With Super Bowl XLVI looming on February 5th, marketers are starting to trickle out news of their plans during the big game. The latest:
• The Mars-owned M&M's brand will introduce a new character during its Super Bowl spot (by BBDO New York) during the first quarter: Ms. Brown, according to the New York Times. She's the sixth candy character (following red, yellow, blue, green, and orange) and the second female in the cast, following Ms. Green, and will be portrayed as a behind-the-scenes character and the brand's "chief chocolate officer." Ms. Brown now has a Twitter account (@mmsbrown) and is being teased (above) on the M&M's Facebook page.
• H&M announced today that the Swedish fast-fashion retailer will run a 30-second TV spot (produced in-house) during the second quarter of the game, featuring the upcoming David Beckham Bodywear collection of men's underwear in the first Super Bowl spot for the brand and for Beckham.
“We’re always looking for new ways to surprise and delight our customers, and we see this as a unique opportunity to reach millions of fans and H&M customers. David Beckham is a true style icon and one of the most decorated soccer players of all time,” stated Steve Lubomski, Director of Marketing for H&M North America. “We’re thrilled with this campaign and excited to captivate viewers’ attention during the Super Bowl, the biggest stage in the world to unveil our ad campaign.”
• Kia will feature supermodel Adriana Lima, rockers Mötley Crüe and mixed martial arts fighter Chuck Liddell in a 60-second male fantasy involving its Optima midsize family sedan. "As we're dreaming at night, our true desires come out," commented Michael Sprague, Kia Motors America head of marketing and communications to USA Today, of its new spot by David&Goliath. It's "the ultimate man's dream," he added, "but it's not offensive to women, either." In-theater teasers playing up the model's edgier design and performance will commence on Feb. 3, with 15-second teaser ads on TV beforehand.
USA Today adds that "VW, Audi and Honda are airing 60-second spots. Extra time helps sell a big-ticket item, says Scott Keogh, marketing chief for Audi, which will promote a coming, fancier S7 performance version of the A7 hatchback that already starts at about $60,000. "With a premium brand, this concept of storytelling is crucial. It gives (viewers) the facts, the substance and the legend behind your product."
In addition to 60-second spots, marketers are pushing multiple brands: "Honda will push Honda and Acura models, Toyota its Toyota and Lexus lines, and VW both its VW Beetle and the Audi S7. General Motors is slated to tout Chevy and Cadillac." Twitter and Facebook support is a given for every marketer in the lead up to the big game. "We look at (the game) as a multiday — and sometimes a multiweek — PR and social-media blitz," observed Brian Thomas, Volkswagen USA head of brand marketing, to USA Today.
• Further to the multiple brand point, Lexus released this 15-second teaser on its YouTube channel for its first ever Super Bowl spot (slated for the first half) with the teaser line, "It features the all-new GS, but hints that we have many more cars waiting to bust out this year."
"This is a big year for Lexus as we introduce nine new or updated models, and the Super Bowl provides us with an equally big opportunity to reach a highly engaged audience of 50 million people," stated Brian Smith, Lexus VP of marketing, in a press release. "The star of our commercial is the all-new 2013 GS which launches in February and kicks off a pivotal era for the Lexus brand. The spot also will convey that even more products are waiting in the wings and are anxious to hit the road."
Lexus is building buzz for its Super Bowl debut with a social social media activation: TweetDrive Engineered by Lexus, "a socially-fueled game engaging football fans during the professional football playoffs." TweetDrive Engineered by Lexus airs live on NBCSports.com and offers fans the opportunity to earn yardage, move their “team” down the field and score a touchdown during the actual playoff games and throughout the week.
The object of the game is to gain enough yards to score a touchdown. Yardage is accumulated by tweeting the correct answers to a mix of trivia and predictive gaming questions using the #LexusTweetDrive hash tag. For each playoff game a fan plays TweetDrive, they are entered to win the grand prize: a trip for two to an NBC Sports Premium Event. To participate, fans just need to register at NBCSports.com and watch for tweets from the @Lexus Twitter account using #LexusTweetDrive during playoff games (predictive gaming questions) and throughout the week (trivia questions) through January 22nd.
• Following last year's Super Bowl blunder and yanked commercial, HomeAway is staying away from this year's Super Bowl and instead put its its money into Sunday's Golden Globes broadcast, where it launched a new campaign featuring the tune "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green and family vacation memories: