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VOL. 38 | NO. 5 | Friday, January 31, 2014

Doberhuahua? Super Bowl ads vie for attention

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With one of the most-watched television broadcasts in history just days away, buzz is building over which big brands will take home Best in Show in this year’s Super Bowl advertising competition.

While there certainly will be much to watch on the field with the Manning vs. Sherman showdown, Bloomberg Business reports audience levels for commercials are higher than for the game itself.

An estimated 48 percent of U.S. TV households will tune in. No other advertising opportunity offers such a broad reach, which is why a single, 30-second spot carries a $4 million price tag.

While it sounds absurdly expensive, consider that the cost per viewer is actually in line with other prime-time television spots.

Plus, savvy brands are learning how to expand their ad buy into a multi-week campaign through digital/social and public relations efforts.

The Adobe Digital Index team predicts mobile video viewing will double on Super Bowl Sunday. In addition, Super Bowl advertisers will see a projected 20 percent increase in website visits on game day.

As such, more advertisers are supplementing their ad spend with mobile-friendly video content on their websites, allowing them to reach a more targeted audience in a more measurable way.

That’s why CarMax created two versions of its “Slow Clap” spot. In the first, a customer is slow clapped as he drives home with his savvy CarMax purchase. The online-only variation is called “Slow Bark” where the brand re-creates the ad with puppies.

Some brands will capitalize on prior-year campaign successes such as H&M’s new twist on their David Beckham underwear ad from last year. An interesting new layer of viewer engagement will allow Samsung smart TV viewers to buy the product via their remote controls.

Audi’s spot features singer Sarah McLachlan in an SPCA-style alert about a couple that can’t settle on a dog breed. He wants a Doberman; she wants a Chihuahua. The compromise is a disturbing “Doberhuahua.”

Look for Budweiser to bring back the popular horse trainer from last year that bonded with the Clydesdale colt. This year a Clydesdale and puppy will bond.

Coca-Cola has pre-released one of its ads, “Going All the Way,” that is sure to connect with families across the nation.

It’s the underdog story of a scrawny kid on the football team who overcomes the odds to score the big touchdown. While this is a global brand, this spot reminds us how deeply the brand is rooted in small-town America.

This year’s big game advertising winners will authentically engage viewers, properly differentiate in a memorable way, and create buzz lasting weeks beyond the game.

They’ll layer digital and traditional strategies effectively to extend the Super Bowl “bump” and get the most bang from their media buck.

Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and managing partner of RedRover Sales & Marketing, www.redrovercompany.com, with offices in Memphis and Nashville. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).