By Barry Janoff
January 6, 2015: After weeks of hedging its bet, Wrigley's brand Skittles has confirmed that it would make its first appearance in the Super Bowl, unveiling the news with a teaser ad that hints at "awesomer" activation to come.
Skittles, an official sponsor of the NFL and the go-to snack for Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, said it would air a 30-second spot on NBC during Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.
Details of the spot, from DDB, Chicago, were not shared. A teaser ad features Kurt Warner, former NFL quarterback and three-time Super Bowl participant, current TV analyst and a native of Arizona, hosting a Skittles-laden party in the parking lot of the University of Phoenix Stadium, where the Big Game will be played.
Skittles said it would be "celebrating its first official inclusion in the Big Game in a variety of unexpected ways in the weeks leading up to the Feb. 1 kickoff." In addition to TV, the brand's campaign will include Internet, such social media destinations as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and YouTube; and on-site activation, all focusing on the brand's "Rainbow" theme.
Skittles has an endorsement deal with Lynch (pictured below), a self-confessed long-time lover of the product, which was jump-started when the Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII last February.
M&M's, a division of Wrigley's parent company Mars, Inc., has been in the Super Bowl and will return this year. Thirty-second spots on NBC are going for upward of $4.5 million, according to industry analysts.
"We couldn't be more excited to be an official NFL sponsor and first-time Super Bowl advertiser," Matt Montei, senior marketing director for Confections and Seasonal at Wrigley, said in a statement. "We know that Skittles can help make an already awesome game even awesomer for fans everywhere."
In the teaser spot, text reads, "Skittles is so excited about our first-ever Super Bowl ad that we started tailgating in Arizona four weeks early. And we invited Super Bowl legend Kurt Warner to make it awesomer."
"Super Bowl 49 is about to get awesome," Warner, who appeared in three Super Bowls and was MVP of Super Bowl XXXIV with the St. Louis Rams, tells a crowd of cheerleaders and tailgate partiers as Skittles cover the screen. (See the full spot here.)
"Since we're new to this party, we are celebrating in ways only Skittles can — with a twist and this is just the beginning of a big playoff run for Skittles," Montei said.
Warner played in the NFL from 1998-2009, the last four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. He finished his NFL career with more than 32,000 yards passing and 208 touchdowns. He has the record for the most yards passing in a Super Bowl game (Super Bowl XXXIV, 414) and also has the second and third-most yards passing in a single game (Super Bowl XLIII, 377; Super Bowl XXXVI, 365, respectively).
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