A Tamer Game

February 1, 2005
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A Tamer Game
Jamie Popp  
Managing Editor
It is no surprise that this year’s Super Bowl was tame from an advertising perspective. After the wardrobe malfunction that occurred last year, the Fox television network was not about to make a similar mistake and bad impression on millions of viewers — not to mention broadcasting regulators.
I did a little research to see how this year’s contest fared among the masses. CNET news.com reported that ComScore, the Reston, Va.-based Internet consumer preference tracker, found 28 percent of the people it surveyed said they watched the game for ads. That’s not a very impressive number, considering the importance advertisers place on Super Bowl appearances. However, ComScore also reported that 80 percent of survey respondents were most interested in seeing Budweiser ads. That is impressive.
Winning BusinessWeek Online’s Grand Brand Award for its salute to the troops, Anheuser-Busch didn’t let viewers down — or shock anyone watching the television spots. If you take a peek at its Web site, you’ll see all the ads that were meant to run during the Bowl game, some of which did not make it on the air. Anheuser-Busch took advantage of the 77 percent of ComScore’s respondents who were expected to log on to the Internet at some point during game day by placing on its Web site the ads that were rejected by the network. According to reports, Budweiser.com’s traffic increased by 600 percent on game day.
I’d hate to say that the Internet is becoming the advertising medium for the Super Bowl, but will underground advertising this year set the trend for next? If advertisers can’t get their message across due to censorship on television, it’s a viable option.
Housewives have Kahlua
The Platinum Guild International hosted this year's Golden Globe preview party, and Kahlua was part of the show-stopping action. Kahlua cocktails were in every bejeweled hand of Hollywood's “it” ladies, Desperate Housewives Eva Longoria and Nicollette Sheridan, along with CSI: NY's Melina Kanakaredes. Sheridan and the other actresses and attendees received a complimentary bottle of Kahlúa to help them live “everyday less ordinary.”
Goose horses around
Bacardi’s Grey Goose is strutting its feathers this year as a sponsor of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. Along with sponsoring events associated with the organization and championships, this gives Grey Goose rights at NTRA-member tracks and exclusivity at the Eclipse Awards.
Bourbon sponsors Gordon
Jim Beam Brands Co.'s Jim Beam Bourbon has teamed with Robby Gordon Motorsports to sponsor the No. 7 car for the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. As part of the sponsorship, team owner and driver Robby Gordon raced the No. 7 Jim Beam Chevrolet this month at Daytona International Speedway.  Jim Beam will be the primary sponsor for a designated number of races and serve as an associate sponsor for additional races throughout the 2005 season.
Newcastle prize awarded
Scottish & Newcastle Importers Co., San Rafael, Calif., has announced the winner of its “The Best of Both World's” sweepstakes, which offered contestants the chance to go on one Super Bowl weekend trip to Las Vegas, and take a romantic trip to the British Virgin Islands. Tom Edwards of Colgate, Wis., plans to take three friends for a VIP weekend in Las Vegas and his wife to the island oasis.
Reel party
Energy Brands’ Vitaminwater and Smartwater are heading to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. In addition to sponsoring events such as performing arts organization Broadcast Music Inc.’s condo party and blender sessions at Harry O’s club, the vitamin-enhanced drink line is expected to appear in many other snow-covered places during the festival.
Team toasted
Coors Light toasted the winning team in this year’s 2005 Copa Toyota Libertadores, a major international soccer competition. The Tigres team from Mexico won during the InterLiga 2005 qualifying tournament in which 36 teams participated from countries throughout Latin America.

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