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Who Dat Advertizen on De Super Bowl? - VIDEO ENHANCED

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By Marty Bernstein

Sunday is more than just a football game between the NFC Champions (art) Indianapolis Colts (insert helmet art) and the AFC (art) New Orleans Saints (insert helmet art) to win the coved trophy (insert trophy art).

It is also the home of the American institution known as the best advertising event of the year. And that’s is not always oxymoronic.

The numbers don’t lie. Over 51% of the viewers according to new study from the Nielsen Results (based on a s 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.

Some 36 different advertisers are joining the fray this year, but it’s the car commercials I will bring into focus.! This year five automotive advertisers are spending one helluva lot of money not just to entertain us, but to achieve a lofty marketing goal: get us to visit a dealer and drive one of their cars. 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 each 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 the game meeting with the 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, strange trivia and stats that have become part of the annual Sunday bash. Most will not have a description since readers can click on the link to watch the commercial(s). I will however offer a little Vegas View of how the brand will end up in the score.

Hyundai – the biggest and probably the best
The not-so-little company that could and did shake up the automobile industry with the award winning Genesis sedan, a unique assurance program backed with super spots that used Academy Award nominee, Jeff Bridges as the voiceover and hand other ad endeavors has the most commercials.

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 SB, Hyundai ran two, so this year’s buy equals that of some really big advertisers in the fast food and beer categories.

Here’s the starting line-up for Hyundai’s strong campaign.

In game commercials:
Hyundai’s spots will run in “A” positions – aka, the best money can buy. In-game spot number 1 is called "Paint," this spot runs in the first quarter.

In-game spot number 2 is the Brett Favre "Retirement" ad, and it will appear in the second quarter

Hyundai is the sponsor of the title sponsor of the “Hyundai Kickoff Show” which begins at 6:00 p.m. and leads directly into the championship game between the AFC (art) and the NFC (art) champions.

Three different 30-second ads will run during the Kickoff Show, including one in the time slot immediately preceding the game – between the National Anthem and the the kickoff. These spots are "What is luxury" "Safety" and "U.S. factory."

And there’s more. Voiceovers and animations featuring Hyundai will be integrated after each commercial break. In addition to highlighting the all-new Sonata, pre and post-game spots will showcase the all-new Tucson and revamped Hyundai Assurance consumer protection program.

Hyundai’s advertising game plan is simple: every commercial is aimed for the points that trigger a consumers reaction and a response. They have mixed humor, key features, new product, quality and 10 year guarantee (really relevant today) which, I believe gives them the best of best in the automotive advertising category. Hyundai’s commercials are beautifully produced with meaningful content that treats the viewers with respect.

When should commercials run during the game?
Three words almost guarantee success: early position, early position and early position. And with 36 advertisers, eyes get weary. Nielsen’s study noted, “Earlier really is better. Ads placed in the first quarter of the Super Bowl are better remembered and are better liked. There is a steep drop-off as the game progresses until the fourth quarter, when ad performance settles at a level that is closer to the average for all television ads.” The study cited an issue known as ‘ad fatigue,’ which results, ““When viewers have difficulty maintaining a high level of focus for that many ads. It doesn’t matter if the game is a blowout or a nail-biter.”

Audi’s Green Police
Two years ago it was a the Godfather’s homage, last year it was the Transporter honor, this year Audi is using humor – a very delicate, hard to define, much less create element -- in its new Super Bowl commercial known as the Green Police.

Think of the many situations that could result from lack of attention to the need to protect the environment which has been Audi’s diesel theme in previous, non-humorous but well produced commercials … especially the rolling oil barrels last year.

Vegas view: Underdog. Humor is a very personal response and what’s funny about the environment?

Kia goes the humor route too.
The other Korean brand, Kia -- has increased brand awareness with a series of a cute commercials featuring very cute little furry animals and the like for Forte –as they move into the Super Bowl ad world it makes good sense to continue a good thing.

Their new commercial let’s kids toys do all the talking and selling to sell the new Sorento. The target? Young families. Featured are “live” versions of kids stuffed animals, characters, robots and other formerly inanimate objects.

Vegas view: Had to tell from the teaser, but could be a cute and cuddly winner.

Who dat spending big bucks for tickets? While millions are watching the game on TV with expensive commercials, thousands will have spent big bucks to sit in the stadium (art of stadium) to watch the game live. Click to visit the website of legal ticket broker. The prices are amazing. Super Bowl Tickets

Chrysler … the only Detroit Brand in the big game
In more profitable times General Motors used the Super Bowl to sell Cadillac and Chevy. I don’t recall Ford running any spots, but that may be incorrect. When Chrysler announced it was running a spot in the game of the year, strong sentiments were voiced by many asking, “Why?” Since then little if anything has crossed my desk or has emanated from the new Italian company about the commercial.

Vegas view: No news is no comment.

Volkswagens new agency’s first new spot is based on an old and odd game
According to the media release there was a time when kids played a game called Slug Bug. The first person to see the VW bug could say “slug bug” and slug his sibling, relative or friend. Kids!

Moving to the adult world and the Super Bowl the first new ad from the new agency is called “Punch Dub” in which whoever sees a specific VW first gets to punch someone. Purpose? Supposedly to drive viewers to Facebook where they can play the new virtual version of the old game. Punching a friend over Facebook will qualify that person for a giveaway contest in which a new VW will be awarded. Okay?! There was a strong web pre-game day viral effort too.

Vegas View: Is this the newest version of the flea flicker play? Who knows? Who cares?

Honda has high hopes for squirrelly commercial
The new Accord Crosstour's storage capacity is the focus of Honda’s Super Bowl commercial which airs during the fourth quarter.

Vegas view: Cute animation tells effective story.

Commercials you may have missed over the past 44 Super Bowls
Bathroom breaks have caused many to miss what may have been one of the very best commercials during the Super Bowls of the past two years. For you here’s the link to every commercial that ran in those games and some getting special mention over the years. Click to: