The XLII SuperBowl takes places this coming Sunday in Phoenix. The heavily favored New England Patriots go into battle against the underdog New York Giants. The excitement of varying predictions ranging from an upset to a close game to an outright blow out, is slightly overshadowed in our industry by the role advertising plays in the event. So while traditional water cooler conversation has always been about the best commercials shown as well as the new characters and themes unveiled, the advent of the Web for related promotion only continues to get better and better, and deserves its own monitoring and critiquing.
Frito-Lay has purchased one 60-second spot in this year's game to announce the winner of the "Crash the Super Bowl" contest. Three finalists had videos made, with the winner to be unveiled during the big game. It is absolutely worth visiting the Doritos Web site www.doritos.com along with the MySpace micro site http://www.myspace.com/doritoscrashthesuperbowl to check out the promotion. Here you can see firsthand how effective Web video was for a viral campaign that ultimately has a national broadcast tie in.
As usual, Budweiser is running a series of commercials promoting Bud Light. If you visit www.budbowl.com you can sign up with your mobile phone number in order to vote for your favorite commercial. At the end of the game a bonus or secret commercial will be made available online for registered users to access. It will be interesting to see the final tally on how many people register and vote, and if Budweiser is able to leverage this Web component effectively.
Outside of specific advertiser side campaigns, it is worth checking out the portals and major sports sites to see a variety of executions. I have spent the past few days visiting http://www.nfl.com/superbowl, which is the official Web home of the game, to see what new and exciting ad placements are being showcased. The site, which is hosted by the NFL, has an assortment of articles, pictures, video and everything football- and Super-Bowl-related (minus any mention of a live broadcast of the game online). With an average cost of $2.5 million per 30-second spot during the game, the Web site not only allows for additional messaging (both paid and unpaid) for specific sponsors, but it also features numerous non-SuperBowl commercial advertisers with a Web presence, including Circuit City, Acura and Cadillac.
The best video experience offered on the site is within the specific 'Videos' section, where a nearly 600x350 player is clearly visible. Planters Nuts has a nice 234x60 companion ad which appropriately expands at the time of video play. And although I would recommend to Planters that they rotate through some new creative, the NFL has instituted some basic frequency capping which at least avoids the pre-roll ad on every clip played. I am a little surprised not to see any splashier programs on the Web site thus far, but perhaps that will change in the coming days.
I will look to do a post game wrap-up, so for more on the event check out my blog, http://blog.undertone-inc.com, next Monday.