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Mitsubishi’s TV/Web Ad Strategy A Super Bowl Success

While most post-Super Bowl attention focused on the halftime debacle and the mediocre quality of most commercials, one place the event did shine for marketers as never before was on the Web.

The most dramatic, symbiotic TV-Internet Super Bowl media strategy was that of Mitsubishi Motors North America. Created by Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Deutsch, Los Angeles, Mitsubishi’s campaign combined the front-end lure of a Super Bowl TV commercial with the back-end depth of a Web site to maximize the message’s breadth and impact.

Using speeding, crashing cars and a simple but effective cliffhanger, the marketer catapulted waves of TV-viewing consumers directly into a rich Web environment, where its product was presented as an enveloping physical experience.

200,000 Vote in 30-minute Online Super Bowl Ad Poll

More than 200,000 TV viewers turned to their computers to cast a vote in Saturday night’s CBS/America Online Web poll to select Coca-Cola Co.’s “Mean Joe Greene” as the greatest Super Bowl commercial of all time.

The real-time balloting that occurred during a pre-game special was further evidence of the utility and power of the Internet to instantly connect TV broadcasters and their sponsors with the passions and actions of individual viewers.

Live TV

The live TV special, Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials, counted down the top 10 ads until it reached the final three, and viewers were then asked to go to AOL.com or CBS.com to vote. The program aired on Viacom’s CBS, which also hosted Sunday’s Super Bowl XXVIII, in which the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers.

4.6 million video views

More than 200,000 viewers logged on in 30 minutes to cast their votes. Throughout the promotion, which began with print ads in USA Today, the online ads were viewed more than 4.6 million times. This was the third such Super Bowl commercial special to run in the last four years, all on CBS, but the first to utilize a live voter component.

Super Bowl Ads Score Highest Viewer-Retention Rates

Messages from marketers who buy time on the Super Bowl receive unusually high levels of audience attention because of the unique dynamics of the annual broadcast, according to a new study by Initiative Media Worldwide.

The Super Bowl is the champ in its ability to retain 99.5% of its viewers during commercials.

The study also found that the genre of larger “special event” broadcast TV programming — including the Super Bowl — regularly delivers higher advertising impact for national marketers than regular programming.

CBS Rejects Anti-Bush Super Bowl Commercial

Viacom’s CBS today rejected a request from liberal group MoveOn to air a 30-second anti-President Bush ad during the Super Bowl, saying the spot violated the Network policy.

A CBS spokesman said the decision against broadcasting the spot had nothing to do with either the Super Bowl or the ad’s specific issue but was because the network has had a long-term policy not to air issue ads anywhere on the network.

A MoveOn spokesperson said the group hopes to appeal the decision within CBS.

Anti-Bush Ad Contest Submits Super Bowl Commercial

Liberal activist group MoveOn.org last night announced it has chosen an anti-President Bush ad to air ahead of next week’s “State of the Union” address and said today it is negotiating with CBS to gain airtime on the Super Bowl.

A spokesman for CBS said the Viacom-owned network has received the request from MoveOn to run the ad in the Super Bowl, but added that the ad has to go through standards and practices before CBS will say if it can run an advocacy ad during the game. The spokesman said he didn’t think it was likely that the spot would pass standards and practices.

Las Vegas Ad Campaign Is Super Bowl End Run

Rebuffed in its efforts to run ads in last year’s Super Bowl, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority this year is making an end run around the National Football League’s ad restrictions by airing two out-of-bowl spots centered on the big game.

The three-week, $1.5 million Super Bowl campaign features two 30-second spots, both using the tagline “If only it was this exciting at the game in Houston,” where Super Bowl XXVIII will be played Feb. 1. The ads encourage those not traveling to the big game to party instead in Las Vegas.

Super Bowl Ad Prices Set New Record

he average price of a 30-second spot on the Super Bowl has jumped 7% to a record-breaking $2.25 million, solidifying the game’s role as the centerpiece of the marketing year, even as grumbling grows about the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of network TV.

CBS has sold 54 in-game spots for the Feb. 1 game to marketers such as Anheuser-Busch Cos., Frito-Lay, Pepsi-Cola Co. and Procter & Gamble Co. Eight slots remain, according to media buyers. Those last spots, as usual, are available for significantly less than the spots already sold, although the network is shuffling inventory in a bid to keep the value high. The fourth quarter is now selling for as low as $1.8 million, media buyers reported.

AOL To Sponsor Super Bowl Halftime Show

Time Warner’s America Online today said it will be the presenting sponsor of the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show and will run three commercials during the game.

The three 30-second in-game spots, from independent Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., will showcase a new product, which AOL declined to specify. AOL also plans to run two pre-game spots, produced by Omnicom Group’s BBDO Worldwide, New York, that will be part of the “Life Needs” campaign for AOL 9.0.

Pepsi Launches Food-Themed Ad Campaign

PepsiCo’s Pepsi-Cola Co. on Sunday breaks a new campaign introducing the latest slogan for its flagship soft-drink brand.

Earlier this month, Pepsi said it was dropping its “Joy of Pepsi” tagline for “Pepsi. It’s the Cola.” The new advertising, which will carry the new theme, wants to get consumers to associate Pepsi-Cola with food and mealtimes, which is why the marketer is rolling out the campaign to coincide with the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving.

Marketers Who Have Abandoned The Super Bowl

When technology company EDS felt it had to establish its brand, it went straight to the biggest advertising play on TV: the Super Bowl. In 2000 and 2001, EDS advertised during the game with humorous and memorable commercials, “Cat Herding” and “Running with the Squirrels,” from Publicis Groupe’s Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis.

Its mission accomplished, EDS then opted out. No ads last year, and none slated for Super Bowl XXXVII airing Jan. 26 on Walt Disney Co.’s ABC.

ABC Nears A Touchdown In Super Bowl Ad Sales

With two weeks to go, Walt Disney Co.’s ABC is in good shape selling Super Bowl XXXVII, according to media agency executives, with its average price for a 30-second commercial at $2.1 million, up 10% over a year ago. Only six spots are left to sell.

The remaining commercials are in the fourth quarter, which is typical this close to game day. ABC has sold 55 spots so far.

New Super Bowl, same advertisers

Unlike the game itself, there was no clear-cut winner among Madison Avenue’s offerings that aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl, if the polls are any indication.

In fact, advertisers’ efforts seemed to be so ho-hum that even the students in Andrew Bergstein’s marketing classes at Penn State University were unwilling to discuss them.

“It was like pulling teeth to get students to talk about their favorite Super Bowl ads, which was radically different from previous years,” said Bergstein, an instructor at the university’s Smeal College of Business.

Pepsi Readies Sierra Mist National Rollout

Sierra Mist lemon-lime soft drink from PepsiCo’s Pepsi-Cola North America will get multimillion-dollar support starting in January, bottlers said, as the brand, launched in October 2000, goes national.

Ads, planned for Super Bowl XXXVI, will continue the “Shockingly Refreshing” tag.

Omnicom Group’s BBDO Worldwide, New York, is the agency on the account.

ABC On Fast Pace To Sell Out Super Bowl

An executive at Walt Disney Co.’s ABC said it has “less than 15″ network spots left to sell in next year’s Super Bowl and considers its sales pace ahead of schedule.

Media buyers say ABC is pricing spots above 2002 levels at $2.3 million for prime first and second quarter positions.

Cadillac Rolls Out Biggest Ad Push In Three Years

General Motors Corp.’s Cadillac brand gets its biggest ad push since its 1999 “Power of &” blitz with 12 new spots this year in its “Break Through” campaign, which arrives Feb. 3.

In one spot, the voice-over, by actor Gary Sinise, says, “The legendary bloodline is about to boil.”

Print ads arrive in February weeklies, followed by outdoor and radio efforts to support the campaign.