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This Sunday is different from all other Sundays. Why? While many football fans typically don't pay close attention to commercials during the regular season, an expected audience of 110 million will gather this Sunday to analyze, appreciate and obsess over advertising. In the past, that would only play out on television. In 2015, however, viewers will watch this championship battle on smartphones, tablets, computers and gaming consoles as they simultaneously track the cultural conversation on social media.

For marketers, that knowledge means not only higher stakes, but also important data for the year ahead about how viewers are using devices to engage with content from brands. Fortunately, Adobe Digital Index (ADI) has distilled that data from the past few years into key insights we all should know about before kickoff. Here are the five trends they've identified that will impact the marketing world this Sunday.

1. Visual ads are dominating clicks
Whether brands are trying to expand their reach with a 30-second TV spot that costs $4.5 million or build an ad placement for a social network, ADI data shows that maximizing the value of that marketing investment comes down to creating gripping visuals. Images are by far the most popular component of Facebook posts. As well, Google shopping ads, which contain multimedia assets, are on the rise, accounting for 20 percent of all retail ad clicks in 2014 Q4.

2. Social distribution spend has become a more efficient traffic source as organic traffic dropped
While brands ultimately want to drive organic traffic, budgeting paid distribution to social networks and search engines on Sunday will be a smart way to get eyeballs on content. The top social networks have now become the gatekeepers of digital traffic, and as ADI shows, organic impressions have decreased 32 percent year-over-year and will continue to fall for the rest of 2015, as seen in the graph below.

3. Alternative platforms are making digital video more appealing
Today, fans don't just watch football crowded around a television set. Over-the-top content platforms such as Apple TV and Xbox have taken a healthy chunk out of traditional TV engagement, now accounting for more than 10 percent of total viewership, according to ADI. These non-traditional media outlets could give brands a fresh way to reach their audiences with high-quality content.

4. Social posts containing links will be more popular than posts with only text
In terms of social media, 2015 could shape up to be the year of the link. In the graph below, ADI shows that posts with links are increasing 69 percent year-over-year, while text-only posts are decreasing at a rate of 77 percent year-over-year. Brands are offering interactive assets rather than static social posts because links can bring users to owned media platforms. If brands want to build relationships with their target audiences, this is one smart way for them to do so during the big game.

5. NFL mobile traffic has hit record levels
On the field, the motto is go big or go home. But for fans at home, they're not going bigger; they're actually going smaller. In 2014, mobile Internet traffic firmly overtook desktop traffic, according to comScore, and approximately half of visits to advertisers on Sunday will come from mobile devices. The connection between major sporting events and mobile marketing is at an all-time high, and brands can take advantage of this trend by priming their content with purchasing capabilities compatible with digital wallet payment options like Apply Pay. Per ADI, 47 percent of consumers have used their mobile devices to make a payment with a digital wallet.

So as you're watching on Sunday, remember to watch out for these crucial trends. How audiences interact with the big game is constantly evolving. And to effectively tackle tough advertising decisions, marketers always need to be aware of how viewers interact their content.








Those who follow the saga of Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch's media interviews know he is notoriously a man of few words.

Whether it's answering every question with a laid-back "Yeah" or just thanking the press instead of uttering a real response, Lynch has unceremoniously been fined several times for his refusal to talk to journalists. However, not one but two brands-Skittles and Progressive-have now managed to get the tight-lipped athlete to talk.

Skittles, a first-time Super Bowl advertiser, staged a mock press conference with Lynch as part of the teasers for its in-game ads. He answers questions like whether he prefers cat or dog videos, if he wishes he could rush for a 200-yard touchdown, and if he'd rather arrive to the game in a blimp or a jetpack. There's also handfuls of the candy available for Lynch to chomp down on, which is probably why he looks uncharacteristically joyful during the stunt.



Separately, Lynch also sat down to chat with sports reporter Kenny Mayne for Progressive in the amusingly off-kilter video below. They mostly just play word association, although at one point Marshawn shares his love of Progressive's spokeswoman, purring, "I'm all about that Flo, boss."

The Progressive campaign is also raising money for Lynch's charity, Fam 1st Family Foundation. The running back has signed a pair of cleats, which will be sold on eBay-with all proceeds benefiting the foundation.

Please keep being you, Beast Mode.







Even though the snowstorm that was supposed to have been the Blizzard of the Century turned out to be little more than an annoyance for many people in the Northeast, it's turned into an opportunity for a few quick-thinking brands. Old Navy, L'Occitane and Cole Haan are among the retailers using the storm as an excuse to have today-only online sales.

Shoppers can get 30 percent off clothing at Old Navy until 3:00 p.m. today, and 20 percent off until midnight. A Cole Haan e-mail blast this morning announced a "Snowed-In 24-Hour Sale," with an extra 40 percent off outerwear and boots. Not to be outdone, L'Occitane sent out an e-mail asking: "Snowed in? 6 Hour Online Sale Starts Now!" The upscale purveyor of bath and body products is offering as much as a 50 percent discount on seasonal merchandise like cherry blossom shampoo and frisson verbena bath salts.

"The way that brands can turn on a dime just shows you how far a lot of them have evolved with social media and e-mail blasts, moving quickly and in a targeted way," said Bruce Winder, a senior advisor with global retail consultancy J.C. Williams Group. "Smart companies are putting themselves in the shoes of consumers-who are home today, bored, and surfing the web."

Indeed they are. Even though the Blizzard That Wasn't left just a few inches of snow on the ground in much of the Northeast-not the two feet or more that was forecast-an estimated 60 million people (20 percent of the American population) could be sitting at home right now. And the combination of boredom and disposable income has long been the lifeblood of online retail.

But Martyn Tipping, CEO of branding and social-media intelligence firm Brand Chorus, sounds a note of caution about these online quickie offers.

"In theory, there's nothing wrong with brands offering limited-time 'White Tuesday' sales," Tipping said. "However, brands should be careful during a time like this. People 
in New Jersey and New York City might be open to some online shopping today, but if you're still being blasted by snow and wind in New England, saving an extra 20 percent 
on winter clearance items may not be your top priority. The last thing 
any brand wants to do is to be seen as taking advantage."

Winder agrees: "It's a risky situation, since you have to watch out that you're not taking advantage of something that's been a misfortune for people."

Another factor that might not play in retailers' favor: Today's storm arrived in the Northeast about the same time that holiday credit-card bills arrived in many mailboxes. "Digging out of the snow and credit-card debt may, in the end, be more important than snagging another bargain," Tipping said.







Kia has released an extended version of its 60-second Super Bowl ad, and it's a really fun spot with Pierce Brosnan that manages to have its cake and eat it, too-by both celebrating and poking fun at over-the-top Super Bowl spots.

In the spot, the former James Bond is getting briefed by his agent on his role for the ad, which he assumes will be standard action-movie fare. Instead, the agent keeps comically lowering his expectations. It's not a Bond-esque escapade, he explains-just a normal car-driving-through-the-mountain ad.

Along the way, we see each scene play out the way Pierce thinks it should, and then how it actually does. This, of course, makes it a Bond-esque escapade after all-as well as a sly critique of such spectacles (at which Kia, of course, has excelled in the past on game day).

The on-screen text at the end really caps it off. Nice work by David & Goliath.







This Valentine's Day you're probably planning to shower your loved ones with special trinkets to show your love: jewelry, candy, a special night out, maybe some milkbones. Wait a second. Yes, according to a new study from the National Retail Federation, American's will spend $18.9 billion this holiday with $703 million of that allocated to pampering their pets.

The average person will spend $142.31 on various gifts this year, up from $133.91 last year, according to the NRF's Valentine's Day Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics, which polled 6,375 consumers.

A little more than half (53.2 percent) of Valentine's Day consumers will purchase candy generating $1.7 billion in sales. One in five (21.1 percent) will purchase jewelry, totaling $4.8 billion, a high for the NRF, which began tracking Valentine's Day spending in 2010.

Consumers will also shell out $2.1 billion for flowers, $3.6 billion for a special meal or movie tickets, $2 billion for clothing and $1.5 billion on the laziest last-minute present: the gift card.

Nine out of 10 consumers expect to spend money on their spouse, totaling an average of $87.94, up from last year's average of $78.09. Men are expected to nearly double what women spend this holiday, shelling out an average of $190.53 compared to $96.58.

Now let's get back to that $703 million pet number: Yes, your furry loved one is likely to be factored in this year with one in five consumers expected to spend an average of $5.28 on pet presents.







We would still have unicorns around today, were it not for an epic screw-up by Noah's son during the loading of the Ark all those years ago.

That's the premise of this amusingly overblown Canal+ ad from BETC Paris and director Matthijs Van Heijningen, who so memorably directed "The Bear" for the same agency and client back in 2011.

It's hard to describe the ad without spoiling it, so just watch it first.



As you can see, the film celebrates-in a roundabout way-the broadcaster's screenwriters and its showcase of original programming. And yes, it certainly shows a different side of unicorns than we're used to seeing.

"We had some rather surreal discussions on what unicorns' balls actually look like," Stéphane Xiberras, agency president and chief creative officer, tells AdFreak. "We thought about doing something a bit … unexpected. There was talk of little furry balls with twinkling stars. But in the end we opted for a pair of 'classic' horse balls. I know, it's a bit bizarre."

And the balls were the easy part of this production. "Imagine a gigantic studio reproducing the inside of the Ark, filled with hundreds of animals," Xiberras says. "Now imagine the smell. Now imagine that the animals couldn't stand being under the same roof together."

Asked about the actor who plays Noah's son, Xiberras replied: "We fell for him straight away. We were looking for a guy capable of incarnating Noah's son as well as a modern-day ladies' man and screenwriter. He managed to show loads of emotions without any dialogue, expect the phrase at the end. He goes from embarrassment to anxiety to victory and then shock in seconds. It's a great performance."

CREDITS
Client: Canal+
Brand Management: Alice Holzman, Aurélie Stock-Poeuf, Coline André
Agency: BETC
Agency Management: Bertille Toledano, Guillaume Espinet, Elsa Magadoux
Executive Creative Director: Stéphane Xiberras
Creative Director: Olivier Apers
Art Director: Aurélie Scalabre
Copywriter: Patrice Dumas
Traffic: Coralie Chasset
Tv Producer: Isabelle Ménard
Production House: Soixante Quinze
Sound Production: Kouz
Director: Matthijs Van Heijningen
Media Plan: Cinema, TV, Web
Available Formats: :40 :45 :50 :70







Budweiser melted hearts with its "Puppy Love" commercial on last year's Super Bowl, and is prepping a sequel, "Lost Dog," that's expected to break Wednesday online. But a day early, here is Go Daddy-amusingly deflating Bud's balls a little bit with a spoof that even somewhat matches the plot of the sequel.

Yes, Go Daddy has its own adorable yellow Labrador puppy. And like the one in this year's Bud spot, it's gotten lost-after falling out of a pickup truck when it went over a bump. The little guy runs home as fast as his little legs can carry him … but it's not exactly a sappy ending that awaits him there.

The spot was made by Barton F. Graf 9000. Check out our Q&A with Gerry Graf here, where he talks Go Daddy's approach this year, and the ups and downs of making Super Bowl spots.







Newcastle just released its "Band of Brands" regional Super Bowl commercial, and it turns out Jockey, Boost Mobile, Lee Jeans, Brawny and Match.com are among the recognizable brands-along with some lesser-known ones-who are sharing the cost of the ad in exchange for a mention in it.

Jockey is particularly notable cameo, since, like Newcastle, it's a Droga5 client. If Jockey signing up was a favor to its agency, it was a worthwhile one-the briefs get a less-brief appearance (close-up product shot!) than many of the brands here.

The creative approach is amusing, too, with a couple racing around their house, trying to make every brand's pitch in time-sometimes cutting each other off in mid-sentence, as the house gets cluttered and things get desperate.



Unlike last year, when Newcastle punked the Super Bowl with the brilliant "If We Made It" campaign, the brewer is actually buying time in regional markets to air a version of this spot.

"It's the most exciting, most jam-packed, most fiscally responsible big game ad ever," Newcastle says. "It's Newcastle's Band of Brands big game ad, featuring 37 of the universe's best brands … and a dental office in Pittsburgh."

Here's the full list of brands:

AmeriMerch.com, AprilUmbrellas.com, Armstrong Flooring and Ceilings, Beanitos Chips, Blettner Engineering, Boost Mobile, Brawny Paper Towels, Charisma, Detroit Beard Collective, District 78, Dixie, East End Leisure Co., Gladiator GarageWorks, Hello Products Oral Care, Hunt's Tomatoes, JackThreads, Jockey, Kern Group Security, Kibo Active + Leisure Wear, Krave Jerky, Las Vegas, Lee Jeans, Match.com, McClure's Pickles, Mr. Cheese O's, Newcastle Brown Ale, Polished Dental, Quilted Northern, Quinn Popcorn, Rosarita Beans, RO*TEL, Second Chance Custom, Sharper Image, Tessemae's All-Natural Dressings, The Ross Farm, Vanity Fair Napkins, YP.com and Zendure Batteries.







First, she rocked a controversial cover of Vogue with hubby Kanye West. Then she teamed up with Paper Magazine to break the Internet. Now, Kim Kardashian can add an amusing Super Bowl ad for T-Mobile to her list of conquests.

The 30-second spot, by Publicis Seattle, premiered Monday night on Conan O'Brien's TBS show Conan and will air during the Super Bowl as well. Kardashian tweeted about the spot Monday afternoon, and included a photo of her on set.

In the hilariously on-point spot, "Kim Kardashian West, Famous Person" pleads with viewers to pretty please, save your unused data-in pitching T-Mobile's Data Stash offer.

T-Mobile ran three Super Bowl spots last year, including one starring Tim Tebow. This year, in Kardashian's faux PSA, she explains the tragedy that occurs when wireless companies take back unused data from customers, as a depressing piano melody plays.



Kim-who also starred in an underwhelming Skechers Super Bowl ad in 2011-points out here, in mock seriousness, that if you lose all that precious data, you might also miss out on the chance to waste hours looking at snapshots of her trendy outfits and luxurious vacations. Because honestly, who doesn't love checking up on Kimye on Instagram every once in a while?

Don't lie, you totally do.

CREDITS
Client: T-Mobile
Agency: Publicis, Seattle







After teasing its campaign for the past month, website design company Wix.com has now unveiled its Super Bowl commercial.

To be accurate, the clip below is an extended version of what will run as a :30 during the fourth quarter. In the spot, five former NFL stars try their hands at new (fake) businesses to keep busy during their retirement from football. Terrell Owens is baking humble pies, Brett Favre is serving charcuterie, and Emmitt Smith is opening a line-dancing club. Meanwhile, Franco Harris has started a party planning service, and Larry Allen is literally a one-man towing service.

The TV commercial is the centerpiece of the company's #ItsThatEasy campaign, which spans both TV and digital media. Each of the athletes' fabricated companies has a working website (such as Favre and Carve, Double Deuce Club and Immaculate Receptions), complete with merchandise, online contests and backstories. Wix.com's team is also paying attention to Facebook and Twitter to respond to fans in real-time.

Check out the extended version of the ad:







Pizza and football go hand in hand, so it's no surprise that the Super Bowl has become the ultimate event for pizza brands looking to reach hungry sports fans. But breaking through the Big Game clutter (and making a lot of dough) is no small task, particularly for companies like Papa John's, which didn't pony up $4.5 million for a 30-second TV spot this year.

Instead, Papa John's will do an end run around the other Super Bowl ads with an on-site activation at the University of Phoenix Stadium and what the company claims will be its biggest social promotion to date. The chain hopes to take 1 million pizza orders during the game­-and, of course, to crush the competition at Pizza Hut and Domino's. So, what's Papa John's game plan? We called CMO Bob Kraut to talk pizza and sports.

Bob Kraut joined Papa John's as CMO in 2013
after working at Arby's as svp of brand marketing
and advertising. Kraut has also held gigs at Pizza
Hut, General Motors and FCB Global.

Why is Papa John's running this Super Bowl campaign without actually having an in-game ad?
What we wanted to do was take the passion [for sports] and bring that to the fans. We've done a five-month activation called #UpYourDance and basically invited people to film their dance moves after their favorite player makes a touchdown. At the Super Bowl, we're actually going to have a display with our mobile kitchen where people can sample pizza. Next to it, they can work it off and show us their best dance moves, which will be filmed and posted. Then we'll have a winner of the #UpYourDance contest who will win tickets to Super Bowl 50. We're pretty much doing everything except running an in-game ad. Our thought is the season-long activation is a really important element. For us, it made sense to activate before and around the game and leverage social media to meet the goals that we have laid out for Papa John's.

You're aiming for 1 million orders during the Big Game, right?
More than half of our sales are now digital and a growing portion of that is mobile. We're gearing up our team and all of our systems internally to get ready to handle that volume. Our delivery drivers-who really are the unsung heroes of the Super Bowl-will travel the equivalent of circling the Earth 12 times that day if you add up all the mileage.

Have you ever done any kind of social campaign like this in the past?
We've done Super Bowl activations-this is the fourth Super Bowl that we are the official pizza of the NFL. We've done ground activations, but we've never really engaged with our fans on social media in the scale that we have now.

Going social: Papa John's #UpYourDance campaign

You're rolling out a bacon cheeseburger pizza on Feb. 2, the day after the Super Bowl. Is that part of a new menu that you're trying out?
Occasionally, we try to do limited-time offers, and this is one of them. What we try to do is give people more and give them what we call high-end specialty pizzas. That's what we do to keep people interested in the brand.

Before starting at Papa John's, you also worked at Arby's and Pizza Hut. What have you learned about why brands use the Super Bowl to advertise?
There are going to be more than 100 million people watching the Super Bowl, so there is no other bigger [marketing] platform during the year. When brands want to make a statement about themselves that gives customers news, I think that's an important forum.

Where will you watch the game?
I will be in Phoenix on the ground. We've got a war room, and we have a ground force that will be present at the game that will be able to coordinate all of this activity. If it's anything like last year, I will be at the game making decisions in real time. That's the only way you can do it with social media and trying to capitalize on the game.

What's your favorite pizza topping and what's the most popular?
There's a pizza called John's Favorite-it has three types of meats, and that's my favorite. Our highest volume pizza is cheese and pepperoni, so that's No. 1 [in popularity] and always has been.







As Super Bowl audiences demand more second-screen content and as online ad opportunities expand, brands are aggressively growing their presence beyond merely multimillion-dollar TV spots.

It's about so much more than simply posting longer versions of an ad online, with marketers investing heavily in full-blown digital campaigns that run during the Big Game.

A kickin' energy drink launch supported by TV and social

Mountain Dew, an official Super Bowl sponsor through parent company PepsiCo, will air a spot during this year's pregame show as part of its "It All Starts With a Kick" campaign in support of the launch of energy drinks Kickstart Pineapple Orange Mango and Strawberry Kiwi. The campaign will be extended during and after the game via YouTube, Twitter, Vine and Snapchat.

"Mountain Dew has always been a digital instigator, and this is an area that we will continue to lean in on," said Jamal Henderson, Mountain Dew director of brand marketing.

Dan Greenberg, CEO of the ad exchange Sharethrough, noted that digital campaigns in the run-up to the Super Bowl can build buzz for a brand, as well as the spot it will air during the telecast. Out of the more than 50 advertisers that ran a Super Bowl-related campaign via Sharethrough last year, 75 percent also bought a TV spot. "It's beyond promoting the video assets-it's about promoting a much larger story," Greenberg said.

First-time Super Bowl advertiser Wix.com dedicated 60 staffers to its corresponding digital campaign. As part of its campaign, the Israeli-based website-building startup created fictional businesses for five former NFL stars, paying close attention to subsequent chatter on their Facebook and Twitter feeds. It created "Favre and Carve" T-shirts in response to demand from fans asking about Brett Favre's new charcuterie shop.

Wix.com director of strategic marketing communications Eric Mason notes the company got out online early, leading CBS to include the campaign in its special "Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials" on Jan. 26, even though the TV ad hadn't yet aired. "The product of the Super Bowl ad has changed for us," Mason said. "We bought an ad, but that started a Super Bowl campaign."

As David Burfeind, chief knowledge officer of The VIA Agency, points out, augmenting a TV spot with a robust online strategy can also extend the momentum of a Super Bowl spot after the fact. Reacting in real time, as Oreo famously did with a tweet during the blackout of Super Bowl XLVII, has proved to be a hot marketing tactic. With that in mind, sources say Snickers is planning a real-time campaign on SB Nation during the Super Bowl featuring "satisfying moments" from the Big Game, complementing the brand's Super Bowl spot and creating a second-screen experience for fans hungry for more content. "As advertisers look at these moments, social has become bigger for them," said Vox Media vp of advertising Joe Purzycki. "As a publisher, we've had to evolve to help partners tell the story about quality content consumers are interacting with during the big day."

One thing seems certain: Gone are the days when an advertiser could rely on the lift from a mere TV spot. Burfeind cited Radio Shack's '80s-themed commercial in last year's Super Bowl-and recent reports of the chain's imminent demise. "Winning a popularity contest doesn't mean operational growth," he warned. "Your success as a Super Bowl advertiser hinges on other things that go beyond the success of your spot."







Domestic violence is not the kind of theme you'd expect among the beer, babes and laughs of Super Bowl advertising. But the National Football League, still stinging from the public outcry over the way it handled Baltimore Ravens' Ray Rice's assault of his then fiancée, now his wife, last year, is working to resurrect its image with a public service ad-during the Big Game-that focuses on such abuse.

The ad below, from Grey New York, discreetly avoids any direct images of violence. Based on an actual phone call, the spot opens with a woman calling 911 to order pizza. The operator asks why she's calling 911 for the delivery before realizing why she can't talk freely. He gets the caller's address and assures her help is on the way, even as the woman continues the ruse, asking for a large pie with half pepperoni and half mushrooms. The camera pans across a house, where it looks like an altercation has occurred, with books strewn about a disheveled rug, a punched-out wall and a broken picture of a woman.

The commercial ends with the line: "When it's hard to talk, it's up to us to listen."

The spot is part of the NFL's "No More" campaign that has been running during the league's games. The NFL donated its airtime for the Super Bowl spot and production costs.

The backlash against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell has already become part of the build-up to the Super Bowl. Sports Illustrated has just reversed itself by agreeing to run a graphic domestic violence ad from the advocacy group Ultraviolet on its website this week. The ad shows a football player brutally attacking a young woman.

In addition to airing on the Super Bowl, the NFL's new spot will run on digital channels and get promotion from celebrity supporters.

For more news about the brands and stars preparing buzzworthy spots, be sure to check our up-to-the-minute Super Bowl Ad Tracker.







A new $100,000 sports car helps the tortoise beat the hare in Mercedes-Benz' Super Bowl ad, which the automaker posted on YouTube today.

The ad, from Merkley + Partners in New York, retells the classic fable with Mercedes' AMG GT tipping the scales in slowsky's favor. Must have been its aerodynamic design, to paraphrase Cecil Turtle in the classic Bugs Bunny version of the tale.

By using a two-seater that's clearly out of the price range of most consumers, Mercedes seeks entertainment value and something that helps to tell the story, rather than just sell a car. And that strategy makes sense, given that the Super Bowl first and foremost is a platform for memorable stories. As Drew Slaven, vp of advertising at Mercedes-Benz USA, told Adweek, "It is the sort of advertising that we as consumers of the Super Bowl expect companies and agencies to bring."

Picking up that thought, Merkley CEO Alex Gellert added, "There is an expectation among consumers that Super Bowl advertising will be entertaining, that it is at least equal parts entertainment as sell if not slightly more entertaining than sell. They are mini pieces of cinema."

This year marks the third time in six years that Mercedes has been on the game. Interestingly, before 2010 the brand had never advertised on the Super Bowl. The impetus behind that first buy was the company's 150th anniversary. Then, a 2013 ad, featuring Willem Dafoe as the devil, was about affordable luxury. In contrast, this year's execution, directed by Robert Stromberg (Maleficent), feels like pure whimsy and car candy. Slaven himself described it as charming and endearing with "tremendous wit."

Here's a look at the ad:








Here's everything you need to know about the last 24 hours in advertising, in case you blinked.

Buzzing on Adweek:

Victoria's Secret releases full Super Bowl spot
The lingerie brand teased its Super Bowl spot last week with the Angels dressed in bulky football gear, but the actual game-day spot features more of what you'd expect from the brand. (Adweek)

10 Super Bowl spots you won't want to miss
There will be plenty of ads to enjoy from this year's Super Bowl, but here are 10 spots people are already buzzing about, including Budweiser's "Lost Dog" and Bud Light's life-sized Pac-Man ad. (Adweek)

BMW flashes back to 1994
For its Super Bowl spot, BMW will advertise the BMW i3 by flashing back to a now-famous clip starring Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel discussing what exactly the Internet is all about. (Adweek)

Nick Offerman wants more people to watch Nascar
Just as the Super Bowl comes to its end this weekend, Nick Offerman will appear in a postgame spot for NBC Sports, encouraging people to add a little more Nascar in their lives. (Adweek)

Coca-Cola teases #MakeItHappy campaign
While Coca-Cola won't reveal its full Super Bowl ad until game day, the company released four teasers for its "Make It Happy" campaign, dedicated to making the Web a safer, bully-free place. (Adweek)

Sports Illustrated will run a shocking domestic violence ad online
A powerful PSA created by Ultraviolet will run on the Sports Illustrated website this week, challenging the NFL's domestic violence policies. (Adweek)

Volvo wants to steal the spotlight
Volvo won't run an ad during the Super Bowl, but it's asking fans to tweet during other car brands' ads for a chance to win a Volvo for someone important in their life. (Adweek)

Brands take on the blizzard
As the East Coast prepares for #Blizzardof2015, brands including DiGiorno and Toyota capitalized on the real-time marketing opportunity, but brands should be cautious as dangerous conditions approach. (Adweek)


Around the Web:

The NFL gets a YouTube channel
The National Football League finally launched its own YouTube channel where viewers will have access to game highlights and recaps. (TIME)

Twitter wants users to stop posting Instagram photos
Some verified Twitter users received notices from Twitter asking them to stop tweeting out photos from Instagram and instead use the in-app photo feature. (The Drum)

Aer Lingus confirms British Airways offer
Aer Lingus confirmed that British Airways' parent company IAG made its third takeover offer for over $1.45 billion, which the airline said it would consider. (USA Today)

Lilly Pulitzer's social strategy
The iconic, historic brand is proving its social prowess, posting images of its #Lilly5x5 campaign on Instagram and Pinterest, along with behind-the-scenes videos and photos. (Digiday)

Catalogs get facelifts
Many brands still rely on classic print catalogs and direct mail to reach potential customers, but have to use different tactics including photo spreads and storytelling to catch a shopper's attention. (The New York Times)

Mattel's CEO is out
Bryan Stockton stepped down as chief executive of toy company Mattel amid a decline in worldwide sales and will be replaced by Christopher Sinclair. (Fortune)

Hershey's blocks Cadbury from the U.S.
The Hershey Co. announced it would block all Cadbury chocolate imports from the U.K., but the products can still be manufactured in the U.S. using a different recipe. (The Telegraph)

Esurance joins Super Bowl ad roster
The car insurance company will make its Super Bowl advertising debut during this year's game but said it would not reveal any details about the spot just yet. (The Wall Street Journal)


Industry Shake-Ups:

M&C Saatchi restructures
The agency got rid of its executive creative director role, formerly held by Elspeth Lynn, and handed the responsibilities over to the agency's four creative directors. (The Drum)

North American president leaves JWT
Mike Geiger, president and chief integration officer for JWT North America, announced his departure from the agency. (Agency Spy)








Specs
Who: Rob Reilly
New gig: Global creative chairman, McCann Worldgroup
Old gig: Worldwide chief creative officer, Crispin Porter + Bogusky
Age: 45

Why did you create this year's first "Super Clio," recognizing the best Super Bowl ad?
Brands stick their necks out and spend a lot of money. This is the one night where our profession is judged by the country, 30 seconds at a time. For once, we're not the "poor man's movie business." That's why I root for everybody to do well. We all benefited when Wieden + Kennedy and Chrysler pulled off "Imported From Detroit." There were no dogs, babies, punch-in-the-balls jokes. Just a great idea with spectacular writing and flawless execution.

How do you rate McCann's work?
Our Chevy work is very good; we're doing great work for Coke globally; (co-branded ads for) Coca-Cola and Walmart and for MasterCard. We're doing these great things, but we don't do them often enough. That's the goal: How do we make sure we're doing it more often and for all of our clients? When you're part of a giant company, there's hero accounts and then there's accounts that don't do great work. I've said every account at the end of year has to have three magical pieces in every office. Accountability's a big thing for me. If you don't give people goals, they don't know if they've succeeded or failed. It's very important that every account we have is attempting to do great work. I have these conversations with clients; this isn't just an internal thing.

Why move from a boutique culture like Crispin to McCann's global network?
I wanted a bigger challenge. Aside from just the size is the exposure to big global accounts. I'm the creative chairman of McCann Worldgroup, not just McCann Erickson, which is a difference I wanted. I was interested in Worldgroup and integration, connecting those different marketing entities and having them work together.

What's your mandate from Worldgroup CEO Harris Diamond?
He said, "I want McCann to be the greatest creative agency in the world. I'll give you everything you need to do it." Great creativity is how you win new business and grow.

Biggest challenge in the new job?
Finding talent and keeping them. Creative people are motivated by what great things they can make. My goal is surrounding them with those opportunities. I want this place to be known for a commitment to evolving the industry beyond what it currently is.







After thumbing its nose at the in-game advertisers on last year's Super Bowl, Esurance is set to become one of them.

The online insurance company confirmed Monday that it is suiting up and ready to air an in-game spot on Sunday's telecast. No details about the length of the ad or the creative approach were available. But a rep for Leo Burnett in Chicago, which is creating the spot, said it will "demonstrate how Esurance is the faster, smarter and more modern direct insurance provider."

Esurance orchestrated a remarkable stunt around last year's Super Bowl, using the first commercial slot after the final whistle-which cost $1.5 million less than an in-game spot-to announce the #esurancesave30 sweepstakes, which gave away that $1.5 million in savings to a consumer. That effort garnered more than 3 million entries (including 200,000 in the first minute) and 5 billion social media impressions.

The company will not give away $1.5 million this year. Instead, Esurance chief marketing officer Alan Gellman said the time was right to spend the money in the game itself.

"Esurance is a major brand in the insurance category, but we're not as well known as our major competitors who spend far more than we do," he said in a statement. "So, maximizing awareness of our innovative offering for customers is important. The Super Bowl is the biggest media event of the year and it offers us the opportunity to efficiently reach a very large audience while making them aware that, because of our innovative options, Esurance is the smarter choice for insurance in today's modern world."







Sara Heffernen's "Graphic Design Pun Cards" make gentle sport of designers' compulsive, perfectionist tendencies, while being dad-jokey enough to elicit groans from the rest of us.

Having said that, "Bad Kerning Can Never Be Justified" is legit funny and two levels beyond what this kind of humor usually is, and "Keming" isn't far behind, even if it does kind of tell the same joke. The others are more of a spectrum; either you're grinding your teeth in response to the no-no's on display, or at the low-hanging punnery.

You can find the entire collection here. Sara should consider a line of T-shirts, and maybe opening a typographer's version of Spencer's Gifts to sell them in.

Via Design Taxi.







Volvo won't be a Super Bowl advertiser this weekend, but several of its competitors will be-a fact the Swedish automaker plans to use for its own benefit.

With a promo called "The Greatest Interception Ever," Volvo is asking fans to tweet its hashtag, #VolvoContest, during other car brands' Super Bowl commercials. Participants will nominate a friend or loved one to win a new Volvo XC60 luxury crossover, with the idea being that the company wants to focus on real people rather than its own marketing message.

"While other car companies are showing you what matters to them," explains the video below, "we want to know who inspires you, who moves you, who matters most to you."

The initiative, created with Grey, New York, kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. Selected tweets will get a response from Volvo, asking why each nominee was chosen. Five winners will be selected.

The car giveaway harkens back to an earlier car promotion created by Grey worldwide chief creative officer Tor Myhren. In 2004, when he was executive creative director on the General Motors business at Leo Burnett, Detroit, Myhren worked with The Oprah Winfrey Show to give away nearly 300 Pontiacs to audience members at the premiere of Winfrey's 19th season. Similarly, the audience was chosen because friends and family had written into the show about why these audience members needed a new car.

While the Super Bowl usually hosts a large number of car advertisers-11 of them in 2014-many automakers are staying on the sidelines this year. So far, only five have confirmed that they've bought time on the game: BMW, Kia, Lexus, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz.

For more news about the brands and stars preparing buzzworthy spots, be sure to check our up-to-the-minute Super Bowl Ad Tracker.







Sports Illustrated has reversed its call and will run an NFL-themed domestic violence ad from advocacy group Ultraviolet on its website Thursday, three days before the Super Bowl.

The 15-second video shows a football player in full gear brutally tackling a young woman wearing street clothes and a knitted cap. "Let's take domestic violence out of football," a voiceover says. On-screen text refers to "55 NFL abuse cases unanswered," and the ad closes with the hashtag, #GoodellMustGo, a swipe at league commissioner Roger Goodell.

Ultraviolet flew banners with that hashtag above the recent AFC and NFC championship games, as it had at various NFL contests this season during the Ray Rice controversy.



Last week, SI rejected Ultraviolet's advertising-which includes an online banner as well as the video-but upon further review, and following inquiries from other media, gave the OK, calling its initial refusal a "misunderstanding." (Apparently, SI initially evaluated just the banner, which it felt could be misconstrued as editorial content. The banner and video together, however, were subsequently deemed acceptable.)

"We are thrilled that public scrutiny has persuaded Sports Illustrated to reverse their decision," says Ultraviolet founder Nita Chaudhary. "We cannot allow the issue of domestic violence to be swept under the rug."

Ultimately, the SI drama generates extra exposure for Ultraviolet's edgy play and further deflates the NFL on the eve of the Big Game.