Super Bowl

Stadium Sponsor MetLife Sticks to Pre-Game Ads at the Super Bowl

Plenty of Mentions to Come Even Without an In-Game Commercial

By Published on .

MetLife, whose name adorns the New Jersey stadium where Super Bowl XLVIII takes place on Sunday, isn't trying to capitalize on the spotlight with commercials during the big game. Instead the New York-based insurance provider has opted to buy more modestly-priced time for a 30-second ad and a 15-second version to run in the pre-game and pre-game kick-off.

The commercial, titled "Anthem," features Peanuts character Schroeder playing the National Anthem in the middle of MetLife Stadium with the Peanuts crew.

As the stadium sponsor, MetLife will receive about $10.4 million worth of sponsorship media value during this year's game, according to Kantar Media calculations based on a historical average of six minutes and 35 seconds of exposure during the in-game broadcast, primarily via verbal mentions from the TV announcers.

Mercedes-Benz, the marketer with its name on the stadium for last year's Super Bowl in New Orleans, put a punctuation mark on its exposure with a fourth-quarter commercial starring Willem Dafoe as the devil. It had advertised in the Super Bowl for the first time in 2011 but then skipped 2012.

An in-game ad might not have fit MetLife's creative this year. It chose pre-game ad time to "creatively represent the National Anthem prior to the actual National Anthem performance," according to a spokeswoman.

Ads in the immediate pre-game period typically start at about $2.5 million, according to a person familiar with negotiations. That's as much as a 40% discount to the cost of a 30-second spot after kickoff on Fox this year.

MetLife skipped last year's Super Bowl after buying into the game for the first time in 2012. In that 30-second spot, the Peanuts gang are joined by dozens of other popular cartoon characters.

Aside from the TV spot, MetLife has also introduced a Winter Welcome marketing campaign that includes an online video of six NFL stars singing the National Anthem.

Throughout the season, MetLife had been running a social media campaign called #Road2MetLifeStadium.

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