The publicly traded company -- and the agencies it owns -- had a hand in about one-third of the ads that appeared during the Bowl. A back-of-the-envelope calculation revealed that of the 52 spots that were viewed by roughly 90 million viewers during Super Bowl XLI, Omnicom shops touched 18 of them, either by developing the creative or by buying the media.
'A great venue'
"The game delivers the mass audiences. Nothing comes close to it," said Tom McGovern, U.S. director of sports marketing for Omnicom's OMD and Optimum Sports. His big-game clients were Doritos, FedEx, Sierra Mist and Frito-Lay, all of whom opted to broadcast new creative and launch campaigns. Because of the huge numbers that see the spots, he said, "it is a great venue to launch a campaign."
OMD's clients, as well as those of siblings BBDO, DDB, PHD and Goodby Silverstein & Partners, are for the most part big marketers that "look at a place like the Super Bowl to reemphasize their leadership position."
PHD bought for Emerald Nuts. BBDO made ads for clients FedEx, E-Trade and Sierra Mist. DDB created many of the spots promoting Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser and Bud Light. And Goodby was the creative brains behind spots for Hewlett-Packard and Emerald Nuts.
While the game has always delivered big audiences -- and in recent years appealed to marketers because of the public-relations buzz that is generated around the game's ads -- in the current media climate, outlets such as YouTube or ESPN.com bring additional value. "It isn't revenue generating, but it is traffic generating," said Mr. McGovern. Overall, he said, new media "makes a buy more efficient."