SAN DIEGO, January 29, 2013 – Super Bowl advertising has become as much of a spectacle as the game itself. Most years the TV commercials are far more entertaining. Harris Interactive’s poll for advertising agency Hanon McKendry found 56 percent of U.S. adults who plan to watch Super Bowl XLVII tuning in as much or more for the commercials as for the game.
Interest in the ads is strongest among women, with 66 percent of female viewers saying they watch as much or more for the ads, compared to 47 percent of male viewers. (Oh yeah? So give us some eye candy please, mad men).
Advertisers are willing to put down huge amounts of money to get their ads into the Super Bowl of advertising, both for the buzz and the bragging rights. There is simply no other opportunity to get this many eyeballs on an ad at one time.
The going rate for Super Bowl XLVII is $3.5 million for 30 seconds, and up to $4 million if you want a premium placement like the break before the kickoff. Err, was, since all of the time is sold out.
Many advertisers are paying even more in 2013 for longer commercials, 60 seconds and up to 90 seconds of airtime. The trend is toward longer, “storytelling” commercials, thanks to Chrysler’s “Made In America” spots featuring Eminem and Clint Eastwood.
Viewers will get plenty of sexy women, animals and kids, comedy, big name stars, involvement via online contests, and among it all, a few shining examples of real creativity.
You don’t even have to wait any more for Game Day to see a lot of the ads. A few are already airing on YouTube and other social networks. Some have their own trailers previewing their TV ads.
Love the buzz or hate having your surprise ruined, this trend is here to stay. But there will still be a few ads kept under wraps until Super Bowl Sunday. Which ads will be super good or super bad? Our highlights of the not to be missed, and the ones that will safely allow that trip to the kitchen or restroom.
Audi: “Worth It”
Audi had a winner with its vampire theme in 2012. This year’s ad features a prom theme that will appeal to every guy in the audience who was a nerd in high school, about 90 percent of the audience. It’s clever and really, who can’t relate to the glee of the kid in the ad? It’s another winner for Audi.
Volkswagen: “Get Happy”
VW promised no kids, no dogs, and no Darth Vader. Instead, it’s give us a reggae infused ad featuring singer Jimmy Cliff’s version of “Get Happy” and some improbably irie office workers with Jamaican accents. The ad is catching heat for what some perceive to be racist overtones. It seems like harmless fun, memorable, and clever.
Toyota features its RAV4 model in a 60-second commercial featuring Kaley Cuoco, a star of the CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” as a genie granting wishes. Smart and in keeping with Cuoco’s character. The many fans of “Big Bang” and Kaley will love it.
Kia (Hyundai Motor Group): “Space Babies”
After several winners including partying hamsters and epic dream sequences with Adriana Lima and Motley Crue, the car company gives us – babies? In its preview, Kia says the space babies of planet Babylandia are suited up to embark on an epic journey nine months in the making. So fasten your diapers. It will be epic, but it might be an #epicfail Credit to Kia for pushing the envelope.
Taco Bell: “Viva Young”
Set to a Spanish remake of the hit “We Are Young” by fun., 87-year-old Bernie Goldblatt and his friends bust out of their retirement home for an epic night including stops at a nightclub and tattoo parlor, and of course, like all epic nights, ends at Taco Bell for a meal in the wee hours. CEO Mike Sheldon of ad agency Deutsch LA which created the ad says you don’t have to show Millennials in ads to appeal to them. “You simply need to entertain and engage them.” I’m entertained but I’m not a Millennial. Will Millennials be laughing at Bernie and friends, or with them?
This year’s ad has been shot with two different outcomes for a race between a wild looking band of cowboys and a bus filled with showgirls, possibly drag queens. It’s “Max Max” versus “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” Viewers are encouraged to watch the ad online and vote on who they want to see win the race. Drag queens always get my vote over cowboys. I like glitter.
Hyundai has two commercials, one featuring the Sonata Turbo model, the other its Santa Fe crossover The Sonata ad is online, and it’s OK, no wow factor but not a bomb.
Mercedes-Benz: Kate Upton
This is the ad getting the most buzz. Model Kate Upton and rapper Usher should cover all the sexy bases for Benz for its new CLA model. A preview featuring Upton washing the car in slow motion has already drawn over five million views on YouTube. The appeal is lost on me.
Two 30-second spots. One will introduce the Pepsi sponsored halftime show with Beyonce. The other features Pepsi Next, the mid-calorie cola drink introduced in 2012, in an ad titled “Party.” As far as I know, the only ad to contain a bleeped out word.
Frito-Lay/Doritos: “Crash the Super Bowl”
Doritos won’t mess with a winning formula, going with its commercial contest for the seventh year in a row. Amateurs filmmakers submitted self-produced ads to run in the Super Bowl. See the five finalists introduced by Doritos Girl Ali Landry. Two will air during the Super Bowl, one chosen by Frito/Lay and one by fan votes online. The winner as determined by USA Today’s Ad Meter consumer poll wins the chance to work with director Michael Bay on the next installment of “Transformers.” I’m betting on “Fetch” to win.
It’s not available for preview, but Best Buy revealed it has enlisted actress and comedienne Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”) for its ad, in which Poehler asks off the wall questions of the Best Buy “blue shirts” employees. Reports are that Poehler had a lot of creative input into the ad, which would be a smart decision on Best Buy’s part. No full preview, but there have been some photos published.
No preview either for Wonderful Pistachios, who has enlisted the biggest media sensation on the planet for its ad, Korean rapper Psy of “Gangnam Style” fame.
The Rest of the Ads: Cars, Sodas, Movies, Shoes
Anheuser-Busch: The Super Bowl’s biggest all-time commercial sponsor. It buys three to four minutes of ad time every year. The company announced that two of its ads would feature its new Budweiser Black Crown beer, its new Beck’s Sapphire brew, two Bud Light ads, and a 60-second ad showcasing the history of the Clydesdale horses featured in so many ads over the years.
Axe (Unilever): In its first ever Super Bowl ad, Axe is promoting the opportunity for someone to win a trip to space as part of its campaign for the new Axe Apollo brand. The commercial theme was announced a few weeks ago as “Lifeguard.” Axe promises a “twist” that fans will “love” at the end.
GoDaddy.com Updated: GoDaddy said in an October news release it is “repositioning sexy.” Uh, don’t mess with sexy. Danica Patrick has a small role playing an airline pilot in one of the two ads, running right after the two minute warning.
Lincoln (Ford Motor): Ford doesn’t have much history of Super Bowl advertising. But it is trying to rebrand the Lincoln division for younger drivers. Its 60-second ad will feature five crowd-sourced tweets solicited by late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon on the theme of wacky road trips. Over 6,000 were received and those chosen were meshed into a single story line. Fallon doesn’t appear in the ad. Let’s hope people were feeling especially creative… and weren’t drunk tweeting.
Other advertisers including Cars,com (please, no creepy alien heads this year), Chrysler, Gildan Activewear, M&Ms, Oreo, Mio featuring actor Tracy Morgan, the Milk Processor Education Program (the “Got Milk?” people) featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Samsung, Skechers shoes, Tide laundry detergent, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures.
SodaStream International had its first ad rejected by CBS, because it takes aim squarely at soft drink companies Coca-Cola and Pepsi. The NFL and the TV networks can’t afford to alienate these huge cash machines. But this small upstart has already achieved notoriety for it no matter what ad it ends up airing in its single 30 second purchase.
Volkswagen, Audi, Best Buy, Doritos and Wonderful Pistachios should emerge as the big hits. As for the rest, are they really worth the money?
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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