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Super Bowl novices go all in

News, 23 January 2015

NEW YORK: With a week to go before the Super Bowl, 15 brands have thrown their hat into the advertising ring for the first time, some ready to blow the annual budget on one throw of the dice.

At $4.5m for 30 seconds it can be a high-stakes game for smaller brands, but the calculation is that reaching 111.5m viewers at once – the number watching the game last year – makes the gamble worthwhile.

Among the newcomers is glue maker Loctite, which, the Wall Street Journal reported, has spent around $4m on main media advertising in each of the past two years, including three national TV ads in 2014.

"We didn't have the critical mass to deliver a message that would be seen by a majority of the American population," said Pierre Tannoux, director of marketing at Henkel, which owns the Loctite brand. "We thought it would be a better bet to try to put all of our dollars in one bucket."

The job of the first-time advertiser is made more difficult by the expectations raised by match-day veterans like Budweiser and Doritos which can afford to recruit celebrities and spend heavily on creative.

The man tasked with producing a message that will not only introduce the Loctite product but entertain the watching millions poised to issue an instant critique is Chris Lawrence, director of account management at the Fallon agency. "It's a chance to make a lot of friends very quickly," he said.

Others are taking the long view. For David MacNeil, chief executive of WeatherTech, a car floor mat maker, advertising in the Super Bowl could mean winning over a consumer buying a car in three years' time.

"We all love instant gratification, don't get me wrong, but I was doing it more from a branding standpoint," MacNeil said. "It's a long-term investment in our company's future." 

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff