highlights include 3 British actors known for their roles as villains for Jaguar, Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus for Kia, and Terry Crews and the Muppets for Toyota.

Halftime:  Pepsi is sponsoring the halftime show again, and its ad will introduce that, working in scenes from New York City.  In the month leading up to the game, it’s been running an ad portraying Pepsi’s role in the “invention” of halftime.

All-American:  TurboTax will celebrate hard-working Americans.  WeatherTech will focus on the importance of manufacturing in the United States.  Budweiser will pay tribute to soldiers returning from Afghanistan.

Out of retirement:  Former “Full House” stars Bob Saget & Dave Coulier will join castmate John Stamos in an ad for Dannon’s Oikos in an ad that’s not as G-rated as their show.

Audibles:  GoDaddy and Danica Patrick have done a changeup and are going with a less, well, racy, theme this year.  In the first-ever Super Bowl “t-commerce” ad, H&M and David Beckham will promote his Bodywear line, and viewers with certain smart TVs can immediately stop and buy the underwear through their televisions, never switching away from the game.

Moral victory:  Axe causes soldiers and tyrants to set aside their warring ways.  Bank of America features U2 performing a new song that will be free on iTunes during the game and for 24 hours afterward, with BoA donating $1 for each download, up to $2 million, to fight HIV/AIDS and other disease.

Off the roster:  E-Trade.  Maybe the talking baby grew up after 7 years and it wasn’t such a big deal that the kid was talking.

Putting in the second string:  The little guy gets an opportunity when software producer Intuit gives the winner of a contest for small businesses a 30-second ad in the game.

Pooch Kick:  What you may want to do after viewing Audi’s crossbreed, the “Doberhuahua.”

Benched:  For the second year, SodaStream’s ad was rejected by the network, not for the controversy over its West Bank factory, but for calling out Coke & Pepsi; they’re re-editing it to omit featured actress Scarlett Johannson’s closing line that names the competitors.

Enjoy the ads this Sunday, then tell us which ones you’re a fan of.

…And remember, as Stephen Colbert tells America, two professional football teams will also play that day in honor of his first Wonderful Pistachios commercial.

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