Victoria’s Secret Weapon: Super Bowl

NEW YORK Victoria’s Secret will kick off its Valentine’s Day promotion with a new spot on the Fox broadcast of Super Bowl XLII Feb. 3.

Given the proximity of the annual sports event to the brand’s popular Valentine’s Day sales season, executives at Victoria’s Secret, a unit of Limited Brands, Columbus, Ohio, are hoping to jump-start their holiday promotion.

“Valentine’s Day is an important holiday for the brand, and with this year’s Super Bowl being positioned so close to Feb. 14, we had a unique opportunity to use one of the year’s highest rated television programs as a vehicle to launch our efforts surrounding Valentine’s Day,” CMO Jill Beraud said.

The spot stars model Adriana Lima and will continue to run on the Victoria’s Secret Web site after the Super Bowl telecast. The effort was crafted in-house.

The ad kicks off a series of marketing efforts, including a large party in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Super Bowl eve to fete the brand’s “What Is Sexy?” list, hosted by Lima and fellow Victoria’s Secret models Karolina Kurkova and Selita Ebanks. Victoria’s Secret has also inked a deal with E! Studios and Ryan Seacrest Productions to create an hour-long TV special, Victoria’s Secret: What Is Sexy? that will air on the E! channel Feb. 9. Lima will also serve as the host of that program.

Victoria’s Secret hasn’t advertised during the Super Bowl since 1999, when it wanted to drum up buzz for its fashion show Webcast. The results paid off in a big way. According to the company, more than 1.2 million viewers logged onto the Victoria’s Secret site after the commercial aired in the first quarter of the game. When the Webcast of the brand’s fashion show aired a few days later, roughly 1.5 million viewers tuned in.

Though spending for this year’s spot wasn’t revealed, the ad slots reportedly go for around $2.7 million. In 2006, Victoria’s Secret spent $95 million in measured media and $50 million through October 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.