Super Bowl Ads: A Blowout Before, During, and After the Game
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NBC Universal Media, owned by Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), is making out like a bandit with Super Bowl XLVI ads. The average price is $3.5 million for 30 seconds, according to Business Insider. That's higher than last year's and the $40K “Mad Men” Don Draper would have paid for air time during Super Bowl I in 1967. But, thanks to social media, on-line video, and smart phone apps, advertiser ROI could be off the usual charts. Coca-Cola (NASDAQ: COKE), Pepsico (NYSE: PEP), General Motors (NYSE: GM), et al. are leveraging the ad before, during, and after the game. In communication-speak, airing the ad is simply the platform or the live branding event for the infinite number of promotions the companies and their agencies will cook up – with a shelf life of at least a year.
Coca Cola's iconic polar bears illustrate that blow-out. Sure, they are back for XLVI. But, during the game, they will also be the stars of video streaming on CokePolarBowl.com. That’s happening through Facebook where Mama and Papa Bear watch the game and comment on the plays and even the commercials. Ultimate touching and cute, they will cover Baby Bear eyes when the increased number of racy ads for 2012, especially by GoDaddy, appear. Simultaneously viewers can participate, including uploading photos, via Facebook and other social networks. During the State of the Union, viewers commented in real time on Facebook, making the after-speech official handlers come across as somewhat yesterday.
As for Pepsico, it's among the advertisers airing pre-game teaser videos for the Doritos ad. Like GoDaddy's, the ad screams sex. Ignored while boyfriend watches game and snacks, girl grabs Doritos, covers herself in them on the bed, and boy pays attention. However, for a consumer product, sex is always a risk in Calvinist America. Ongoing research of SuperBowl ads by Chuck Tomkovick at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire found, reports the Calgary Herald, that it can reduce the likability rating by 10 percent. Influential Mommy bloggers and other concerned parents could also respond negatively, including with a boycott.
For its pre-game video teaser "Happy Graduate," Chevy makes use of the now-popular tactic of running a contest for the Super Bowl ad.
After the game, the original ad can be “repurposed,” that is, sliced and diced for whatever. Expect to see lots of snippets of the “Happy Graduate,” illustrating, for example, how not to relate to Generation Y. YouTube comments already label the graduate's parents as jerks. Other companies have developed ad-related apps. Coca Cola's facilitates vouchers for free cola, to celebrate or be comforted, depending on what team the fan rooted for.
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