Scrambling to stand out among the automobile, beer, potato chip and soda advertisers on Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3 will be a few b2b companies, including Internet domain hosting company GoDaddy.com and real estate franchisor Century 21.
With an average price tag of $3.7 million for a 30-second spot, CBS' sold-out ad inventory will be dominated by such Super Bowl regulars as Anheuser-Busch Co., Audi of America, Coca-Cola Co., Frito-Lay North America and PepsiCo.
Joining that pack will be GoDaddy.com, which will advertise on the Super Bowl for the eighth consecutive year, and Century 21, which advertised for the first time on the big game last year.
“Our target audience is consumers for whom it is appropriate to be buying and selling a home, but we're also targeting agents and brokers across the industry,” said Bev Thorne, CMO at Century 21, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011.
“Coming off that capstone year, it was important for us to signal to the market our renewed faith in the brand and in our Century 21 agents,” Thorne said of last year's Super Bowl campaign, which used the tagline “Smarter, bolder, faster.”
“The Super Bowl comes in advance of the spring selling season, and last year signaled a turn in the selling market,” she added. Thorne declined to give specifics about this year's campaign, although she said it will keep the same tagline and show how Century 21's agents are smarter, bolder and faster than their competitors. The TV advertising will be created by Red Tettemer+Partners, Philadelphia, and will be supported by online and print ads, also from Red Tettemer, in industry publications. Thorne said positive results from last year's effort contributed to the company's decision to advertise again on the Super Bowl.
“In an industry where traffic to websites was up an average of 4% across the vertical, our website traffic was up 40% [last year],” she said. “We think it's in large measure due to results of conversations that got started when we advertised in the Super Bowl.”
GoDaddy.com, which produced its own Super Bowl spots in-house for seven years, last June hired Deutsch New York as its agency of record and charged it with developing a new campaign, called “Inside Out.” The campaign continued GoDaddy's strategy of featuring sexy women in ads but also showcased the technology behind the company's domain-hosting service.
For this year's Super Bowl campaign, GoDaddy.com signed a contract with supermodel Bar Refaeli, who will star with GoDaddy regular Danica Patrick in a spot called “Perfect Match,” created by Deutsch New York.
“We think we're going to make special Super Bowl magic with "Perfect Match,' ” GoDaddy CMO Barb Rechterman said. “This ad marries GoDaddy's edgy brand with our reputation for taking care of customers in a way we think will be surprising and, more important, entertaining.”
She declined to discuss details of the campaign.
At deadline, other b2b advertisers on the Super Bowl broadcast were few.
“Most of our clients aren't really big enough and don't have critical mass in terms of spending over a year,” said Keith Loell, executive creative director at gyro New York.
“That doesn't mean it isn't a good idea; I wish more b2b clients would take that leap. I think there is a huge benefit from it.”
Loell pointed to three types of b2b advertisers for which the Super Bowl might make sense.
“The first is really big companies that offer a variety of products and services to businesses of all sizes, such as IBM's "Smarter Planet.' The second is companies that have products for both businesses and consumers, such as John Deere—one of our clients. The third is companies like GoDaddy, who provide something really basic and essential to small businesses.”
Loell also noted that companies advertising on the Super Bowl need to weigh the decision carefully. “You have to be willing to do the type of communication, entertainment and production value to compete with the big consumer advertisers,” he said.