Super Bowl newcomer Cars.com will buy its first spots on "Super Bowl XLII," which will run on Fox in 2008.
The price is in the $2.7 million-per-spot range, according to industry estimates--about the average price that many other advertisers have already paid for the big game. It has also been estimated that about 50% to 60% of those Super Bowl commercials have already been sold.
In conjunction with this deal, Cars.com, the auto retailing shopping site, will increase its spending by more than 50% next year. The company says it will launch a "national integrated media campaign" that will run throughout the year, and buy hundreds of newspapers, TV stations, and Web sites.
Helping its marketing plans will be the recent Cars.com deal with Yahoo Autos. The company says it provides Yahoo Autos with two million auto listings.
Cars.com isn't the first to spin its big Super Bowl purchase with some press--and not even the first this year. Some marketers are now taking to spinning purchases that may not even be made.
This past summer, GoDaddy.com--the notorious Internet domain-selling site that has made a career of getting its TV commercials rejected by broadcast networks because of their racy content--may sit out this year's event.
Bob Parsons, GoDaddy.com's chief executive, said in his blog:
"The big complicating factor is that there are many other good alternatives. For example: Earlier this year GoDaddy.com signed on to be the Presenting Sponsor for the 2007 Indianapolis 500 Indy Car Race. And the results were good."
He adds: "And then there's always the risk that our ads on the Big Game might stumble. For our ads to work they need to be "super" edgy--or they don't work. There's always the possibility that we might not be able to get an appropriately edgy ad approved."
Parsons estimates with all the commercial revisions that go into GoDaddy's Super Bowl spots--and possibly buying two or three Super Bowl TV placements for that commercial--he expects the overall price tag to be around $10 million.
This year Fox will gave marketers the benefit of placing ads on sister Web site MySpace, encouraging viewers to go to the popular social networking site during the game to view on-air promotions.