Super Bowl XLVII is here. You may be rooting for the Ravens or the 49ers, John or Jim Harbaugh. Even if you have no idea who those people are or where those teams are from, chances are you are going to pay attention to the commercials.
For major US corporations, the occasion is a super investment. A 30 second spot now costs over $3.5 million according to Nielson. That doesn't include production costs which can be even greater. On the Monday after, stock prices reflect public reactions to these pricey ads. It makes sense: A viral Doritos commercial can generate future sales for the product.
The most commonly advertised products are cars, beer, movies, chips, and soft drinks. It's a clear reflection of what works for target consumers. Apparently credit card and cold medicine commercials are major flops while movie trailers are only particularly effective in entertaining us.
The line between entertainment and prudent marketing can be very fine. A commercial can move us but can it get us to buy a Jeep? Critics argue that these ads are a poor allocation of capital but the benefit of brand awareness is difficult to quantify.
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Many companies are expected to reprise their strong marketing presence in years past. Anheuser-Busch (BUD) is a regular for the Budweiser brand. Pepsico (PEP) will return to follow up on the popularity of Doritos' Super Bowl spots. The year the brand crowdsourced its big day with a contest called Crash the Super Bowl.
Tim Calkins at Kellogg's Super Bowl Review, which grades each year's ads, highlights two brands with big bowl stakes this year.
Ford (F) is hoping to put the Lincoln back on the map. Recent ads for the brand have featured John Slattery from "Mad Men" in attempts to gain back market share. Other carmakers with big spots include Chrysler, Toyota (TM), Honda (HMC), and Audi. General Motors (GM) is sitting out this game.
Blackberry (RIMM) has similar hopes for this Sunday. The new Blackberry 10 has had a welcome reception among reviewers but it's done nothing for the stock which slipped 29% through the week. A sleek ad and the recent appointment of Alicia Keys as Creative Director could create a much needed jolt for the brand.
Finally, Under Armour (UA) will be pushing its Baltimore roots. A victory from the Ravens can draw attention to the apparel brand. CEO Kevin Plank mades his Super Bowl prediction in a recent earnings call: "Wait, Ravens 35-33. Final prediction. Go Ravens."Written by Kapitall's Freda Ding