Super Bowl

Super Bowl Alert: Google buys in; inside Mercedes' commercial

Also Bumble, Bubly, Microsoft, WeatherTech release ads

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Good afternoon Super Bowl junkies,

I'm Jeanine Poggi, Ad Age's senior editor, here with the latest edition of our Super Bowl Alert. It's the home stretch and Ad Age is bringing you breaking news, analysis and first looks at the high-stakes, big-game commercials—all in our Super Bowl Alerts newsletter. Sign up right here to get them in your email.

Behind-the-scenes with Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz released its Super Bowl ad on Thursday and Ad Age went behind-the-scenes to see how the spot, which features Ludacris as well as Wile E. Coyote and Free Willy, came together. When the team approached Warner Bros about using assets from Free Willy, they also offered up Looney Tunes, says Chris Landi, exec VP, group creative director at Merkley & Partners, the creative agency on the ad.

Ad blitz

PepsiCo released its ad for Bubly sparkling water on Thursday starring crooner Michael Bublé; Microsoft is returning to the Super Bowl with an ad featuring children with disabilities and showing how they play video games with the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and WeatherTech debuted its spot promoting its new line of pet products. You can watch all the Super Bowl ads released so far here.

Bumble also released its Super Bowl ad starring Serena Williams on Thursday morning. Ad Age sat down with Laura Hutfless, partner at FlyteVu, Bumble's agency-of-record for a special Super Bowl edition of the Ad Lib podcast. She discussed how the commercial came together, what it was like working with Williams, and assembling a team of women to create the ad.

Google will air two commercial during the game, George Slefo reports. This is Google's second straight year advertising in the game. Last year, it used the Super Bowl to promote its virtual assistant.

Quicken Loans will not be returning to the Super Bowl after airing ads in 2018 and 2016.

Bookmark our Super Bowl ad chart, which is the most current look at all the marketers confirmed to air national spots in Super Bowl LIII.

Sales update

While there's been plenty of noise, CBS still isn't declaring Super Bowl inventory is sold out. According to a person familiar with the situation, at least a few marketers are looking to expand their buys (from 30-seconds to 45-seconds, for example) and business will likely still be getting done into Friday.

Elsewhere...

Forbes takes a look at the timeline of how a Super Bowl ad gets made.

And the Wall Street Journal breaks down why marketers pay $5 million to air a Super Bowl commercial in this graphic.

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