Super Bowl

Who's Buying What in Super Bowl 2011

From Bud Light and Stella Artois to Best Buy and Groupon, the Ad Lineup in Today's Big Game

By Published on .

NEW YORK ( -- Commercial time during today's Super Bowl on Fox has been sold out since October, but who's promoting which brands during the annual gridiron classic has only gradually become clear as game day approached. Marketers mixed it up, too, in the waning days of the countdown: Pizza Hut backtracked on plans to run a commercial during the game itself, reverting to its usual pre-game strategy, while social discounting service Groupon found its way into the game after seeming limited to pre- and post-game advertising.

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Some marketers making a multimillion-dollar investment in Super Bowl XLV -- Fox was seeking between $2.8 million and $3 million for 30 seconds of time during this year's game -- have released more of the spots ahead of time than they once would have, opting for YouTube buzz-building over the impact of complete surprise. But many others kept their creative strategies secret.

Here's the Ad Age rundown of commercials in Super Bowl 2011.

Anheuser-Busch InBev
Buy: One 60-second spot for premium Belgian brew Stella Artois, one 60-second spot for Budweiser and three 30-second spots for Bud Light.
Creative: The Stella Artois Super Bowl spot continues the campaign launched late last year that features '60s-era European settings in ads that target well-educated, upscale beer drinkers with the tagline "She Is a Thing of Beauty." The Clydesdales will appear in the 60-second Budweiser spot in the second quarter; the Bud Light spots will continue the "Here We Go" campaign that debuted at last year's Super Bowl.
Agency: The Stella spot comes from the independent agency Mother. The Budweiser spot comes from the independent Anomaly. Two of the Bud Light ads are by Omnicom Group's DDB, Chicago, while one was done by St. Louis-based Cannonball.
Audi of America
Buy: One spot in first ad break in first quarter
Creative: This is Audi's fourth consecutive entry in the Super Bowl. Creative focus will center on how Audi provides an escape to a better kind of luxury. One of many automakers vying for attention during the game.
Agency: Independent Venables , Bell & Partners
Best Buy
Buy: One 30-second spot projected to run during the third quarter.
Creative: Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne will hold forth in the Best Buy's first-ever Super Bowl effort.
Agency: Crispin Porter & Bogusky is handling creative. Publicis Groupe's Starcom handles media buying and planning for the retailer.
BMW North America
Buy: Two spots
Creative: The marketer is returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in a decade. Ads could focus on introduction of ActiveE, BMW's electric vehicle
Agency: MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners.
BMW Mini
Buy: One 30-second spot, set to air in the third quarter
Creative: To be determined
Agency: Independent agency Butler Shine Stern & Partners
Buy: Two 30-second spots, one to run between first and second quarter and one to run during the fourth quarter
Creative: Bridgestone continues to sponsor the halftime show.
Buy: One 30-second ad in the third quarter
Creative: Careerbuilder brings back its popular and memorable chimpanzees after a hiatus of five years. Look for the chimps to wreak havoc at Yeknom Industries, their place of work, while a human counterpart bears the brunt of their, um, monkeyshines.
Agency: In-house
Buy: Two 30-second commercials
Creative: To be determined
Agency: Amalgamated
Buy: Two 30-second spots, one in the third quarter and one in the fourth quarter
Creative: The new ads will show how "drives confidence" with expert and consumer vehicle reviews, helping car buyers pick the right car
Agency: Omnicom Group's DDB Chicago
Buy: Could buy as many as two spots
Creative: To be determined, but the automaker could showcase two different car brands
Agency: Independent Wieden & Kennedy
Buy: Two spots, one 60 seconds in length
Creative: One ad called "Border Crossing" was shot in Morocco with two French actors, who share a Coke and resolve a border dispute; second ad features an animated dragon in a epic battle-like scene
Agency: Independent Wieden & Kennedy crafts ads for Coca-Cola.
Buy: One spot during third quarter
Creative: The popular E-trade baby is expected to show up once again.
Agency: WPP's Grey
Buy: Five different commercials for Chevrolet
Creative: Look for one ad to feature the Bumblebee character from the 'Transformers' movies. Chevy's Cruze, Volt, Camaro and Silverado will all get a turn in the spotlight
Agency: Omnicom Group's Goodby Silverstein and Partners
Buy: Two 30-second ads, plus one ad in the pre-game
Creative: The spots will feature not one, not two, but three -- count 'em -- "GoDaddy girls," including reliable standby Danica Patrick and newcomer (and "Biggest Loser" star) Jillian Michaels. Here's the GoDaddy Jillian Michaels Danica Patrick Super Bowl spot. The third celebrity -- a surprise -- will be revealed in a commercial touting a new .co web domain (as opposed to .com).
Agency: Produced in-house by GoDaddy Productions
Buy: One 30-second spot secured at nearly the last second after another marketer pulled out. The social discount service has also bought time during the pre- and post-game activities.
Creative: To be determined
Agency: Crispin Porter & Bogusky
HomeAway Inc.
Buy: One 30-second ad, set to air in the third quarter
Creative: The online vacation-home rentals company, whose entry in the 2010 Super Bowl marked its first time advertising in the event, is set to launch a new national campaign. Its ad will seek to highlight the benefits of vacation rentals over hotels by invoking a fictional government agency, the Ministry of Detourism, and the slogan "Why Hotel When You Can HomeAway?" In its 2010 Super Bowl ad, HomeAway drew attention by featuring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo in their roles from the 1980s movie "National Lampoon's Vacation."
Agency: Vendor of Austin, Texas
Hyundai Motor North America
Buy: Three separate spots
Creative: To be determined
Agency: Innocean, Hyundai's internal agency
Kia North America
Buy: One 60-second spot in the first quarter
Creative: The spot, entitled "One Epic Ride," will show people from different times and places -- such as an "ancient chief," a police officer, space aliens and Poseidon -- trying to get behind the wheel of the new Kia Optima, according to the automaker. The commercial is tied into a contest -- "One Epic Contest" -- in which consumers vying for one of five 2011 Optimas will use clues provided in 15-second TV spots, print ads and social media to answer four questions in the weeks before the game. The answer to a final question will be found within the Super Bowl spot itself.
Agency: Independent David & Goliath
Buy: One 30-second spot for Snickers in the second quarter. Mars moved its ad from the third quarter after Fox came knocking with the chance to run a commercial before the halftime show as the Super Bowl commercial lineup shifted leading up to game day.
Creative: After wrestling with whether to put Snickers or M&Ms. in the Super Bowl, Mars decided to use the big game to continue Snickers' "You're Not You When You're Hungry" campaign, which began with a Super Bowl spot last year featuring Betty White and Abe Vigoda. This year Snickers' Super Bowl spot will star comics Roseanne Barr and Richard Lewis.
Agency: Omnicom Group's BBDO
Buy: One 60-second spot in the fourth quarter
Creative: To be determined
Agency: Omnicom Group's Merkley & Partners
Buy: One 60-second spot in the second quarter of the game
Creative: Motorola will hype its Xoom tablet by poking fun at the current king of tablet computing, Apple 's iPad. The Motorola ad will lampoon Apple 's famous "1984" Super Bowl commercial, which introduced the Macintosh computer to the masses. Will legions of modern geeks grok the stunt? Stay tuned.
Agency: Anomaly
Buy: One 60-second spot and one 30-second spot
Creative: In the minute-long commercial, the NFL makes use of about 20 different "families" from popular TV sitcoms over the decades. In the shorter spot, the NFL shows how its content can be consumed via many different tech devices.
Agency: WPP's Grey Group
Paramount Pictures
Buy: Five in-game spots for upcoming films "Captain America: The First Avenger," "Rango," "Super 8," "Thor" and "Transformers: The Dark Of The Moon." (Also one pre-game buy for DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda 2," which the studio is distributing.)
Creative: Movie trailers
Agency: In-house
PepsiCo's Doritos
Buy: Three 30-second spots
Creative: Doritos is running its popular "Crash the Super Bowl" contest for the fifth year. This year, the contest has expanded to include sibling brand PepsiMax. Consumers will select two spots, while PepsiCo execs select the third.
Agency: Omnicom Group's Goodby Silverstein & Partners
PepsiCo's PepsiMax
Buy: Three 30-second spots
Creative: Pepsiis taking a page from sibling brand Doritos' playbook, joining its "Crash the Super Bowl" contest. Consumers will select two spots, while PepsiCo execs select the third.
Agency: Omnicom Group's TBWAChiatDay
Buy: One 30-second spot
Creative: Pepsiwill partner with Eminem to promote Lipton Brisk Iced Tea. Ad will feature stop-motion animation, which was used in a well-regarded Lipton campaign a few years back.
Agency: To be determined
Buy: One 30-second ad preceding and one 15-second ad following the halftime show featuring The Black-Eyed Peas.
Creative: Ads were developed with help from, part of half-time show act the Black Eyed Peas. The spots happen to feature animated characters called the "Baby Peas."
Agency: Dipdive,'s media company
Buy: One 30-second spot after the two-minute warning in fourth quarter
Creative: Skechers' Super Bowl ad featuring Kim Kardashian will promote the Shape-Ups toning line, marking its second consecutive Super Bowl berth. "The idea is that Kim Kardashian is going to break someone's heart in front of 100 million people," the company told Ad Age. Last year the company used 15-second spots with testimonial from Joe Montana to boost the Shape-Ups line among men; it didn't have time to prepare a typically big-splash Super Bowl spot when a hole in the ad lineup became available just two weeks before last year's game.
Agency: In-house
Buy: One 30-second spot to air during the second quarter
Creative: Faith Hill will coach a sound tech through a Valentine's Day dilemma as Teleflora introduces a special Faith Hill "collection" aimed at adding some celebrity panache ot its floral offering. This marks Teleflora's third consecutive ad appearance during the Super Bowl.
Agency: Independent agency Fire Station
20th Century Fox
Buy: One 30-second spot in the fourth quarter for the animated film "Rio"
Creative: A trailer will feature an embedded code directing "Angry Birds" players to a special level in the popular mobile game.
Agency: In-house
Universal Studios
Buy: Two ads, one for "Cowboys & Aliens"
Creative: Look for trailers. "We're cutting it now," tweeted "Cowboys & Aliens" director Jon Favreau on Jan. 11.
Agency: In-house
Volkswagen of America
Buy: Two 30-second spots, one for the new 2012 Passat and one of the new 2012 Beetle. One ad will appear in second quarter, the other in fourth quarter
Creative: The Passat ad will use a "Star Wars" theme, while the Beetle spot will make use of a "Black Beetle" character jumping along to the song "Black Betty" by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
Agency: Interpublic Group's Deutsch
Walt Disney Pictures' "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"
Buy: One spot during third quarter, to air after Best Buy ad
Creative: Movie trailer
Agency: In-house
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