The huge pricetag for Super Bowl advertisements keeps all but the biggest and boldest brands away. But with inventiveness, other brands are finding ways to ride the Big Game zeitgeist without having to fork over Big Game prices.
Suzuki, for example, in the past has proven adept at skirting the expensive national spots in the Super Bowl in favor of a regional strategy, and the Japanese auto brand is doing the same thing this year — even bigger.
Instead of joining the cacophony of national car ads at $3.5 million a pop, Suzuki will focus its regional buy in 21 core cold-weather markets for ads to run in locally allocated slots during the game. Suzuki will highlight the all-wheel-drive version of its Kizashi sport sedan in a slush spot (titled "Sled") which you can watch below — along with Super Bowl 46 sneak peeks from Audi, Coca-Cola and Cars.com.
Super Bowl Sunday is huge for restaurants and CPG brands, as well, and because of the massive nationwide consumption of snack foods, many of them do whatever they can to tie in. Pizza Patron, for example, a Dallas-based chain of about a hundred restaurants, has introduced just in time for the game four new combos of wings, pizzas and QuesoStix.
Big brands, meanwhile, keep on teasing their Super Bowl 46 spots. One of the more amusing sneak peeks broke today — Audi's spot featuring vampires vs. the daylight-simulating properties of the Audi S7's headlights:
While NBC is broadcasting the game as part of the Super Bowl rotation year-to-year, that hasn't stopped rival networks from stealing some business on the edges. ABC, for instance, scored Volkswagen's Super Bowl teaser ad last week starring a pack of dogs barking out the Star Wars theme. ABC was able to grab VW's spot because of a mega-placement of the new Volkswagen Passat in a mid-January episode of the network's popular sitcom, The Middle. Not only did the show's Heck family spend the entire episode driving, living in and extolling the virtues of the neighbors' new sedan, but also the episode was Super Bowl themed: The Big Game actually will be played in Indianapolis, and the show is set in Indiana.
Less mightily, PETA also is tapping into Super Bowl fever with billboards in and around Boston, New York and Indianapolis — the three key cities for this year's game, in case you didn't get the connection — pleading with carnivores passing by to forgo their favorite Big Game foods. The message, beside a photo of a couple of little chicks, is, "Let them keep their damn wings for one day, OK?" And the "small print" offers "Vegan Super Bowl" recipes at the PETA website.
In other Super Bowl animal-watching, Coca-Cola is preparing two versions of its Super Bowl spot, featuring the brand's iconic polar bears, according to AdAge.com. Executives will choose the spot during the game, with cokepolarbowl.com pointing to Facebook as its social viewing party hub for the promotion. The spots:
Meanwhile, Cars.com is getting Super Bowl exposure the old-fashioned way — buying an ad during the game, once again. And true to one Super Bowl tradition, the commercial — featuring what Adweek cheekily dubs an "excitable appendage" that recalls How to Get Ahead in Advertising (and Men in Black) — turns out to be a head-scratcher. Cars.com paid $3.5 million for this? Well, you be the judge: