Tuesday, October 18, 2005

:: superbowl XL :: And so it begins

+ Last week, Adage.com wrote about the NFL assembling a half-hour show consisting solely of Super Bowl XL TV spots for its video-on-demand platform. Similar to what the NFL channel aired later in the week, this will be available to view just hours later. But it's not just as easy as allowing the NFL to reair the spots.
An agency executive, who did not wish to be named, explained that there are additional costs for airing commercials as programming that would need to be paid for by someone.

“We get plenty of visibility. Any company that wants to run the commercials would have to pick up the talent costs. There are also commercial music rights and publisher’s rights.”
Super Bowl spots are priced at $2.5 million per 30-second spot this year. According to media buyers, ABC has around 10 spots left to sell. The Super Bowl usually contains around 64 spots. ABC declined to comment on its Super Bowl sales at this stage, though Anheuser-Busch and Pepsi-Cola Co. are traditionally the biggest spenders. Sprint has already said it has agreed to sponsor the halftime show.
Apparently H&R Block won't be back this year either.
The NYTimes reports that there's XL fever...and we'll be seeing lots of connections to this.
That thought also guided one big marketer partner of the league, the Campbell Soup Company, which advertises its Chunky brand of soups and chili with N.F.L. themes.

In considering ways "to get people who eat 25 cans a year or more to try more varieties," said Ted Riedel, senior brand manager at Campbell in Camden, N.J., the company found that there are XL - er, 40 - flavors of Chunky soups.

That makes Super Bowl XL "the ideal backdrop" for the brand's 2005-6 marketing campaign, Mr. Riedel said, which includes a sweepstakes with a Super Bowl theme, cans with special labels and print ads carrying the headline "XL varieties for XL appetites." The Chunky agency is Young & Rubicam in New York, part of the Young & Rubicam Brands unit of the WPP Group.

Another marketer partner, Visa USA, is using Super Bowl XL as the focus of promotions that include giving away trips to the game, to be played at Ford Field in Detroit; a national mobile-marketing tour, called the Visa End Zone Dance, which began last month in Boston and Los Angeles and is to end at the game; and the introduction of Visa gift cards bearing team logos and photographs of players like Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.

The Super Bowl has "become a part of our culture," said Susanne Lyons, chief marketing officer for Visa USA, and "people like anniversaries," so the combination of the two should prove particularly potent.

The ability of the Super Bowl, and professional football, to cut through the promotional clutter led the Coors Brewing Company division of Molson Coors to renew an agreement for Coors Light to be the official beer sponsor of the N.F.L. through 2010.

"I grew up in New York, and I remember Joe Willie Namath and the Jets beating the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III," said Jim Sabia, vice president for marketing of the Coors Light brand at Coors Brewing in Golden, Colo. "There's a nice emotional attachment to 40 years of Super Bowls."
Four months away and the hubbub begins!

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