By Barry Janoff
February 1, 2017: During the national broadcast of Super Bowl 50 last year on CBS, 23% of the parent companies were rookies, with ten of the 43 spots being first-time advertisers in the Big Game.
That was down from Super Bowl XLIX, when 28% were rookies, equal to Super Bowl XLVIII, up from Super Bowl XLVII (18%) and down from Super Bowl XLVI (27%), according to research and consulting firm Kantar Media, NY.
Among the first-time Super Bowl LI marketers this coming Sunday on Fox are KFC, 84 Lumber, Febreze, Fiji Water, King’s Hawaiian, Top Games, Wendy’s and Tiffany starring Super Bowl halftime performer Lady Gaga (and the firm that also makes the Vince Lombardi Trophy).
Also new to arguably the world’s largest one-day audience is Nintendo, which will air a 30-second spot (taken from an extended 90-second online version) to support the launch of the Nintendo Switch video game system and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game.
Both are scheduled to hit retail March 3.
Thirty-second spots have gone for upward of $5 million, according to industry analysts.
"The most anticipated video game system and video game of the year will be seen on the biggest stage of the year," Nicolas Chavez, vp-marketing for Nintendo of America, said in a statement. "Nintendo Switch will change how, when and where people play games. It’s only fitting that we’re changing how, when and where we advertise those games."
The commercial, "Switch," is intended to introduce to a mass audience to Nintendo Switch, which, according to the company, combines the power of a home console with the mobility of a hand-held video game system. People can play on their TVs at home, then grab Nintendo Switch and continue playing seamlessly wherever they go.
As for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: "It breaks conventions to become the next defining moment in the classic franchise,” according to Nintendo. "It offers the most immersive world that Nintendo has ever created and sends players on an adventure they will never forget.
The ad, to air in the fourth quarter, also features a new song by Imagine Dragons, "Believer."
The 90-second version of the ad showcases Nintendo Switch "in a variety of locations where home video games are not traditionally played," including a classroom, a kitchen and a laundromat.
Nintendo Switch games featured in the extended cut include The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,1-2-Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, Splatoon 2, Just Dance 2017 from Ubisoft and Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers from Capcom.
The company said that Nintendo Switch would be available at a suggested retail price of $299.99.
Nintendo intends to move a lot of merchandise. But will if be among the freshman marketers that return as sophomores to the following Super Bowl? The odds are against it.
Over the past decade, more than 60% of first-timers were on the sidelines the next year, according to Kantar Media.
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