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Super Bowl XLVIII: Brand Advertising Says "Supersize Me"

The Super Bowl is one spendy marketing event—$40 million for 30 seconds!  

Well, that’s the average media spend that Fox Sports is bringing in for a broad array of Super Bowl 2014 brand advertisers that range from Anheuser Busch InBev, Audi, Axe (Unilever), Bank of America, Hyundai, Intuit, M&M’s (Mars) and PepsiCo (Pepsi, Doritos) to Wonderful Pistachios, and many more in between.  Conspicuous by its absence on this its 30th anniversary is Apple’s  iconic “1984” Macintosh commerical, whose former ad spend undoubtedly paled in comparison to earned media. 

America’s Super Bowl event—ranked as television’s #1-viewed program, the actual game notwithstanding—has spawned yet another favorite American pastime:  commercial-watching.   And this huge entertainment value has not been lost on the brands that vie for a coveted game spot.  Today more than ever, the game-changing value of the media buy has increased exponentially with the advantage of garnering super-sized social media attention.   

Today’s brand mantra for social media? Love, life, loyalty.  Or, maybe, “Let us take you where no brand has gone before.”    

So it’s no wonder that Pepsi is sponsoring the Super Bowl halftime show.  In doing so, the brand gains the hometeam advantage of leveraging its other fan favorites (e.g. Doritos Frito-Lay) to engage consumers wherever they happen to be.  Seeking further yardage from their hefty game time investment, Pepsi and other brands have rediscovered the value of the ad teaser.  As we track Super Bowl brand buzz in NetBase this week, Pepsi’s ad teaser play with Grammy star Bruno Mars has been  scoring with fans, creating plenty of anticipation for the Pepsi-sponsored half-time show when Mars will team up with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. 


Fox Sports has flexed its muscle, lest any potential advertiser think of crossing the offside line. Wary of inviting foul play into its platinum advertiser lineup, the network called a foul on a SodaStream spot featuring actress Scarlett Johansson and her out-of-bounds quip: "Sorry, Coke and Pepsi."  In bounds, however, is PepsiCo’s “Finger Cleaner” Doritos commercial which, albeit appearing somewhat gross, already has become a YouTube hit.

As we see in this NetBase brand cloud, the ad teaser play is scoring big time with viewers filling up the social media stands to engage with brands.


While pegged as somewhat scary, Audi’s Dog Show “Doberhuahua” has not been sidelined.  And the weirdness of the Volkswagen spot featuring Carmen Electra and a host of characters typically found on the boardwalk of Venice Beach, CA, has not been flagged.  The more skin in the game the better as GoDaddy takes the field.  And “I’m back” Arnold Schwarzenegger throws a pass for Bud Light in “Arnold Zipper”.  

Fear not.  The Super Bowl field of brand entertainment may be more brazen than brawny. It’s just a good ol’ American “let it all hang out” kind of day.  But it may, or may not be too soon to huddle in social.  Extra points come Monday with brutal commercials quarterbacking.  And rest assured earned media scores the winning touchdown. 

Join The Conversation

  • Jan 29 Posted 3 years ago Madhava Verma D...

    Well, super bowl season and there would be tremendous scope for the new branding techniques. Good share here.

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