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TODD SMITH: Brands ready for big wins in Super Bowl XLIX

Super Bowl XLIX-logo_rgbThe Super Bowl – the greatest game of the year – is set to kick off this Sunday. The Spin Cycle is not talking about the Deflategate New England Patriots vs. the Seattle Seahawks. Yes, it’s the biggest sports event of 2014, and everyone across the globe – including The Spin Cycle – will be dialed-in to see the epic battle.

That’s all an appetizer to the really big game of the day. Call it the Brand Bowl! Major companies from across the land are suiting-up, lacing-up and spending a whopping $4.5 million per 30-second ad spot for Super Bowl XLIX. It’s a fierce competition between ad shops and their vaunted brands, which have spent, for the better part of a year, all their time out-creating each other in hopes of scoring major consumer touchdowns!

So tune in to NBC on Feb. 1 for the Super Bowl from University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona.

To keep your pulse on all the action, The Spin Cycle has turned to the master playbook – the AdAge Super Bowl rundown – to give you everything you need to know for the big game!

The soft TV ad market this year is extending even to Super Bowl XLIX, where NBC said in late 2014 ad sales were moving along slightly more slowly than in prior years. Among returning advertisers, Coca-Cola and GoDaddy are each running one commercial instead of the two they bought in 2014. Automakers, too, aren’t crowding the field as much as they have lately, without as many new models that the game is well-timed to promote.

But there will be about 15 new advertisers in the 2015 game, especially in digital commerce and technology, Here’s a rundown of highlights:

Avocados From Mexico
One 30-second spot near the end of the first quarter.

Todd Smith

Todd Smith

Anheuser-Busch InBev
The company has secured a total of seven 30-second ads – or 210 seconds – for the game. The brewer, which has exclusive beer advertising rights for the game, will spotlight Bud Light with ’80s-themed Pac-Man spot, and Budweiser with two 60-second ads. The Clydesdales will return in one Bud ad, while the other will highlight Bud’s “brewing credentials.” Bud Light will continue the “Up for Whatever” campaign that began with in the 2014 game.

BMW
BMW is back after a four-year break to promote its all-electric i3.
The auto company’s first Super Bowl ad is part of its campaign promoting its full range of brands.
Carnival Corp.
The company – which owns brands including Princess Cruises, Cunard, Holland America and others, released four potential commercials and asked consumers to vote for their favorite, which will ultimately run in the game. Voters were entered in a contest promising a yearly cruise for life.

Coca-Cola
Will run a 60-second commercial for flagship soda brand Coca-Cola.

Doritos (PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay)
Doritos is bringing its “Crash the Super Bowl” contest, which asks consumers to come up with its ads for the big game, back for the ninth year in a row.

Dove Men+Care (Unilever)
The brand is coming back to the Super Bowl for the first time since its U.S. introduction in 2010 with a new campaign aimed at supporting the brand’s commitment to “celebrating modern men.”

GoDaddy
The web-hosting company is back in the Super Bowl for an 11th consecutive year, but this time has only purchased one spot, down from its usual two. The original 30-second spot called “Journey Home,” featuring NASCAR star Danica Patrick and a puppy in telling the story of a business owner, has been pulled because of “puppy mill overtones.” GoDaddy will put another ad in its place.

Kia
Former “Remington Steele” and James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan will appear to promote the 2016 Kia Sorento.

Lexus (Toyota)
The ad shows the Lexus NX roaring elegantly around a neon-lit parking garage.
Lexus posted the commercial online on Jan. 14, more than two weeks before the game, making it the first marketer to pre-release its spot. Going early may have been a smart move, given the sleek but not hugely memorable footage.

Loctite
Loctite, the make of Super Glue, is spending the equivalent of nearly its usual annual ad budget to buy a Super Bowl slot at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The ad will be the latest installment of Loctite’s less-than-a-year-old #WinAtGlue campaign.

McDonald’s
McDonald’s is prepping a Super Bowl spot in the 2015 game, after years of opting out and advertising instead in the pre-game slot just before kickoff. The effort is likely to “evolve” the “I’m lovin’ it” theme but retain the tagline.

Mercedes-Benz
This ad will likely continue its Super Bowl habit of a 60-second spot. It will be Mercedes’ third time advertising in the Super Bowl, having last appeared in the game in 2013 and sitting out 2014.

Microsoft
One 60-second ad, its second national ad buy in the Super Bowl. The details on the ad are a well-kept secret.

Mophie
One of many first-time advertisers in the Super Bowl, the marketer of charging accessories and cases for smartphones is aiming to significantly increase its name recognition.

Nationwide
The ad stars actress and writer Mindy Kaling in a bid to compete in the funny-insurance-commercial game. Nationwide hasn’t advertised in the Super Bowl since 2007, when Kevin Federline starred. The company became the official insurance sponsor of the NFL in August.

Nissan
Nissan is coming back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1997, as part of its recent strategy to emphasize “fewer yet bigger moments.” The spot will celebrate dads.

Pepsi Halftime
This 30-second commercial leading into the halftime show features a performance by Katy Perry, which Pepsi is again sponsoring.

Skittles (Mars Inc.)
Skittles will appear in its first Super Bowl commercial. Skittles was a big winner in last season’s Super Bowl even without an ad because Seattle Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch is a notorious fan, but there are no signs yet that he would star in the anticipated Super Bowl ad.

Snickers (Mars Inc.)
The campaign was introduced with an ad starring Betty White in the 2010 Super Bowl. White will not appear in the 2015 Super Bowl ad, but it looks like Danny Trejo and some kind of “Brady Bunch” riff will.

Squarespace
Squarespace is making its second Super Bowl appearance, following a debut in 2014. It joins another web development platform, Wix.com, which will air its first spot during the 2015 game, as well as web-hosting company and chronic Super Bowl advertiser GoDaddy.

Toyota
Toyota is back for its third consecutive Super Bowl with a commercial starring Team Toyota athlete Amy Purdy, a U.S. Paralympic Team snowboarder, and another celebrating “great, bold dads” to promote the new Toyota Camry.

Victoria’s Secret (Limited Brands)
The commercial will star Victoria Secret models including Candice Swanepoel, Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima.

WeatherTech
The ad, “America at Work,” features employees of Weathertech, the automotive floor mat manufacturer that ran its first Super Bowl ad in 2014, and the boss’s dog.

Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers is preserving the mystique of its Super Bowl ad, declining to disclose details, but could seize on the irony of trying to sell a weight loss message during a national snackathon. Its recent campaign, “Help With the Hard Part,” shows the complex relationships that people have with food.

Deflated Mic | ‘Deflategate’ Is A Bunch of Hot Air

The Spin Cycle thinks “Deflategate” is a bunch of hot air. Yes, I get that all NFL teams must abide by the rules with an organization that’s had its brand sacked through numerous scandals over the last couple of years. And a thorough investigation into the deflated footballs should take place – with appropriate actions leveled. But let’s face it. The New England Patriots thoroughly dominated the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game, and could probably have won the game with Nerf footballs.

The ensuing media frenzy has unfortunately shifted the focus off an exciting Super Bowl matchup between the Seahawks and Patriots. This not only hurts the shield, but also frustrates sports fans around the globe. This whole controversy gets a Deflated Mic. It’s time for the NFL PR machine to shift into high gear and move the lens back to the football field!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.

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