The Super Bowl ad game has officially begun.
Avocados From Mexico, Kia, Pop-Tarts and WeatherTech are the first brands to announce they will run commercials during the big game, which will kick off on Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
Fox, which will air the game, is about 80 percent sold out of inventory, with the third quarter completely sold out, according to people familiar with negotiations. (Of course, those last few Super Bowl commercials are always the toughest to sell.)
Earlier this month, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call that the network was sold out of all “A” positions, the first commercial that airs in a break. It’s worth noting that Fox will air fewer commercial breaks during Super Bowl LIV, cutting one commercial pod per quarter. This means there are simply fewer “A” positions for the network to sell.
Murdoch also noted that Fox has sold more Super Bowl inventory at this point than they did at the same point in 2017 when they last aired the big game.
For 2020, there is strong demand for Super Bowl inventory from the auto category, according to one media buyer. Kia’s return for its 11th consecutive Super Bowl will feature its first new campaign under Russell Wager, who took over in July as director of marketing operations after a stint at Mazda.
And the introduction of several new streaming services over the course of the next year is expected to bolster commercials for those platforms in the big game.
Expect commercials to be longer, with more 60-second and 90-second spots, according to the buyer.
Fox has been seeking north of $5 million for 30 seconds of air time, according to people familiar with sales negotiations.
While that’s a hefty price tag for sure, the Super Bowl remains a bright spot for advertisers as TV ratings for entertainment programming continue to erode. The 2019 Super Bowl may have been the lowest-rated in 11 years, marking the first time in a decade the big game delivered under 100 million viewers, but it’s still far and away the most watched program on TV or anywhere else.
Avocados From Mexico was the first brand to confirm it will return to the Super Bowl with its sixth consecutive spot, while Pop-Tarts will make its first foray into the big game with the goal of repositioning the breakfast pastry as a snack.