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VOL. 36 | NO. 5 | Friday, February 3, 2012




Super Bowl Ad Sneak Preview and Spoilers

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When you’re spending $3.5 million on a 30-second TV spot, maximizing buzz is the name of the game. That’s why one of the overarching themes with this year’s bevy of Super Bowl ads is pre-game promotion as well as the introduction of more social media integrated campaigns. Savvy marketers are taking a more holistic approach.

Leveraging last year’s success sown from the early release of the extremely popular “The Force” ad, VW will again pay tribute to “Star Wars” – which holds a place near and dear to the hearts of the targeted Gen X market – with a canine chorus barking the familiar “Star Wars” theme. Called “The Bark Side,” it’s already generated 10 million views.

Learning from VW’s success last year with the early release of their ad, many brands are following suit this year.

An early favorite, with over 4 million views to date, is a Matthew Broderick Honda ad reminiscent of the popular ‘80s movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Our pal Ferris has traded in his Ferrari for a more conservative Honda CRV.

Chevy has created a custom mobile app – Chevy Game Time – that it will use to give away 20 vehicles and other prizes over the course of the Super Bowl. Users receive a custom license plate number they are hoping will be featured on a car in one of the Chevy spots during the game.

Audi is going the way of an unusual vampire-inspired ad to promote its LED headlights in a spot called “Vampire Party.” Evidently these ultra-bright headlamps aren’t vampire-friendly, as they burn up the entire group of vampire partygoers. It’s an interesting, though widely off-target, choice for this upscale brand.

The bears are back. Coke appears to be a potential frontrunner in interactive marketing this year, allowing fans to interact with the bears on a site hosted by Facebook – Cokepolarbowl.com. The bears will respond in real time to what’s happening in the game and the ads themselves – via both Twitter and Facebook. They’ll cheer touchdowns and cover the cub’s eyes during more adult-oriented commercials.

There are a number of new celebrity sightings this year with John Stamos endorsing Dannon Yogurt, the Pussy Cat Dolls backing Go Daddy, and “X Factor” TV reality show winner Melanie Amaro performing alongside Elton John for Pepsi.

Crowd-sourcing is again the Doritos strategy, where everyday filmmakers are encouraged to “Crash the Super Bowl” by creating their own commercials, which are voted on by the public at www.crashthesuperbowl.com. The winning spot will be featured during the game.

Skechers is featuring dog racing this year, with a dog donning Skechers sneakers of course. The short teaser now available is building buzz. Will it outperform last year’s Kim Kardashian spot? There’s nowhere to go but up.

Which ads will be on fire? Which will fizzle out? Check back next week for the final analysis.

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).

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