July 27, 2021

Advertising: Marketers Tease Super Bowl Commercials

The growing interest among consumers in discussing Super Bowl commercials on social Web sites before and during the game is pushing sponsors to use sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to stimulate excitement about their expensive and often elaborate spots. The result is that a long-held belief among marketers that Super Bowl commercials should be kept hush-hush until they run is giving way to a philosophy of teasing content in advance. In some cases, that means sharing even entire commercials early.

For instance, on Wednesday Volkswagen of America began running a video meant to pique interest in its coming Super Bowl commercial for the 2012 Beetle. The Super Bowl commercial will tell a story about a determined dog and end with a homage to “Star Wars” and “The Force,” the Volkswagen Passat commercial from the 2011 Super Bowl that was the most-watched ad on YouTube last year, with more than 49 million views.

The teaser video, called “The Bark Side,” presents a canine chorus performing “The Imperial March” from the “Star Wars” films, which was also heard in the Passat commercial. The teaser was viewed 1.6 million times on youtube.com in the first 24 hours; by Monday afternoon, the total exceeded 7.3 million. The teaser also directs viewers to a section of the Volkswagen Web site, vw.com/star-wars-invite, where they can invite friends to Super Bowl parties with customized versions of the “Star Wars” opening title crawls.

The actual Beetle Super Bowl commercial is to be posted online on Feb. 1, four days before the Giants and the Patriots meet in Super Bowl XLVI on NBC, which is charging an average of $3.5 million for 30 seconds of commercial time.

“We want to start and provoke a conversation,” said Tim Mahoney, chief product and marketing officer at Volkswagen of America, and “we’re off to a rock-solid start.”

The company is following its playbook from last year, when “The Force” commercial for the Passat was uploaded to YouTube before appearing in Super Bowl XLV and was watched 14 million times before the game.


Lifting the veil before the Super Bowl “has a halo effect,” said Mike Sheldon, chief executive at Deutsch L.A., the agency that created both commercials and the “Bark Side” teaser, by encouraging Super Bowl viewers to watch a spot when it turns up during the game.

“They like to be let in on the joke, let in on the story, early,” Mr. Sheldon added. Deutsch L.A. is part of the Deutsch division of Lowe Partners Worldwide, owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies.

“In previous years, Super Bowl commercials were single-day lightning,” said Suzie Reider, head of industry development for the global video team at Google. “Now, it feels more like rolling thunder.”

In planning its fifth annual Super Bowl AdBlitz — a channel devoted to the spots in the game, where computer users can vote for their favorites — YouTube, a unit of Google, is working with the NBC Sports unit of NBC. Ms. Reider said it was the first time that YouTube and the network broadcasting the game would be partners. For example, votes on nbcsports.com for AdBlitz favorites will be counted in the YouTube tally.

“We know the game includes the commercial experience,” said Troy Ewanchyna, vice president for business development and digital strategies at NBC Sports, which will also offer a live stream of the game on nbcsports.com (although with spots different from those running on television).

“People watching on air are looking for a companion experience online,” Mr. Ewanchyna said. “A partnership with someone like YouTube, incorporating social components, is a great way to extend the celebration.” NBC will promote the AdBlitz during the game and YouTube will brand the channel as “YouTube AdBlitz in partnership with NBC Sports.”

Volkswagen is one of an estimated 15 car or car-related brands that will advertise in Super Bowl XLVI, making efforts to stand out particularly important for those in that industry. Another automaker, Chevrolet, part of General Motors, already began running one of its Super Bowl commercials — a humorous spot for the Camaro, created by a young contest winneron youtube.com and chevrolet.com on Thursday.

And Audi, which will return to the Super Bowl for the fifth consecutive year, plans to release online a teaser video and a game about its commercial for Super Bowl XLVI on Tuesday or Wednesday. The 60-second commercial, scheduled to be one of the first in the game, demonstrates new LED headlights on the 2013 Audi S7 hatchback that, the spot proclaims, are so much like daylight they can vanquish vampires.

“We’re doing more and more prereleasing of information,” said Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer at Audi of America. The commercial will be supplemented by a campaign on Twitter, where Audi will promote the commercial with a hashtag, #SoLongVampires.


“From everything we’ve seen, releasing early is good,” Mr. Keogh said, because it whets viewers’ appetites to the point where “they’re actually looking for your spot” in the game. The entire Super Bowl spot will be uploaded in the next week, he added, to Web sites like YouTube and audiusa.com.

The Audi creative agency is Venables Bell Partners in San Francisco.

Other sponsors of Super Bowl XLVI that have started to promote spots in the game include Bridgestone, with commercials featuring stars of basketball (Tim Duncan, Steve Nash) and football (Troy Aikman, Deion Sanders); Century 21; Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt; Doritos, sold by PepsiCo; E*Trade; Honda; Hyundai; Kia; Lexus; MM’s, sold by Mars; and Teleflora.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=9d41e2ae49262cdc1526a70a2e396648

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