CBS has added a small and new national TV advertiser to its high-profile stable of big Super Bowl marketers.
Austin-Tx.-based vacation rental service HomeAway says it will air its first national TV commercial during the big Super Bowl event on Feb. 7, 2010, broadcast by CBS.
The travel-service company prides itself on getting its customers vacation lodging at typically half the price of hotels, and says it is the fastest-growing segment of the online travel business.
Brian Sharples, founder and CEO of HomeAway, stated: "We're going to use the Super Bowl broadcast to launch an exciting campaign highlighting the benefits of vacation rentals to reach more than 100 million people."
The company has not determined its Super Bowl creative yet, which will be produced by its agency of record, Seattle-based Publicis. Test commercials will be run in select markets to determine the Super Bowl message. The agency will also handle the company's online media and promotions.
HomeAway says the Super Bowl commercial will start a whole-year campaign, its first national marketing effort.
CBS has already inked deals with many veteran Super Bowl marketers: CareerBuilder, InBev's Anheuser Busch, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, Frito-Lay, Bridgestone and GoDaddy.com.
Reports suggest that spots sold range around $2.7 million and $2.8 million for a 30-second commercial. That cost is at or below the pricing set by NBC for the last Super Bowl when it aired the game.
Media buyers say CBS has around a dozen spots remaining to sell. Considering the early weakness in the advertising economy, media buyers say the network is doing well.
As has been the case in previous years, the number of Super Bowl spots sold could rise as the event draws closer. Some marketers who committed early to buying the game typically try to alter their plans, asking the network to let them out of their buys.
Networks will accommodate advertisers if the marketplace is strong with prices climbing and buyers are available. Currently, scatter pricing on some networks for prime-time programming is nearly at double-digit increases versus that of the upfront selling period.
Last year, NBC claims to have sold as many as 10 30-second commercials at $3 million and more, which would be a Super Bowl advertising record.
But some media-buying and network-selling executives now doubt those claims. After inking many quick deals, NBC scrambled to get advertisers into the Super Bowl after the market crash in late fall.