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CBS, which will broadcast the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, said on Tuesday that it had sold all the available commercial time — unless a marketer wants so much to be included that money is no object.
“Yes, we are sold out,” Leslie Moonves, chairman and chief executive of the CBS Corporation, said with a grin, “but if one of those movie companies wants to come in and pay five or six million, we will find room.”
Mr. Moonves was referring to the penchant for movie studios to wait somewhat longer than other marketers to decide whether to buy Super Bowl commercials.
As for the fanciful price tag in his jest, it would well exceed the highest rates for which CBS has made deals; “we have sold some of our spots for over $4 million,” Mr. Moonves said.
CBS has sold most of its Super Bowl spots, according to estimates by agency executives, for an average of $3.7 million to $3.8 million for each 30 seconds.
(By comparison, the average for Super Bowl XLVI, broadcast by NBC on Feb. 5, 2012, was $3.5 million.)
Usually there are 60 to 70 half-minute ad slots during each game, plus promotional spots for the network carrying the game. Mr. Moonves said the network hopes to include a promotion for “Late Show With David Letterman,” as it did, with hilarious effect, in 2007 and 2010.
Mr. Moonves spoke at an event at the CBS Broadcast Center on the West Side of Manhattan that was billed as Super Bowl XLVII Media Day. It was meant to serve as a showcase for what Mr. Moonves called “probably the biggest day of the year for this entire corporation.”
Commercials during the Super Bowl are traditionally the most expensive of the year because the game is typically the most-watched program of the year. The game is “a national holiday,” Mr. Moonves said.
The average viewership for the game last year set a record, at 111.3 million people.
It was the third year in a row that a Super Bowl set a ratings record, driven, many on Madison Avenue believe, by social media like Facebook and Twitter, which encourage people to watch the game live so they can discuss it, and the ads, with friends and family.
The high price of national Super Bowl spots also applies to commercials on local stations owned by or affiliated with the network broadcasting the game.
Some 30-second commercials in the game on WCBS-TV in New York, owned by CBS, have been sold for over $1 million, Mr. Moonves said.
Mr. Moonves, and the CBS advertising sales executives at the event, declined to name the sponsors, locally or nationally. That is common practice; network executives usually leave it to the buyers to decide if they want to identify themselves.
It was once standard procedure for advertisers to stay mum until just before the game — or even until the game ended — in hopes of capitalizing on the element of surprise to generate coverage.
But the increasing interest among consumers in sharing information about Super Bowl ads in social media is encouraging sponsors to describe their Super Bowl plans earlier.
For instance, on Tuesday the Paramount Pictures division of Viacom said it would run a commercial for a coming film, “Star Trek Into Darkness,” during the second quarter of the game. Viewers who before the game download an app — from Paramount and the Qualcomm Labs unit of Qualcomm — will be able to unlock special content during the commercial and be entered into a sweepstakes.
Other filmmakers likely to run commercials during Super Bowl XLVII include the Walt Disney Company and the Universal division of NBCUniversal, part of Comcast.
Also on Tuesday, the Anheuser-Busch unit of Anheuser-Busch InBev said it would run one or two commercials during the game for a new beer, Budweiser Black Crown. Anheuser-Busch, the exclusive beer sponsor of the Super Bowl, may also run commercials for brands like Bud Light and Budweiser.
Other marketers that have announced Super Bowl sponsorships in the last month include Mars, for M&M’s; the Paramount Farms unit of Roll Global, for Wonderful pistachios; Skechers; Toyota Motor Sales USA, for its Toyota brand; and Unilever, for Axe personal-care products.
Marketers that had previously disclosed Super Bowl participation include, in addition to Anheuser-Busch, Best Buy;
Cars.com; the Coca-Cola Company; Ford Motor, for Lincoln; Gildan apparel, sold by Gildan Activewear; GoDaddy; two brands owned by the Hyundai Group of South Korea, Hyundai and Kia; Mercedes-Benz; Oreo, sold by Mondelez International; PepsiCo, for brands like Doritos, Pepsi-Cola and Pepsi Next; Realogy, for Century 21; Samsung; Soda-
Stream International; and two brands sold by Volkswagen of America, Audi and Volkswagen.
That is not all. At least two more marketers plan to announce this week that they have bought Super Bowl ad time.
One is the Taco Bell division of Yum Brands, which last appeared in the game in 2010. The commercial is being created by Deutsch L.A., which recently joined the Taco Bell agency roster along with its lead agency, the Irvine, Calif., office of DraftFCB; both are part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.
Article by Stuart Elliot, New York Times