Super Bowl Update: Chrysler, Taco Bell Return as Budweiser Unveils New Brew


Super Bowl XLVII is getting closer, so more heavyweight brands are making the required heavyweight commitment to advertise during the Big Game on CBS on February 3.

The network said today that all of the available spots are sold out at around $4 million per 30 seconds, with the latest returning brands including Chrysler from last year and Taco Bell from three years ago.

Budweiser plans to debut Budweiser Black Crown, an amber lager with higher alcohol content, with a 30-second spot during the game. Anheuser-Busch InBev introduced Bud Light Platinum during last year’s game, while Black Crown was developed via last year’s Project 12 regional brewmaster challenge.

Taco Bell had a very good year with a snap-back in sales on the strength of new produccts such as Doritos Locos Tacos, and so the Yum!-owned brand has confirmed it’s suiting up for the Super Bowl for the first time since 2010. The chain’s 60-second spot will “support the brand’s ‘LIVE MÁS’ tagline and spirit.”

Doritos, meanwhile, tapped actress Ali Landry, who rose to fame during her 2008 Super Bowl commercial debut with the brand, to announce the five finalists for its fan-voted “Crash the Super Bowl” creative commercial challenge.[more]

Chrysler, of course, has been a marquee advertiser during the last two Super Bowls by dint of its daring creative executions, beginning with the Eminem “Imported from Detroit” two-minute commercial in 2011 and last year’s “Halftime in America” two-minute spot featuring Clint Eastwood that created a political controversy and has continued to draw attention to a renascent Chrysler brand. CMO Olivier Francois will make sure this year’s Super Bowl spot pushes the bounds, too.

Toyota, making its own comeback, announced that its Super Bowl commercial will feature Kaley Cuoco, a breakout star on the CBS comedy series, The Big Bang Theory, who’s also playing William Shatner’s daughter in Priceline’s new TV campaign. The automaker hopes to generate fan participation by having people share photos of themselves on social-media networks, and the winner’s photo will appear in the commercial during the first quarter, along with Cuoco.

Pepsi has been putting its own participation in the big game — headlined by its sponsorship of the halftime show and a groundbreaking deal with its star, Beyonce — front and center weeks, melding sports, digital and music as promised. One promotional twist: Pepsi will incorporate photos of consumers, with “thousands” of submissions flooding its Halftime website.

Wonderful Pistachios will feature another global pop phenom, Seoul star Psy of “Gangnam Style” video fame, during its Big Game commercial. (Find out more in our interview with Wonderful Pistachios CMO Marc Seguin).

Kia will promote the 2014 Sorento in a fourth quarter 60-second commercial that continues on the “Tight Space” commercial (below) that the automaker debuted today. “The Sorento has been one of our best-selling vehicles each of the last three years and the ‘It Has an Answer for Everything™’ campaign offers a fun, lighthearted look at the human truths parents face every day while showcasing features and technologies that can provide assistance in even the most challenging situations,” stated Michael Sprague , EVP of marketing & communications, Kia Motors America. “‘Tight Space’ serves as the introduction to the redesigned Sorento, and when the next spot airs in the Super Bowl it will present an answer to an age-old question that has left generations of parents stuttering and searching carefully for words to help them escape an awkward yet truthful situation.”

Kraft is buying Super Bowl ad time to promote MiO water enhancer drops, one of its biggest product launches to date. “Nearly two years since we launched, MiO has already proven to be a huge hit with millions of fans,” stated Doug Weekes, VP of Refreshment Beverages for Kraft. “So it’s only fitting that our game-changing liquid water enhancer will lead the new Kraft onto the world’s largest advertising stage during this year’s Super Bowl.”

Go Daddy signed supermodel Bar Rafaeli to co-star in its 2013 Super Bowl spot, competing for attention with model Kate Upton for Mercedes-Benz.

Pizza Hut doesn’t plan to advertise during the Big Game per se but will do so in the time right before it. The quick-serve brand has launched a campaign that gives a “thank you” to “quarterbacks of all ages who have given it a shout-out — as in “Hut! Hut!” before they have the football snapped to them. “For decades, quarterbacks have been calling our name to start every play,” commented CMO Kurt Kane to USA Today. Also tapping into user-generated content to increase engagement, Pizza Hut is inviting fans to upload videos of the own best “Hut! Hut!” calls, which could become part of a Pizza Hut user-generated commercial to air right before the Super Bowl, according to QSR Magazine.

Meanwhile, CBS is cleaning up by hosting the game this year, raking in more than $4 million by its own account. The ad prices it is fetching are another record for the game, and CEO Leslie Moonves even said this week, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that “if one of those movie companies wants to come in at the last minute and pay us $5 million or $6 million, we will find a place for you at halftime or somewhere like that.” As every Super Bowl network does, CBS plans to make the most of the occasion to promote itself, using a high-resolution instant-replay camera system during the game to show off its technical chops and promoting its shows during the telecast.

The broadcaster unintentionally added to the pre-game buzz by using actor Neil Patrick Harris in an on-air promo that some viewers felt mocked Tim Tebow’s use of Bible verses in the eye black that he has worn on game days. Harris is gay and Tebow an evangelical Christian, though he hasn’t been outspoken about homosexuality. Harris responded on his Twitter feed that the spot had #noagenda —