Buzz Surrounding Super Bowl Ads Already Starting

Super Bowl ad time is sold out, with the average ad priced at $3.5 million, according to Ad Age. (The article reports that a couple of unnamed advertisers are trying to back out.) As we mentioned in today’s Morning Media Menu, a Super Bowl advertising spend is not just buying time on TV, although in the olden days, that certainly would’ve been enough. The 2010 Super Bowl was the most-watched TV event ever, with 106.5 million viewers.

But when you buy a spot, you’re also buying the launchpad for an integrated campaign that extends well beyond the game itself. Time during the game has always sold out, but this added bonus is what may keep advertisers coming back, millions in hand, even during a recession.

Besides the big game, people talk about these ads for weeks on end. Already, The Wall Street Journal has a rundown of who will be participating; car companies, beverage companies, and other usual suspects like GoDaddy will be there along with newcomer Dannon. We’ll be hearing more before and after the actual event takes place.

That story notes that Volkswagen’s mini Vader ad generated $100 million in publicity. The ad, which launched during the Super Bowl, was also one of the most talked about of 2011. In fact, eight of 10 of the most talked about campaigns launched during last year’s game. That ad now has nearly 48 million views on YouTube.

Of course, not every ad is a winner. WSJ notes the fiasco that fell upon HomeAway, which has led to their decision to sit out this year. And last year, Groupon stepped in it with ads that never should have even been made.

This year, as in the past few, the long life these clips will have on social media will be key. Without a doubt, people will be giving their gut reactions online. With the game streaming online for the first time, there were also ad packages that allow some of the advertisers to get this extra boost.

Last year after the game, we spoke with IPG’s Harris Diamond about the opportunities for PR during big events. “More and more clients see an opportunity to tie their passions to sports brands,” he said at the time. On a day when we’ve coincidentally had quite a bit of sports news already, this all seems very fitting.