Super Bowl

Glue Maker Loctite Gambles Big With Super Bowl Spot

Company Is Putting Almost Entire 2015 Budget Into Big Game Buy

By Published on .

Move over, Budweiser, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and automotive brands galore. The Super Bowl will have a new advertiser in 2015 -- glue giant Loctite.

The estimated $4.5 million price of a Super Bowl spot represents a big gamble for Loctite, which has spent $4 million in total on measured media each of the past two years, according to Kantar Media. Through the first six months of this year, the brand spent $1.7 million. Parent Henkel, however, spent $46 million overall last year on brands that also include Dial, Purex, Right Guard and Renuzit, Kantar said.

Loctite will go all in with a spot at the beginning of the fourth quarter with the latest installment of its less-than-year-old #WinAtGlue campaign from Fallon, Minneapolis.

Pierre Tannoux, marketing director for Loctite Consumer Adhesives, said he'd leave other details of the creative as a surprise for closer to the game, set to air on NBC Feb. 1. He declined to say which product or products will be featured, but Super Glue is the biggest and historically best-supported brand in the Loctite family, based near Cleveland.

The ad will be part of a broader effort that will include digital and PR. By Henkel's reckoning, Loctite will be the first home-improvement brand in the game since Master Lock ended a decade-long run in 1995.

"There is no such thing as a low-interest category, only low-interest advertising," said Mr. Tannoux, quoting Chris Lawrence, director-account management at Fallon, which won the Loctite account last year after a review. "I agree with that statement overall, especially when it comes to advertising about glue."

Besides being boring, glue ads have focused on demos of unusual tasks that ordinary people seldom try, even as their glues often fail at more realistic jobs, Mr. Tannoux said. He terms that "losing at glue," while Loctite wants its message to be "you can win at glue."

Fallon was the only agency pitching Loctite's business that suggested a Super Bowl ad, he said; like other home-improvement brands, Loctite is historically focused on such networks as HGTV. Glue makes sense for the broadest-reach buy in advertising given that just about everyone uses it, he said. Omnicom's OMD, New York, handles media for Henkel.

The Super Bowl buy entails at least some increase in Loctite's media spending and is also about "changing the category perception," Mr. Tannoux said. "We felt like if we would go a traditional way of advertising with the dollars we have, we'd probably never get where we wanted."

Loctite had sales of $41 million for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 5, according to IRI, but its data don't cover home-improvement stores -- another major channel for the brand. Loctite trailed Columbus-based Elmer's per IRI, but leads the "car-based" segment of specialty products overall, Mr. Tannoux said.

But with Loctite's IRI-measured sales down 4%, it faces a growing challenge from Gorilla Glue, based in Cincinnati at the other end of what appears to be Ohio's Glue Corridor, Interstate 71. Gorilla's sales soared 23% to $29 million.

Contributing: E.J. Schultz