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At $4 Million Per 30 Seconds, Advertisers Go All In For The Super Bowl

posted 30 Jan 2014, 12:33 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 30 Jan 2014, 12:34 ]

Cars, celebrities and comedy continue to dominate Super Bowl advertising.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (JANUARY 28, 2014) (REUTERS) -  The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks are not the only ones hoping to score a win on Super Bowl Sunday. Advertisers will spend a whopping amount of money in their effort to woo consumers into buying their products.

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This year, the cost of 30 seconds of advertising time during the Super Bowl has soared to $4 million (USD). That's up from $2.9 million in 2010, according to Kantar Media.

The stakes are high, a memorable ad can generate millions of dollars in sales revenue for a company.

So, this year advertisers are going all in for the Super Bowl, spending big, not only on time in the game, but also on celebrities, film directors, and other commercial production and marketing costs.

But many Super Bowl ad themes remain the same. Automobile ads will dominate the big game.Audi, General Motors and Volkswagen are all returning to the broadcast. Hyundai is making its seventh consecutive Super Bowl appearance. And British-owned Jaguar is making its Super Bowl debut on Sunday with a 60-second highly-styled commercial featuring British actors Ben Kingsley,Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong. The commercial was directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper, who won the Best Director Oscar for "The King's Speech".

The celebrities continue with Kia, which is airing a 60-second commercial featuring Laurence Fishburne reprising his role as Morpheus in the film "The Matrix".

With that much money invested, is the Super Bowl worth it?

"Is the Super Bowl worth it? Is it worth spending four million dollars for 30 seconds of advertising? I guess it depends on what you are setting out to do as a marketer," said Advertising Age Managing Editor, Ken Wheaton.

"I think back in the last dot-com bubble we saw a lot of foolish marketing buys that were little else than bragging that they had enough money to run an ad. And that's exactly the wrong thing to do. If you have a specific message or if you are traditionally a Super Bowl advertiser, I think it does make sense. You can send a message to the average consumer, 'Buy my product, we are American made.' Or you are sending a message to your stockholders? 'We're healthy financially to make a marketing play this big,'" Wheaton added.

In the United States, the last four Super Bowls have been the most watched programs in domestic TV history.

In 2012, a record-breaking 111 million people in the U.S. were glued to their sets for the Super Bowl.

Last year, 108 million people in the U.S. tuned in, according to Nielsen.

And according to Horizon Media, Super Bowl viewers also tend to be more affluent, with the majority having annual household incomes of $100,000 or more.

But with so many ads vying for attention, clutter can be a problem. Advertising experts say commercials need to find a smart way to stand out.

"You are being watched by a room full of loud people paying attention to the game, sometimes drunk. So we have a saying around here, 'You gotta reach the drunk guy in the back of the room.'"

Anheuser-Busch continues its Super Bowl run with three ads for its Bud Light brand and two commercials for its Budweiser beer. One of its 60-second Budweiser ads aims to tug at heartstrings when it tells the story of the emotional bond between a Cydesdale and a puppy.

Anheuser-Busch has had a consistent ability to reach its audience. Last year, the beer maker's 2013 Super Bowl ad ranked No. 1 on the USA Today Ad Meter.

Actress Scarlett Johansson has already sparked controversy with her appearance in a commercial for soda maker SodaStream which is set to run in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.

Activists and humanitarian groups were upset because SodaStream's largest factory is based in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Another SodaStream ad controversy was Johansson's jab at soda rivals Coke and Pepsi in the commercial. Fox, the broadcaster that will air the Super Bowl, declined to run the ad, forcing SodaStream to re-edit the spot.

Meantime, Coca-Cola continues its Super Bowl run.

And PepsiCo, the Super Bowl Half-time Show sponsors, will feature its new Mountain Dew Kickstartflavors Black Cherry and Limeade during a pre-game commercial.

Some people are also calling this year's Super Bowl the "Yogurt Bowl". Ads from Greek yogurt rivalsDannon Oikos and Chobani are both scheduled to air in the second half of the football game.

While Oikos returns to the Super Bowl for a second time with its commercial featuring actor John Stamos, this will be Chobani's first Super Bowl run.

"Chobani is America's number one Greek yogurt brand and the Super Bowl is America's number one event. So to me it was a perfect marriage," said Chobani's Chief Marketing Officer, Peter McGuinness.

He added, "We're number one, but we only have 37 percent awareness. So two-thirds of the country has never heard of Chobani, but yet we're number one. So if we can gain more awareness, we have a superior product, more people will eat us and we'll grow even at a more rapid rate. So it's pretty linear, logical ... you know, I didn't over-intellectualize the whole Super Bowl thing. It seemed like a no-brainer to me."

Also returning to the Super Bowl for a second time is Swedish clothing giant H&M. Again, H&M will feature a barely-dressed David Beckham.

But this year, the firm has upped the ante by being the first company to offer "t-commerce" during the Super Bowl.

"If you have a Samsung smart TV, while you are watching the game and you see the commercial, the collection will appear around the commercial. So you are going to see it and then you can click on it and type in your mobile number and it leads you into H& and you continue to shop. It's pretty amazing," touted H&M's North America President, Daniel Kulle.

It's not all cars, clothes, food and drinks during the Super Bowl - Bank of America and Unilever's Axe have bought in.

And the Internet still has a place in the big game. Domain name specialist GoDaddy will return with a commercial featuring longtime endorser, race car driver Danica Patrick, and website platform producer Squarespace will make its debut.

While the commercials will offer their own entertainment, the action will remain on the football field when the Broncos and the Seahawks face off on Sunday, February 2 at MetLife Stadium in East RutherfordNew Jersey.