Is it too soon to begin thinking about which brand will create the top Super Bowl ad of 2013? Heck, Super Bowl XLVII won’t be played until Sunday, Feb. 3.
Well, we already know only eight teams still have a shot at winning in New Orleans. And although we still don’t know who will buy the last handful of 30-second spots, which CBS Sports is selling for a record $4 million this year, Brian Steinberg, the TV Editor for Ad Age, has already put together a list of “Who’s Buying What in Super Bowl 2013,” which names 21 advertisers that have announced plans to run commercials during the big game.
And thanks to the Viral Video Chart, we also know who created the top Super Bowl ads of 2012 as well as the top 100 Super Bowl ads of all time. And David Waterhouse, the Head of Content at Unruly Media, predicts that 2013 is the year when brands will realize “Social video success is predictable, measurable and repeatable.”
So, I don’t think it’s too early to take a look at the eight brands that have the best shot at creating the top Super Bowl ad of 2013.
“The Force: Volkswagen Commercial” is the top Super Bowl ad of all time with 5,570,864 shares, according to the Viral Video Chart.
And VW has four commercials in the top 100 Super Bowl ads of all time, with a total of 7,385,476 shares. Although this doesn’t guarantee success, this makes the brand the favorite for Super Bowl 2013.
However, “The Force” ran during Super Bowl 2011. During the 2012 game, a teaser ad and a Super Bowl follow-up that used dogs as its centerpiece only made a mild splash. So, the automaker is expected to veer in a different direction, according to press reports.
2) Anheuser-Busch InBev
“9/11 Bud Commercial - AIRED ONLY ONCE” is the #2 Super Bowl ad of all time with 2,290,138 shares, according to the Viral Video Chart.
And A-B InBev has nine commercials in the top 100 Super Bowl ads of all time, with a total of 3,071,636 shares. So, the brand is a contender for the top spot in 2013, but it will need to raise its game to a new level in order to win.
This is a real possibility because Anheuser-Bush is perhaps the Super Bowl's largest ongoing sponsor and typically buys between three and four minutes' worth of ad inventory. The 2012 game saw A-B InBev take a total of four and a half minutes of ad time across six commercials.
For Super Bowl 2013, the company is planning to introduce Budweiser "Black Crown," a higher-alcohol version of Bud. And Translation, an agency led by Steve Stoute and Jay-Z, among others, is said to be working on two spots for Bud Light Platinum, repeating the Super Bowl assignment it had for the beer marketer in 2012. So, A-B InBev could surprise us this year.
3) PepsiCo's Frito-Lay
Doritos is running its venerable “Crash the Super Bowl” contest for the seventh year in a row. Hey, the contest has generated an amazing 14 commercials in the top 100 Super Bowl ads of all time, with a total of 2,057,466 shares.
Once again, Doritos is conducting a contest offering amateurs the chance to have a self-produced ad run in the Super Bowl. It is also offering the consumer who creates the top-ranked Doritos commercial to run during the game the chance to work with director Michael Bay on the next installment of “Transformers.”
If you want to determine which of the fan-made Doritos ads airs during the Super Bowl, you can vote for the finalists on Facebook until Jan. 29. I should disclose that I’ve already voted for “Doritos® - Express Checkout -- Crash the Super Bowl 2013 Finalist.”
4) Mars Inc.’s M&M’s
“M&M ‘Sexy and I Know It’ Super Bowl Commercial 2012” is the #9 Super Bowl ad of all time with 584,551 shares, according to the Viral Video Chart. It was also the #3 Super Bowl commercial of 2012.
Mars has bought 30 seconds in the first quarter of Super Bowl 2013 to again promote M&M’s candy. What are they likely to show us?
Well, Mars used the 2012 Super Bowl to introduce Ms. Brown, a businesslike “spokescandy,” as Red, another character, dances to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It.” Roy Benin, chief consumer officer at Mars Chocolate North America, suggested in a statement that the 2013 spot will use a wider range of characters.
Let’s hope that these new characters are hilarious, inspiring, astonishing, and exhilarating, instead of Yellow, Ms. Green, Orange, and Blue.
Coca-Cola has seven commercials in the top 100 Super Bowl ads of all time, with a total of 474,157 shares. That’s not particularly impressive. But before you count them out in 2013, consider this: Coke has purchased three 30-second spots for this year’s big game.
In 2012, Coca-Cola prepared two versions of a minute-long ad starring animated polar bears and waited until the last minute to choose which to air, based on which polar bear’s favorite team was winning. Online, the brand let the bears run wild, so to speak, as they offered up reactions to the game and the ads -- drinking Coke all the while.
On Dec. 31, 2012, “Coca-Cola Polar Bears Film 2013 produced by Ridley Scott” was published on YouTube. The description says, “Watch this 6 minute film of our Coca-Cola #PolarBears as you’ve never seen them before!”
I’ll bet that this is the backstory for the three commercials we’ll see during Bowl XLVII.
6) Best Buy
Buy: To be determined. In 2012, the retailer aired one 30-second spot.
Creative: To be determined. In 2012, Best Buy focused on inventors such as Philippe Kahn, an early camera-phone developer, and Kevin Systrom, who developed the social photo platform, Instagram.
7) Audi of America (Volkswagen)
“Audi 2012 Game Day Commercial - Vampire Party” is the #28 Super Bowl ad of all time with 141,047 shares, according to the Viral Video Chart. It was also the #10 Super Bowl commercial of 2012.
This will mark Audi's sixth consecutive entry as a Super Bowl advertiser. The brand has three commercials in the top 100 Super Bowl ads of all time, with a total of 273,274 shares.For Super Bowl 2013, they’vebought one 60-second spot.
Let’s hope they read Chris Atkinson’s article, “The State of Automotive Marketing in Social Video: New Report Sees Huge Opportunity for Auto Marketers.” It explains why automotive marketing in social video is “stuck in first gear.”
8) PepsiCo Beverages
“Love Hurts” is the #42 Super Bowl ad of all time with 83,079 shares, according to the Viral Video Chart. It was also one of three commercials in the top 100 Super Bowl ads of all time, with a total of 205,362 shares.
In 2012, Pepsi ran two ads, one for its flagship brand and the other for PepsiMax. The brand may be a long shot for creating the top Super Bowl ad of 2013. But at least they’re in the game.
Of course, a lot can change between now and Sunday, Feb. 3. So, check back in two weeks, and get an update.
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