Magazine article Variety

Songs Got Big Game

Magazine article Variety

Songs Got Big Game

Article excerpt

While the film and music worlds hunker down for an elongated awards season, there is another battleground getting underway involving ad agencies, their brands, music publishers and supervisors as the countdown to NBC's broadcast of the 52nd Super Bowl on Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis is rapidly approaching.

"The Super Bowl is a very big deal for us," says Alex Flores, BMG SVP marketing, commercials, film & TV. She placed several song synchs in last year's game, including Johnny Cash's "Ain't No Grave" in a memorable spot for Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" and the year before, Aerosmith's "Dream On" in a buzzy Skittles commercial. "Everybody wants to nail a placement. It's a healthy competition, a way to showcase, remind and expose our writers to everybody watching across the country and around the world."

With NBC's asking price for a 30-second spot on this year's big game now topping $5 million, it is no wonder that the companies are keeping their plans very close to the vest, waiting until closer to game time to reveal any surprises. "There's definitely a wow factor getting ne of your songs in a Super Bowl commercial," says Keith D'Arcy, Songs Music Publishing senior VP creative licensing, ads.

Last year, 51 advertisers paid $385 million to reach the estimated 112 million viewers, representing 2.3% of total U.S. broadcast network TV ad spending for the year. That's more than was spent in the '60s, '70s and '80s combined ($299 million).NBC is hoping to top the $5 million mark this February by offering agencies a package deal with the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

This year's advertisers offer a who's-who of leading American brands, including Coke, which re-ran its three-year-old, multi-racial "It's Beautiful" spot last year, but promises to return for its 12th consecutive appearance with a brand-new creative.

Other longtime Bowl participants including Kia (back for its ninth year, this time with L.A. agency David & Goliath), Anheuser- Busch (the game's leading sponsor, having dropped $30 million apiece in 2015 and 2016), M&Ms (whose characters will return for the first time since 2014, since Mars went with Snickers last year), Weather Tech, Hyundai, Groupon, PepsiCo/ Frito Lay's Doritos, Pringles - making its debut with a "Flavor Stacking" campaign - and the returning avocados from Mexico. …

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