News

Hollywood rescues Super Bowl!!!

By Robert Marich
   Jan. 30, 2009 – It’s Hollywood to the rescue, as longtime Super Bowl advertisers ranging from General Motors to shipper Fed Ex have bowed out amid the recession.
   Movies will take at minimum 11 of 65 commercial slots in the upcoming Super Bowl telecast, and some more films may surface before the Feb. 1 game day. Last year, movie distributors bought eight slots and exposure in pro football’s championship game is credited with creating the first buzz for eventual blockbuster Iron Man from Paramount/Marvel.
   According to industry sources, studios buying Super Bowl commercials are: Paramount for Monsters vs. Aliens, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Star Trek and G.I. Joe; Sony Pictures’ Angels and Demons; Universal’s Land of the Lost and the fourth The Fast and the Furious; Fox for Wolverine and Disney for its Pixar animated family film Up.  
   Monsters vs. Aliens is taking a 90-second slot—essentially three 30-second commercials. So that adds up to nine films covering 11 advertising units. With a half dozen NBC slots still open, another one or two film distributors might add to Hollywood’s list in the days ahead.
   Pro football’s championship game is expected to average 90 million+ viewers. NBC Television’s rate card is up to $3 million per 30 second spot, though big advertisers get volume discounts.
   Only Warner Bros. will not have a movie ad among the six major studios. Interestingly, though Universal is a sister company to Super Bowl network NBC, it only has two movies ad known so far. Meanwhile, Super Bowl big-spender Paramount is owned by media conglomerate Viacom.
   This flood of movie ads isn’t getting much press attention for several reasons. Journalists have just published stories that the movie business is in trouble (which is wrong!), so heavy spending on Super Bowl ads doesn’t fit the narrative.
   Also, movie ads aren’t creatively unusual so they don’t rate high in post-game rankings of creative excellence. Film ads are essentially mini-trailers. Though not as arresting as a fake gerbils being shot from a canon (a Super Bowl ad by a dot.com outfit in 2000), film ads are impactful on consumers, who watch repeats of stars in ads on their video recorders. That repeat viewing makes the Super Bowl buy attractive.
     Besides buying a 90-second commercial, Monsters vs. Aliens is also noteworthy because its ad will be televised in 3D (a promotion for NBC sit-com Chuck will also be in 3D). DreamWorks marketing partners Pepsi and SoBe Life will distribute 150 million 3D glasses at their retail store displays.
    The national business press says the major studio film business is in trouble, though it’s hard to understand why when looking at the business itself. Domestic boxoffice was steady on a dollar basis in 2008, major studio revenue rose 4% from overseas cinemas, movie sales to TV are growing and, though DVD revenue fell about 6% in 2008, the new Blu-ray high definition format looks to breath new life into DVDs this year and beyond.
   For USA Today article on this subject, click link below:
www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2009-01-29-super-bowl-ads_N.htm