New York — The Super Bowl is a little more than a week away, but advertisers are going strong online, offering up celebrity laden teasers well ahead of the game.
Pre-game buzz is crucial; ads will cost as much as an estimated $5m for a 30-second spot. The cost, and risk, is worth it to the advertisers battling it out for the more than 114 million pairs of eyeballs the big game is expected to draw on 7 February.
Pre-game teasers, which debut online one or two weeks before the game, can help advertisers stretch that investment over weeks instead of seeing it gone in 60 seconds. (Or even 30.)
"If an advertiser can get people thinking about the brand before the game, the risk goes down and returns go up," says Tim Calkins, a Northwestern University marketing professor. "A celebrity is a great hook."
Companies also appreciate celebrities' reach on social media, which can help boost online buzz.
There are, of course, downsides. A star can sometimes eclipse the brand, or worse, drag it down if people react negatively to a particular celebrity.
"No matter how carefully you choose a celebrity, they're polarizing," said Peter Daboll, chief executive of Ace Metrix, a firm that rates the effectiveness of ads. "Not everybody loves Justin Bieber."
When there's a good fit between celebrity and a brand, though, the payoff can be huge.
Here's a look at ten celebrity teasers so far:
The site, which helps people rent and lease apartments, enlisted Jeff Goldblum and Lil Wayne for its first Super Bowl ad. The teaser spot shows Wayne buzzing George Washington into his apartment.
The first time Super Bowl advertiser will promote its Echo speaker during the game. A teaser released on Wednesday shows 30 Rock actor Alec Baldwin and former star quarterback Dan Marino brainstorming what they'll need for their Super Bowl party with the help of Echo's voice-controlled software Alexa.
BMW enlisted six celebrities — former baseball pitcher Randy Johnson, tennis star Serena Williams, Smoke actor Harvey Keitel, singer/rapper T-Pain, soccer player Abby Wambach and skateboarder Tony Hawk — who "Defy Labels" for its Super Bowl ad. Each celeb stars in their own teaser spot online.
4. Bud Light
Super Bowl veteran Bud Light is touting the brand's revamped logo and packaging with a teaser showing Trainwreck actress Amy Schumer and Neighbors actor Seth Rogen introducing the fake Bud Light political party.
Hyundai has enlisted Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart to promote their Genesis and Elantra sedans. Although the company announced that the stars will be in the ads on Thursday, the teasers only hint at their presence. In one, two girls drive around in a town called "Ryanville."
Kia's cryptic teaser shows a man dressed in beige looking for his beige socks in a teaser called "Walken Closet." Guess who's hiding inside the closet? Spoiler alert: It's Christopher Walken.
Unfortunately the video is not available to view in South Africa.
LG's first Super Bowl ad is produced by Ridley Scott's production company RSA and directed by his son, Super Bowl ad veteran Jake Scott. The teaser features Liam Neeson as the "man from the future."
8. Shock Top
Silicon Valley star T.J. Miller may be one of the lesser known names this year. But his ad-libbed riff on the coming epicness of the Shock Top Super Bowl ad is one of the funnier teasers out there.
In true millennial fashion, Skittles launched a series of GIFs to announce that Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler will be in its Super Bowl spot.
Snickers has been a Super Bowl favorite with its "You're Not You When You're Hungry" campaign. Past ads featured Betty White playing football and a hungry Marsha Brady depicted by character actor Danny Trejo. This year Snickers has released a teaser that shows Willem Defoe channeling Marilyn Monroe's Happy Birthday performance to JFK.
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