Super Bowl

Super Bowl Advertisers Turn to NBC's 'Today' and 'Tonight' to Air Commercials Early

BMW, GoDaddy and Snickers Will Debut Super Bowl Spots in 'Today'

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Hoda Kotb and Matt Lauer on 'Today,' which will feature several Super Bowl commercials next week ahead of the game.
Hoda Kotb and Matt Lauer on 'Today,' which will feature several Super Bowl commercials next week ahead of the game. Credit: NBC Universal

The pre-game push from Super Bowl advertisers is entering full force with the online release of Super Bowl ads from marketers including Lexus and Toyota. But other Super Bowl advertisers are taking new advantage of the traditional TV network carrying this year's game: NBC.

Super Bowl advertisers like Anheuser-Busch, BMW and GoDaddy are making NBC Universal's properties a key part of their marketing strategy, showing TV viewers Super Bowl ads early during "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and the "Today" show.

It started Thursday night, when Anheuser-Busch InBev's Bud Light premiered its Super Bowl spot during the "Tonight Show", with Mr. Fallon introducing the ad before it ran during the show's first commercial break.

Next week, NBC's "Today" will preview commercials from BMW, GoDaddy, Snickers and Budweiser.

BMW's spot even features a "Today" show moment that former host Katie Couric shared with her Bryant Gumbel, according to an NBC Universal spokeswoman.

Releasing Super Bowl creative ahead of the game isn't anything new, as advertisers spending around $4.5 million for a 30-second spot aim to get as much exposure as possible. Typically, brands release teasers for the ads or the full commercial through YouTube or on their own microsites and then push them out via social media. Taking advantage of the network carrying the game, which has an interest in drumming up excitement, seems to be a new strategy that seems to benefit all sides.

That is, unless you count viewers who'd rather be surprised on Super Bowl Sunday. Marketers like Avocados of Mexico, Nissan and TurboTax, have decided to buck the trend by not releasing their spots or even trailers of the commercials ahead of the big game. While these brands are creating ancillary content to post ahead of the game, they are holding back the actual Super Bowl creative until the ad runs during the game.

"After nearly a two-decade absence from the Super Bowl as an advertiser, we want to maintain the excitement and anticipation of game day," Fred Diaz, senior VP-Nissan Sales & Marketing Operations U.S., Nissan North America, said in a statement. "With so many commercials airing before the big game, I fundamentally believe it takes away much of the magic of showing the commercial on the biggest stage of the year."

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