Over the years, it has been called the Ad Bowl, the Bud Bowl and the Buzz Bowl. Super Bowl XLIII on Sunday will probably go down as the Hard-Sell Bowl.As the economy soured, advertisers began crafting a hard-sell approach to their game ads, and the results will be on display Sunday. They offer a stark contrast to the slapstick of Budweiser‘s flatulent horse and Electronic Data Systems‘ Herding Cats branding ad that in past years tended to soft-peddle products and services.
The Super Bowl advertising ranks are usually filled with the big boys of marketing: Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo. And now: Cash4Gold?
For television viewers, the Super Bowl offers an annual midwinter spectacle. On Sunday, in addition to a football game and a halftime show, they can watch Madison Avenue try to walk a tightrope. The advertisers, which are spending up to $3 million for each 30-second commercial during Super Bowl XLIII, have a tricky task before them. They must figure out the right way to speak to consumers worried about the wretched economy while at the same time not ignore the long-standing appeal of Super Bowl Sunday as a night of escapist fare.
Determined to get their money’s worth, many of Super Sunday‘s advertisers have been using pre-game Web efforts to rev up anticipatory interest in the commercials. But the process works in the other direction, too, according to a survey conducted last week for advertising/marketing/consulting firm Hanon McKendry. Thirty percent of respondents who plan to watch the game said seeing the telecast’s commercials makes them more likely to visit an advertiser’s Web site.