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Marty’s Marketing Minutia – Super Bowl Special

Hype, honor, hope, humor, hypocrisy, hierarchy and ho hum

by on Feb.05, 2010

The clock is ticking down. This Sunday, February 7, at 6:00 PM, between 95 and 100 million people are predicted to turn to CBS to watch, nosh, wager, cheer, jeer, drink and honor America’s favorite sporting event: the annual extravaganza of Super Bowl 44 or as the NFL demands, Super Bowl XLIV.  Roman numerals are much classier, right?

But 51% of the viewers, according to new study from the Nielsen Results, (based on a sample of 25,000 households in the company’s Homescan panel), said they enjoy the commercials that run during the game more than the game itself.

Thus Sunday is more than just a football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints. It is the new American institution known as the Cockamamie Commercials Competition or the Stupor Bowl of Advertising. Take your choice.

Some 36 different advertisers are joining the fray this year, but to us it’s all about the car commercials! This year five automotive advertisers are in one helluva money-spending battle not just to entertain us, but to achieve a lofty marketing goal. Well, at least some are.

Taking the digital in-game field will be Audi, Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai and Kia who will be spending millions despite the overall dismal results of 2009. There’s a non-discount rate of $3,000,000 for each :30-second commercial in XLIV.  The buy is scattered. Some brands have bought pre-game, half time, post game and promo positions at a lower, but still significant, rate. CBS isn’t cheap. The audience is huge.

Until recently advertisers kept their new commercials secret until the game itself.  I recall hiring a special company to videotape the entire game, and then edit it down to just the commercials, for Monday after during the game meeting with my former agency’s creative staff.  And it wasn’t cheap.  But the web, You Tube and technology has changed all that – only Chrysler has kept its commercial secret.

Here’s the line on who is doing what and whom should win the best automotive commercial(s) award as well as the odd, interesting and strange trivia and stats that have become part of the annual Sunday bash.

Hyundai is the odds on favorite

The not-so-little company that could and did shake up the automobile industry has scored big, not only with the award-winning Genesis sedan, and it unique assurance program, but by backing its superb spots with the voiceovers of Academy Award nominee Jeff Bridges.

The question is: does quantity equate with quality?

In a phone interview with Joel Ewanick, Hyundai’s vice president of marketing, I learned the “watch out, here we come brand” is going to have eight, yes eight Super Bowl commercials. “Why the heavy lifting?” I asked.  Ewanick responded, “We are focusing this year’s Super Bowl campaign on the all-new 2011 Sonata, the most significant new model introduction in our history.”

In last years XLIII, Hyundai ran just two spots, so this year’s buy equals that of some really big advertisers in the fast food and beer categories.

I could provide a detailed description of each commercial, which seems rather stupid when you can watch them by clicking but I will provide a little info. Here’s the starting line-up for Hyundai’s strong campaign.

Here’s the pregame show  line-up:

In-game commercials   (more…)