Lowdown: Coke Taps Marvel For Super Bowl Ad

Cola Brand Teases Big Game Ad Using Cans Showing Hulk, Other Characters

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The Lowdown is Ad Age's weekly look at news nuggets from across the world of marketing, including trends, campaign tidbits, executive comings and goings and more.

Coke's Super Bowl Tease Package
Coke's Super Bowl Tease Package Credit: E.J. Schultz

Coke -- which recently broke a new campaign called "Taste the Feeling" -- is poised to put Marvel characters in its Super Bowl ad. The marketer teased the ad Wednesday by sending out a package to media outlets, including Ad Age, with six Coke cans featuring designs of Marvel characters, including like Hulk, Ant-Man, Black Widow and Captain America. A note in the package states "the big game is just the beginning." Ad Age confirmed that the 60-second spot will run in the second quarter, but Coke is not planning to release the ad early or provide further details. The agency is Wieden & Kennedy, Portland. W&K is a long-time Coke roster agency, but the shop was not among the agencies that took a lead on the global launch of "Taste the Feeling." The Super Bowl ad shows that Coke is still working closely with the agency. Coke's teaser package apparently went out far and wide. A site called comicbook.com blogged about it today.

Doritos Summary
Doritos Summary Credit: Doritos Summary

Speaking of the Super Bowl, Doritos' "Crash the Super Bowl" campaign dominated all paid search related to the big game during the entire month of January. That's according to Kantar owned AdGooroo, which said of the 168 Super Bowl related search terms, Doritos' "Crash the Super Bowl" website had a 36% click share. The next closest advertisers in the keyword group were Ticketmaster (6%) and StubHub (4%).What does that mean? Thirty-six percent of users who searched the term "Super Bowl" on Google, for example, clicked on a Doritos ad that took them to its "Crash the Super Bowl" website, which is now in its 10th and final year. Other brands sponsoring the 168 Super Bowl keywords in January included Pepsi.com with a 2.1% click share, Walmart.com (2%), KraftRecipes.com (2%), Pinterest.com (2%) and Ideas.Evite.com.

For food brands like Doritos, one of the goals of buying a Super Bowl ads is generating PR and driving interest to where it counts -- the supermarket aisle. Last year, sales of all brands of dips and spreads were up by 45% in the week prior to the Super Bowl, compared to the week before, IRI pointed out in a report this week. The report showed that $54.8 million was spent on dips and spreads during the week leading up to the game. Beer sales also soared, reaching $583 million in sales the week prior to the game last year, IRI reported.

Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo Credit: Domino's

Ordering pizza, is of course, is also a Super Bowl tradition. Domino's Pizza is trying to stimulate even more demand than usual with a new program that allows consumers to order via Amazon's Echo. "The magic of ordering pizza without lifting a finger and just using your voice is now a reality with Alexa and Domino's," Rob Pulciani, director for Amazon Alexa, said in a statement. How big a day is it for the pizza marketer? In the U.S., Domino's delivery drivers will "cover the equivalent of more than 700 round trips from Denver to Charlotte -- more than a 25% increase over a typical Sunday," the company stated.

Onto non-Super Bowl news …

If you want to be absolutely certain your deodorant brand has analyzed everything that could make a person sweat, choose Unilever's Degree. The brand has partnered with bioanalytics technology company Lightwave to launch the Degree MotionSense Lab, "an online hub that will provide movement analytics of athletes, performers and fans," according to the brand.

Credit: Degree

Degree kicked off the lab Feb. 2 with a content series featuring NBA MVP Stephen Curry, narrated by his father and former NBA player Dell Curry, who breaks down his movements on the court. For example, did you know it takes 300 milliseconds for the Golden State Warrior to set and release a shot? Now you do. Additional experiments will be conducted later in the year during NCAA March Madness and iHeartRadio's "Move with the Music" concert series, where Degree will measure the impact of fan movement, with findings marked by the #EveryMoveCounts hashtag on Twitter.

Changes are coming at KeyBank. The Cleveland-based bank has hired a special division of The Richards Group to spearhead its creative work, media planning and purchasing. New digital work from the Dallas-based agency should debut in the second quarter of 2016. "This is an opportunity to be bold -- to break through the usual conventions of bank advertising," said David Hall, principal of the special division, in a statement, noting that his team will illustrate how "KeyBank is breaking the mold in the banking industry."

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and Adore Me, a New York City-based lingerie seller that competes against Victoria's Secret, is ready. The five-year-old brand has only existed online but will move into the brick-and-mortar space on Feb. 3 with a three-day pop-up shop in Manhattan. In advance of Cupid's holiday, the fast-growing brand, which generated over $16 million in sales in 2014, is testing 16 different TV commercials on channels including Nickelodeon.

In other fashion news, Hugo Boss announced that SapientNitro is its new digital lead agency. The German apparel label plans to add state-of-the-art technology to its brand experience, according to senior VP-global communication, Gerd von Podewils. Ecommerce will be integrated into a main hub concept and brand experience. SapientNitro, which is part of Publicis.Sapient, will operate Hugo Boss's digital platforms.

Finally, the Lowdown leaves you with this note, as a reminder that you just never know where your next competitor lurks:

The cosmetics business has been rife with new players for years, generating a lot of churn. Now, the big players have an even bigger worry -- North Korea. UPI reports that Kim Jong-un, taking time out from developing an H-bomb, has vowed to create a "world-class" cosmetics industry that could compete with the likes of Lancome, Chanel and Christian Dior. A new cosmetics line for the Unhasu brand is under construction in Pyongyang. But Mr. Kim last year acknowledged his country has some catching up to do, noting its current products don't include waterproof mascara, leading to "raccoon eyes" and smudges when wearers yawn.

Contributing: E.J. Schultz, Jack Neff, Adrianne Pasquarelli, George Slefo.

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