Power Marketplace’s public service journalism 💙 Give Now

Advertisers cut back on Super Bowl

Scott Jagow Jan 16, 2009

Advertisers cut back on Super Bowl

Scott Jagow Jan 16, 2009


Scott Jagow: By the end of the weekend, we’ll know who’s in the Super Bowl. We already know most of the companies who’ll be in the game.

E*Trade Ad: A lot of people are like, aren’t you too young to invest in the markets? And you know, A. Don’t worry about it, you know, I just look young — I mean, you don’t know how old I am. And B. I use E*Trade. So, check it, click: I just bought stock. You just saw me buy stock.

The Super Bowl ads might be a little different this year, considering the economy. Let’s bring in our business of sports commentator, Diana Nyad. Diana, what can we expect to see?

Diana Nyad: I think there might be a little difference in timbre. You know, there are going to be some companies who are going to be very sensitive to the fact that the American public at large has been going through heavy hits in their home lives. You know, Coca-Cola, for instance, is mounting an entire campaign this year called “Open Happiness.” Meaning when you pop that can open, you know, let a little comfort into your lives. There are a few companies, the biggest heavy hitter I can think of is Fed-Ex, who’re just going to stay out of the game altogether. Doesn’t mean that they don’t have the money, that they don’t think it’s a great investment, but Fed-Ex has literally been asking their employees to take pay cuts and laying off people, and they just felt PR-wise they couldn’t do it this year.

Jagow: You know Diana, every year there seems to be some kind of novelty among the ads, like last year the talking infant for E*Trade. What is it this year?

Nyad: Well you know, the studios, the movie studios, have been using the Super Bowl for a long time. But the real creative one I think this year is Dreamworks — their animated divisions is coming out with a film called Monsters and Aliens. And so they are going to put out with Intel 125 million pair of 3D glasses in all kinds of retail stories. And they’re going to run at the end of the second quarter a 30-second spot where you’ve got to use your 3D glasses to see the monsters and aliens. And then right after that, they’ve gone in conjunction with Sobe Life Water — if you remember the Sobe lizards, last year they did that sexy dance with Naomi Campbell — well they have a 30-second spot that comes right on the heels of that. So it’s sort of like Dreamworks, Pepsi, Sobe Life Water, Intel and NBC have all gone together to pay for that 90 seconds.

Jagow: Are there any spots left that haven’t been sold?

Nyad: Supposedly as of this morning, there’re still eight 30-second spots. And what’s interesting — if we had been doing this interview on Labor Day, I would have said, well, there are still eight 30-second spots available, so they did a good job, NBC did, in doing all those sales in the first part of the year not knowing that the crisis was coming. But they really have virtually sold none more than they had sold before Labor Day. So there are still eight available, and I bet they’re going at a discount at this point.

Jagow: Yeah, what, $2.5 million?

Nyad: Well no, not that cheap — they’re at $3 million, but they might go at $2.8 [million].

Jagow: All right. Diana Nyad, our business of sports commentator. Thank you.

Nyad: Thank you, Scott.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

This is NOT a paywall. 

Marketplace is community-funded public service journalism. Give in any amount that works for you – what matters is that you give today.