It sure looks that way to Kantar Media’s SVP for Research Jon Swallen, who tracks the Super Bowl ad business closely. While other sponsors use the year’s most-watched TV event to showcase their funniest, most interesting, or most touching work, “nobody remembers (movie) commercials,” he says. “That’s because they run the same ads that they run all the time. In the Super Bowl it pales in comparison (to everything else) yet they pay the same money.” Last year no movie ad ranked among the 10 most watched, and re-watched, Super Bowl spots among TiVo owners, the DVR company reported. And the competition probably will be even tougher than usual in this Sunday’s game on NBC between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. Swallen says we should see an increase in ads that will run a full minute or more. Madison Ave was impressed by the buzz Chrysler generated last year with its two-minute ode to Detroit featuring Eminem. Last year there were 10 ads lasting at least a minute, and they accounted for about 16% of all the spots, Kantar says.
(Live-blogging; refresh for updates): Christina Aguilera can’t remember the words to America’s National Anthem, the Super Bowl XLV was a great game that ended with controversy, and the Green Bay Packers won over the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. (As for that awful halftime show, I know where all the Tron: Legacy jumpsuits went to be recycled.) But now we can start judging this year’s crop of $3 million-for-30 seconds Super Bowl ads.
The car and tire ads are back with a vengeance, and Kia’s Optima commercial looked like an Indiana Jones movie on steroids with all those cool backdrops and special effects. The Doritos ads are great, especially the gross one where a guy sucks Doritos crumbs off his co-workers’ fingers and pants. But the Pepsi Max commercial sucked. Really, there are people who think hit-him-in-the-nuts gags still generate yucks?
The Coca-Cola ad was ridiculously over-the-top with dragons losing their firepower. I was surprised by the fabulous Volkswagon Passat ad featuring a pint-sized Darth Vader (see the longer version here) as well as by that Teleflora commercial starring Faith Hill and “your rack”. But that Ericsson Android phone ad with the human thumbs was, in a word, creepy.
Snickers received a lot of ink last year with its Betty White commercial during the Super Bowl. This year its parent company Mars tried to get hit by lightning …
Here is a first look at Fox’s Steven Spielberg/Peter Chernin-produced prehistoric drama Terra Nova. The network just debuted the first promo during the Super Bowl. Similar to the Avatar-flavored trailer shown at TCA, the new promo for the first time peeks at the show’s special effects, featuring a few shots of dinosaurs. Now Terra Nova looks like Avatar meets Jurassic Park. The series is set to premiere in the fall after a preview in May.
Universal, Disney, Paramount, and Sony have all bought time for Super Bowl Sunday on Fox which is selling a 30-second commercial for a whopping $3 million this year (up from $2.8 million in 2010). Many more films will be advertised on this most-watched TV event compared with last year but once again Warner Bros won’t join the crowd. Studios often keep secret what specific films they will promo on Game Day, but I have the rundown:
Paramount is promo’ing the most movies, servicing all at halftime: Gore Verbinski/Johnny Depp’s Rango, DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2, Marvel’s Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, JJ Abrams’ Super 8, and Michael Bay’s Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon.
Disney will feature one ad during the game’s 3rd quarter: Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Sony’s ads will run during pre-game, not during the game: Priest, Just Go With It, and Battle: Los Angeles.
Universal and DreamWorks didn’t even wait for the game: they released their Super Bowl ad an hour ahead of the scheduled time for Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. Uni also had a 1st quarter ad for Vin Diesel’s Fast Five, the latest in the Fast & Furious franchise.
Twentieth Century Fox will make Super Bowl history this Sunday when a 30-second spot for its 3D toon Rio (April 15) airs during the game’s 4th quarter and becomes the first ad to air during the game with an embedded code tied to the ”Angry Birds” mobile game. During the spot, viewers will be invited …