Tuesday
Feb022010

How Marketers Are Building Strategies 30 Super Bowl Seconds At A Time

Danica Patrick gets a shock in GoDaddy's "News" TV commercial, to air during Super Bowl XLIV.February 2, 2010: An ad during Super Bowl XLIV could potentially be seen by 90 million people, which may or not be a bad ROI for the respective companies throwing down $2.5-$2.8 million CBS has been asking for 30 seconds. Savvy marketers know that releasing their Super Bowl creative in advance can garner eyeballs and increase ROI. But while some are sharing teaser bits of four seconds or so of their ads, others are disclosing their full 30-60 second spots in an effort not only to get more value from their media buy but also to get the bees buzzing about their strategies beyond Super Bowl Sunday.

GoDaddy, which has become a master at turning 15 minutes of fame - or 30 seconds in the case of Super Bowl -  into a dynamic marketing strategy, has unveiled the second of two spots the domain registrar and Web hosting company will air during the Super Bowl. "News" shows GoDaddy spokeswoman Danica Patrick being interviewed by two women newscasters regarding on the topic, "GoDaddy Commercials: Too Hot For TV?"

The scenario "is a play on GoDaddy's reputation for pushing the envelope and a reminder about its unrated 'Inernet-only' commercials found exclusively at GoDaddy.com," according to the company. GoDaddy has attracted as much attention for ads rejected by Super Bowl networks as for the ones that actually run. This will be GoDaddy's sixth Super Bowl, and sixth in which at least one ad has been rejected. CBS rejected "Lola" for airing during Super Bowl XLIV, which shows an effeminate ex-football player who has found his calling, designing lingerie at a GoDaddy-hosted Web site. GoDaddy said the spot will air on Spike, FX and elswhere, in addition to its Web site.

"Has GoDaddy gone too far this time?" one of the women in "News" asks Patrick. Without waiting for an answer, the second woman states, "Some say the commercial is too hot for TV." Finally getting a moment to speak, Patrick replies, "How hot is too hot?" One of the women newscasters answers, "I could show you exactly how hot," She then lets down her air and opens her jacket, revealing a GoDaddy T-shirt. Text and a voiceover interrupt the scene, directing viewers  to "See more now at GoDaddy.com."

"News" is scheduled to air during the fourth quarter; the other previously revealed spot, "Movies," will air in the first quarter showing Patrick posing as actresses Marilyn Monroe, Kelly LeBrock from Weird Science and Jennifer Beals from Flashdance.

TruTV's first Super Bowl commercial supports NFL Full Contact, a series that will take a behind-the-scenes look at professional football, debuting Feb. 8,  the day after Super Bowl XLIV.

TruTV said that its spot, which stars Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Groundhog Day scenario,  is scheduled to appear in the second quarter of the game, prior to the two-minute warning, Lead agency is Grey, New York. TruTV is using the Super Bowl to build on 2009, which the network, a division of Turner, said was the best in its 18-year history "as deliveries grew 29% among adults 18-34 and 11% among adults 18-49."

"A Super Bowl ad puts TruTV in front of the biggest television audience of the year," Marc Juris, executive vice president and general manager of TruTV/In Session, said in a statement. "It's a great way to attract new fans to the network and introduce them to NFL Full Contact, a show that will give viewers unique access to the real people behind six of the NFL's largest events."

In the spot, politicians and citizens are gathered in a park, with the lead dignitary seemingly struggling to get a groundhog out of a tree trunk. When he finally succeeds, it turns out not to be the groundhog but a mini-me version of Polamalu wearing his Steelers' jersey. The crowd gasps but then cheers as the dignitary declares, "Punxsutawney Polamalo has seen his shadow. SIx more weeks of football!" A voiceover then touts NFL Full Contact as the mini-Polamalu bursts through the screen.

Polamalu was member of the Steelers' championship teams at Super Bowls XL and XLIII; he appeared in a TV spot for Coke Zero during Super Bowl XLIII that was a humorous remake of the classic "Mean" Joe Greene Coca-Cola spot from 1979.

“There are a lot of NFL stars, but only Troy was a perfect fit for this spot,” said Juris.

Cars.com, which is advertising in its third consecutive Super Bowl, will use its appearance to kick off its 2010 marketing campaign. The 's  programming, including Pardon the Interruption and NFL Live, as well as NBA and NCAA basketball games. An integrated online campaign featuring exclusive Web videos will also go live following the game with home page takeovers of ESPN.com, CNN.com, CBSSports.com, YouTube and Yahoo!

Cars.com will also boost its Super Bowl presence with pre- and post-game search engine marketing campaigns and mobile advertising. Additional exposure will come from Cars.com’s network of local broadcast and news partners, who will support the campaign locally in print and online.

Cars.com's 60-second spot, from DDB, Chicago, is reminiscent of its 2009 Super Bowl "Lifetime of Confidence" commercial, in which a man named David Abernathy has the confidence to do everything but buy a car until he finds Cars.com. The new spot, "With Knowledge Comes Confidence," traces the life of Timothy Richmond, who as a toddler had the knowledge to put out a kitchen fire, as a boy traveling in Italy helped a young woman who had been stung by a jellyfish while explaining in Italian what he was doing and "as a teenager while on safari used his knowledge of veterinary obstetrics" to deliver a baby bengal tiger. But when it came time to buy a new car, "he was just as nervous as the rest of us" until he used Cars.com.

“Cars.com’s 2009 Super Bowl commercial was extremely effective at communicating our brand’s key messages to consumers. In addition to being very likeable and well-received by consumers, it was also the most successful commercial we’ve ever produced in achieving key brand-building metrics,” Carolyn Crafts, Cars.com vp-marketing, said in a statement. “Given its success, we wanted to continue the campaign for 2010, but with a fresh approach to give consumers something new for this year’s Big Game.”

Cars. com's previous Super Bowl creative included "Shrunken Head" and "Stone Circle," in which people threaten to resort to unusual "Plan B's" to buy a car. Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned such media companies as Gannett, the Tribune Company and The Washington Post Co.

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