By Barry Janoff
January 31, 2015: Fans and viewers expect plenty of action during Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, but it will come from more than the defending champion Seattle Seahawks playing the New England Patriots.
Universal Studios plans to take over the national stage with more than 100 million viewers expected on NBC to promote several high-octane banners.
A spot will preview the Summer 2015 launch of the "Fast & Furious: Supercharged" ride at Universal Studios, and airtime also will be given for movie trailers for Furious 7 (hitting theaters April 3) and Minions (arriving July 10).
"What better place is there than the Super Bowl to launch a campaign where millions of viewers huddle for non-stop, edge-of-your-seat suspense," Larry Kurzweil, president for Universal Studios Hollywood, said in a statement. "In just 30, thrilling seconds, our compelling spot resonates with the exhilaration this immersive thrill ride will deliver when it opens at Universal Studios Hollywood this summer."
Minions, the spinoff of Despicable Me (2010) and Despicable Me 2 (2013), features the voices of Michael Keaton, Sandra Bullock and Allison Janey, and recounts the history of the yellow munchkins from "the dawn of time" to modern day, where they must face a super-villain who wants to control all Minions to help her rule the world.
(The Minions might return during Super Bowl 50 next February or Super Bowl LI in 2017 as a Despicable Me 3 movie is due out in June 2017.)
Furious 7, the latest in the over-the-top action Fast & Furious franchise, stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez and the late Paul Walker, who died as the result of a car accident in November 2013.
According to Universal, the Fast & Furious: Supercharged hydraulic motion-based ride will tell an "original Fast & Furious story that fuses sophisticated hyper-realistic special effects with a state-of-the-art 3D audio system and 3D-HD imagery, projected onto the world's longest and most expansive 360-degree screen." It includes exclusive interstitial content, filmed with the cast members.
Universal, a sibling of Super Bowl XLIX broadcast network NBC under the Comcast Universal NBC corporate flag, is supporting with Internet and such social media as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
According to research and analeptics firm Kantar Media, the movie category is among the "most populous and competitive ad categories" during Super Bowl broadcasts, along with automotive and food and snacks.