Victoria's Secret is back in the game. The brand debuted its first Super Bowl spot in seven years today, and is using digital and social media to push the ad as part of its Valentine's Day marketing.
The spot, created by the brand's in-house team, features Victoria's Secret Angels and highlights the brand's signature pink shopping bag, ending with the line: "let the real games begin."
It will air after the game's two-minute warning, the same timeslot as the brand's last Super Bowl ad. That spot, in 2008, starred Adriana Lima and was one of the most watched spots at that time with 103.7 million views, the company said.
This year, "there was an opening at the two-minute warning, and we took it," said Ed Razek, CMO of L Brands, which owns Victoria's Secret. "We look for dominant media opportunities and the Super Bowl is the most dominant opportunity in the world."
The new Super Bowl spot aired on ABC's "Good Morning America" this morning, and will appear on CBS's "Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials."
To follow up its past Super Bowl performance, Victoria's Secret is using tools that weren't as prevalent seven years ago.
The brand is leveraging its enormous social presence, which includes its own profiles and those of its models, to push the spot. Victoria's Secret and Pink's combined profiles have more than 41 million likes on Facebook and about 6.3 million followers on Twitter. Adriana Lima and the other five "angels" who appear in the ad have millions of their own followers as well.
Victoria's Secret's teaser video "Don't Drop the Ball" has amassed nearly one million YouTube views since it was released on Wednesday. The football-focused spot was part of the Valentine's Day social strategy prior to the Super Bowl buy, an effort to appeal to male shoppers by telling them "don't drop the ball this year, guys." The video was later reworked to announce Victoria's Secret's Super Bowl appearance.
It's rare that Victoria's Secret, where females make up of 98% of the customer base, addresses a male audience. But it made sense for the holiday, Mr. Razek said. "We wanted a male-centric message for Valentine's Day and we thought this was a cute idea," he said.
The early unveiling, a first for the three-time Super Bowl advertiser, is meant to build buzz around the spot. "It was quite a deliberate decision to let it go early," said Mr. Razek. "Advertising is about repetition. It's about continuing to see the message and reinforcing it."
Victoria's Secret is coming off a strong year with a 5% rise in sales during the first three quarters of 2014, according to an earnings release. It spent almost $63 million on U.S. measured-media in 2013, according to the Ad Age DataCenter.