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Who's Buying What in Super Bowl 2012

From Anheuser-Busch to Hulu and Volkswagen, How Ads Are Shaping Up for the Big Game

By Published on .

Volkswagen and most other Super Bowl advertisers have revealed their spots early.
Volkswagen and most other Super Bowl advertisers have revealed their spots early.

With packages including 30-second spots in the Super Bowl XLVI going for as much as $3.5 million -- although not everyone is paying that price -- and the marketer-approved match-up between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots set, all eyes are focused on NBC's coming broadcast of the event, scheduled to take place in Indianapolis on Feb. 5.

Volkswagen has already released the commercial it hopes will prove a worthy successor to last year's spot starring a pint-sized Darth Vader. Hulu is returning to the Super Bowl in a push for its Hulu Plus paid service. Advertising Age is monitoring all the comings and goings, ad debuts, offbeat strategies and new ad techniques around Super Bowl XLVI.

Here's our rundown of known 2012 Super Bowl sponsors. Check back often as we update the list heading into the game.

2nd Story Software
Buy: One 30-second ad slated to air in the first quarter of the game.
Creative: As tax time nears, company will promote its TaxACT tax-preparation software that allows them to prepare their federal taxes for free
Agency: J.W. Morton and Associates, with production duties handled by Mechaniks

American Honda Motor
Buy: One 60-second spot at the end of the third quarter
Creative: There's no Ferrari 250GT California Spyder in "Matthew's Day Off," the Super Bowl spot planned by American Honda for its new CR-V, but a grown-up Matthew Broderick reprises his role in the 1986 comedy classic as a convincing truant who's faking a cold to take the day off from working at the studio.
Agency: Independent RPA

American Honda's Acura
Buy: One 60-second spot to air in the third quarter
Creative: The commercial will show comedian Jerry Seinfeld going to absurd lengths to bribe the man who holds the rights to buy the first 2015 Acura NSX supercar. Jay Leno also makes an appearance, as does the legendary "Soup Nazi" from the comedian's famous sitcom.
Agency: Independent RPA

Buy: A-B InBev's Super Bowl ads will total four and a half minutes of ad time across six commercials. A-B InBev is perhaps the Super Bowl's largest ongoing sponsor and typically buys up to between three and four minutes' worth of ad inventory.
Creative: Two 30-second ads in the first quarter will tout Bud Light Platinum; one 30-second spot just before halftime and one 60-second spot in the fourth quarter for Bud Light; and two 60-second spots (one in the second quarter and one in the third quarter) for flagship Budweiser. (Bud also makes a cameo in one of General Electric's commercials.)
Agency: Translation, led by Steve Stoute and Jay -Z among other, is doing the Bud Light Platinum ads. Bud Light is handled by McGarry Bowen(the 60-second ad) and Cannonball (The 30-second ad). The Budweiser ads come from Anomaly .

Audi of America
Buy: One 60-second spot
Creative: Audi's commercial, its fifth consecutive entry in the Super Bowl, suggests its cars' bright headlights could kill vampires.
Agency: Independent Venables , Bell & Partners

Best Buy
Buy: One 30-second spot in the first quarter
Creative: The tributes to Steve Jobs that followed the Apple CEO's death led the retailer to conclude that today's stars live in Silicon Valley, not Hollywood. So Best Buy is trading in last year's celebrities -- Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne -- for inventors such as Philippe Kahn, an early camera phone developer, and Kevin Systrom, who developed the social photo platform Instagram.
Agency: Crispin Porter & Bogusky is handling creative.

Bridgestone Americas
Buy: Two 30-second spots, one slated to air in the first spot in the break at the end of the first half and the second slated to run in the final pod of the third quarter.
Creative: Look for sports celebrities including Troy Aikman to lend a hand in ads that explore fictional scenarios in which Bridgestone Ecopia tires help change the world of sports.
Agency: Independent Richards Group is handling creative.

Buy: One 30-second spot
Creative: Not yet determined. All eyes will be on CareerBuilder to see if its next Super Bowl ad makes use of chimpanzees, a practice that has come under scrutiny in recent years.
Agency: Work is being done in-house.
Buy: One 30-second spot in the third quarter
Creative: A car shopper's confidence, enabled by research, emerges in the form of a second head that sings. Viewers who use Shazam (the smartphone app that can identify songs' titles and artists) to tag the commercial will earn $1 for one of seven children's charities.
Agency: Omnicom Group's DDB Chicago

Century 21
Buy: One 30-second spot in the third quarter
Creative: The realtor is making its debut in the Super Bowl. Donald Trump, Deion Sanders and Apolo Ohno will appear in the spot. Century 21 will also sponsor half an hour of NBC's pre-game festivities.
Agency: Independent shop Red Tettemer & Partners of Philadelphia

Buy: One two-minute spot
Creative: The ad is expected to feature Clint Eastwood. Last year Chrysler made a huge splash with a two-minute ad touting vehicles that were "Imported from Detroit" over an Eminem song.
Agency: To be determined

Buy: Three spots, all starring animated polar bears. One 30-second spot will air in the first quarter, one 60-second ad will air in the second quarter and one 30-second ad will air in the third quarter.
Creative: In what appears to be a first, Coca-Cola has prepared two versions of a minute-long commercial to run during the second quarter and won't choose which runs until it sees how the game is unfolding. The ad, "Catch," shows two polar bears watching the Super Bowl, each wearing a scarf in his team's colors: red and white for the Giants and blue and white for the Patriots. The bear whose team is losing will step outside the cave, see a group of other bears lounging and drinking Coke, and catch -- with difficulty -- a bottle of Coke they throw him. The ad with two versions is part of an integrated campaign featuring the two bears watching the game live and sharing their reactions to plays, the halftime show and commercials at
Agency: Independent Wieden & Kennedy

Dannon Yogurt
Buy: One 30-second spot, set to air in the third quarter
Creative: Actor John Stamos will tout Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt, a reaction, perhaps, to the growing popularity of the Greek yogurt category.
Agency: Poptent, with help from WPP's Young & Rubicam , which is agency of record.

Buy: One 30-second spot, placement of which is still being worked out
Creative: The E-Trade baby is back for a fifth consecutive Super Bowl appearance, with a new focus on more mature matters such as changes in family. The commercial, which E-Trade says is first in a series of new ads planned for 2012, shows the campaign's baby "interacting with people facing special life events that trigger a need to consider financial planning."
Agency: WPP's Grey

General Electric
Buy: One spot in the first slot of the fifth break of the first half, according to GE, and one spot in the third break of the second half
Creative: The company hopes to draw an emotional response with commercials showing how its employees' work helps people and even the country as a whole. One spot will focus on GE's work with energy -- even touting its role in powering Budweiser breweries -- while the other will feature the company's appliances.
Agency: BBDO

Buy: Five spots
Creative: The company will air three ads for Chevrolet and one ad for Cadillac in the game. One Chevy ad is the winner of Chevy's Route 66 consumer-generated ad contest: "Chevy Happy Grad," in which a graduate celebrates his mistaken belief that his parents have given him a Camaro. Another spot opens on a post-apocalyptic world only to reveal that Chevy Silverado drivers are surviving just fine -- too bad one of their friends drove a Ford. A third ad spotlights the Sonic. Chevy is also offering a Super Bowl app for smartphones and tablets in a bid to wring extra value from its buy through digital and social media.
Agency: Omnicom Group's Goodby , Silverstein and Partners is lead U.S. agency for Chevrolet. "Happy Grad" was produced by an independent director. Publicis Groupe 's Fallon crafted the Cadillac ad.
Buy: Two 30-second spots, one in each half of the game
Creative: One 30-second spot will feature veteran "GoDaddy Girl" and race-car driver Danica Patrick and a reformed version of the Pussycat Dolls, and will focus on the company's 'cloud'-based services. The other ad will feature Ms. Patrick as well as fitness guru Jillian Michaels, and will highlight the company's '.CO' domain-name extension.
Agency: Handled in-house

Buy: One 30-second spot slated to air in the second quarter of the game
Creative: The fashion retailer, entering the Super Bowl ad roster for the first time, will launch its David Beckham Bodywear collection, prompting thoughts that its ad might feature the celebrity soccer player moving around in his skivvies.
Agency: Handled in-house

History Channel
Buy: One 30-second spot in the fourth quarter
Creative: The ad will depict "another day at the office" for the people of the swamp depicted in the cable outlet's series "Swamp People."
Agency: Handled in-house

Buy: One 30-second spot in an undetermined position
Creative: Will Arnett will hold forth for the video-sharing site in what is expected to be a rehash of the commercials the company ran in 2009 featuring Alec Baldwin and Seth McFarlane, only this time promoting Hulu Plus , the company's paid service
Agency: MDC Partners' Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Buy: Two 30-second spots, one in first quarter and one in fourth quarter
Creative: One spot shows the danger of working as a animal-handler in a dramatic race between Hyundai and cheetah (the car gets away; the animal-handler doesn't), while the other demonstrates the car's pulse-quickening effect on a man with no pulse. The automaker is trying to be less serious than in earlier, establishing Super Bowl spots and to focus more on sparking an emotional connection with consumers.
Agency: Innocean, Hyundai's internal agency

Buy: One 60-second spot in the fourth quarter
Creative: An "extreme dream sequence" ensues after the Sandman accidentally spills a whole bag of magic dust on a sleeping husband. The dreamscape -- promoting the Kia Optima Limited -- includes celebrities and quasi-celebrities including Motley Crue, model Adriana Lima, MMA fighter Chuck Liddell and champion bull rider Judd Lefew. Kia is premiering the commercial starting Feb. 2 on YouTube and in movie theaters using National CineMedia's FirstLook pre-movie program. Short teaser clips will appear on TV and in movie theaters.
Agency: Independent David + Goliath, in its third consecutive Super Bowl appearance for Kia

Mars Inc's M&M's
Buy: One 30-second spot in the first quarter
Creative: M&M's returns to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1998, marking its second appearance in the event. In the interim, Mars has put most of its emphasis in the game on its Snickers candy bar. M&M's will be introducing a new character in its line of animated spokescandies: Ms. Brown.
Agency: Omnicom Group's BBDO

Met Life
Buy: One 30-second ad in the fourth quarter of the game
Creative: Charles Schulz' "Peanuts" characters join forces with dozens of other popular cartoon characters.
Agency: MDC Partners' Crispin Porter + Bogusky

National Football League
Buy: One 60-second spot to air at the end of the third quarter
Creative: Ad to focus on player safety and list the various measures, rules and equipment put in place over the years to keep players safe from harm. Peter Berg, director of football-themed "Friday Night Lights" is the director.
Agency: WPP's Grey

Paramount Pictures
Buy: Two ads
Creative: Trailers for "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator"
Agency: In-house

PepsiCo 's Doritos
Buy: At least two 30-second spots
Creative: Pepsi 's Frito-Lay unit is running its usual "Crash the Super Bowl" contest that asks amateur ad-makers to crate their own 30-second ad, with the winner's creation being shown during the Super Bowl. Popular comedy team The Lonely Island will also create a 30-second spot.
Agency: Omnicom Group's Goodby Silverstein and Partners is assisting.

PepsiCo Beverages
Buy: Pepsi will run two commercials, a 60-second spot for Pepsi and a 45-second spot for Pepsi Max
Creative: The Pepsi commercial features Elton John as a king and "X Factor" winner Melanie Amaro as a visitor to his court, which has a certain "Hunger Games" vibe. There's also a special cameo at the end. The other commercial shows a Coke Zero truck driver getting caught buying Pepsi Max, echoing a 1996 Super Bowl ad called "Security Camera," in which a camera catches a Coke deliveryman trying to get a can of Pepsi.
Agency: Omnicom Group's TBWA /Chiat/Day

Relativity Media
Buy: One spot to air in fourth quarter of the game
Creative: Trailer for "Act of Valor," an action movie that features real Navy SEALs
Agency: In-house

Buy: One 90-second ad set to air in the fourth quarter
Creative: Samsung is running an ad for its new Galaxy Note and is widely expected to mock Apple fans to promote the smartphone. This is Samsung's first time on the Super Bowl ad roster.
Agency: MDC Partners' 72ndandSunny

Buy: One spot to run just before the two-minute warning in the first half of the game.
Creative: Entrepreneur Mark Cuban will star along with a bulldog named "Mr. Quigley" in a commercial promoting the Skechers' GoRun shoe line.
Agency: To be determined

Buy: One 30-second spot
Creative: The Teleflora Super Bowl commercial ogles model Adriana Lima as she dresses for a Valentine's Day date and admires a bouquet she's received. "Guys, Valentine's Day is not that complicated," she says suggestively. "Give -- and you shall receive." Tagline: "Happy Valentine's Night."
Agency: Fire Station Agency, Teleflora's in-house agency

Buy: Two 30-second spots
Creative: One spot, saying Toyota has kept reinventing the Camry, imagines the reinvention of everything from a police officer to a couch to a blender to a baby.
Agency: The reinvention ad was created by Toyota 's agency of record, Saatchi & Saatchi , Los Angeles.

Toyota's Lexus
Buy: One 30-second spot, set to air at the end of the first quarter. This is the first appearance of Lexus on the Super Bowl ad roster.
Creative: The spot -- called "The Beast" -- touts the Lexus 2013 GS with a rather "Jurassic Park" feel, showing the car igniting inside a containment chamber before it breaks out and skids to center stage. The voice over, "This is just the beginning," hints at the models to come.
Agency: The spot was created by Attik, a Lexus roster agency; the overall GS campaign is being orchestrated by the brand's agency of record, Team One .

Universal Pictures
Buy: To be determined
Creative: Trailers likely. One will preview "Battleship." Universal is part of NBC Universal, which is broadcasting the event.
Agency: In-house

Buy: One 60-second spot to air in the second quarter
Creative: VW made one of the biggest splashes in the 2011 Super Bowl, thanks to an early release of an ad featuring a kid in a Darth Vader uniform and his attempt to use the Force on one of the automaker's vehicles. Now it has released the follow-up early, revealing that it kicks off with a dog fighting to return to form -- so it can run with a new Volkswagen Beetle.
Agency: Interpublic Group's Deutsch LA

Walt Disney Pictures
Buy: To be determined
Creative: Trailers. One film likely to get a spotlight is "John Carter of Mars," an action-filled epic centered in outer space. "The Avengers," about a team of Marvel superheroes, is getting a commercial during the game.
Agency: In-house

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