Discover Returns to the Super Bowl for the First Time Since Card’s 1986 Launch

But credit card rivals continue to skip Big Game

Discover is back on the Super Bowl this year, for the first time since the credit card was launched in 1986 with its "Dawn of Discover" ad.

Within the credit and debit card category, Discover is the only marketer making an appearance in the Big Game this year, and the brand's senior vp of brand and acquisition, Julie Loeger, said it was a no-brainer.

"It was a really easy decision. We have big news for consumers and the Super Bowl is a fabulous platform through which to tell it to them," she said about the brand's current offering of free FICO credit scores to eligible card users, which is the focus of the spot.

The humorous commercial, which Discover won't release until Sunday afternoon right before the game, was created as part of Discover's "We treat you like you'd treat you" campaign. It's from the brand's lead creative shop, The Martin Agency.

UPDATE: Here is the spot:

If the Super Bowl was an obvious choice for Discover, TV's biggest event has fallen out of favor with the brand's competitors in recent years. One industry observer speculated that category marketers now tend to be more targeted in their overall strategies and not interested in paying the high premium for the Big Game's huge viewership. (This year a 30-second Super Bowl spot has been going for $4.5 million.)

  • American Express has not run ads in the game for years, although last year it broadcast the "Intelligent Security" commercial post-game, which promoted online security as part of its "This is what Membership is, this is what Membership does" campaign from Ogilvy & Mather.
  • Visa, once an enthusiastic ad participant in the Super Bowl, hasn't been on it since 2005 when then-agency BBDO produced "Super Heroes," a spot where a group of caped heroes come to the rescue of a woman in distress only to realize she doesn't have a problem after her Visa Check Card is stolen because she's not liable for fraudulent purchases.
  • MasterCard's last Super Bowl spot, "Icons," which aired in 2005, was produced by McCann Erickson. The marketer shows a dinner party attended by the CPG world's most famous spokes-characters like Charlie Tuna, Count Chocula, Chef Boyardee, Pillsbury Doughboy and the Green Giant, among others.

For more news about the brands and stars preparing buzzworthy spots, be sure to check our up-to-the-minute Super Bowl Ad Tracker.