glorious alma mater, where football is kind of an afterthought. And there's also my status as parent to a thoroughly-Angeleno daughter, who shares my affection for shirtless Rafa's, and who'd rather spend Sunday at the flea market than watch a footballl game.
Don't get me wrong: I like football. But when it comes to the Big Dance, I will 'fess up -- I'm in it for the commercials.
The Super Bowl is still two days away, and I've already seen 1) The Honda "Ferris Bueller" commercial (extended edition), 2) the Elton John Pepsi commercial, 3) the Budweiser hockey commercial, 4) the Pepsi Max commercial with Regis Philbin, 5) practically everything else set to air.
With all these commercials available online, I'm going to ask the obvious question: Why pay $3.5M for a 30-second Super Bowl spot? Is it worth it?
Well, yes. But that may not remain true, unless more brands follow the footsteps of a curent crop of innovators, who are using the confluence of online video and TV broadcasting to their advantage. The goal: To extend the reach of those $116,6667 per-second broadcast investments with the free carriage provided by online media, and to provide a reason to actually watch a commercial during the game itself.
Doritos, of course, jumped on the online video bandwagon a while ago with its annual "Crash the Super Bowl" contest that invites consumer-generated ad submissions. The contest has proved so popular that this year Doritos upped the ante, adding Andy Samberg's Lonely Island crew to the mix. The winner of the contest will not only receive $1M, but he/she will have the opportunity work with Lonely Island on a commercial project. Excellent reason to look forward to the debut of the winning spot during the game.
Coke has brought back their popular winter icons, the Coke polar bears, and has created a couple of commercials for possible airing. The circumstances of the game will determine which commercial is actually shown. The ads will also be paired with an online stream at CokePolarBearBowl.com, which will show the bears in team colors reacting to the game.
Volkswagen released online video teaser ad "The Bark Side" - featuring dogs barking out the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars - which has racked up more than 11M views on YouTube, and which provides a link to Volkswagen's actual game-day ad ("The Dog Strikes Back").
Mobile app Shazam has also jumped into the fray, enabling nearly half the commercials to be aired during the broadcast to be "Shazam'd" for interactive features and special offers. [You actually don't have to wait until the game - I tested the app on the Teleflora commercial today, and handily received a coupon code for a "Secret Shazam Special." Who needs some flowers?]
Has it really been only a year since Audi became the first brand to use a hashtag in a Super Bowl ad?
Image from the San Francisco Chronicle