Promotion is Power

Posted on December 4, 2011


2/17/11-What is the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think of this year’s Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers? If you think it is Clay Matthew’s hair or the Black Eyed Pea’s atrocious half-time show, then you are mistaken. Besides being the be-all and end-all of football games, one thing that is usually associated with the Super Bowl is its commercials.

Every year, there have been numerous memorable spots that elevated the most ordinary products (Doritos, Hondas, Budweiser, etc.) into the public eye, like the Darth Vader Volkswagen Commercial. Other notable commercials have created memorable characters like the Budweiser frogs and the WAZZZUUPP guys. Some commercials end up completely failing, illustrating the lack of thought and creative effort some firms put into them.

Despite the presence of “typical” commercials this year, the Super Bowl was notable for something else. There was an abundance of promotional spots for the most anticipated movie releases of the summer.

During the entire game, there were a whopping total of 19 commercials promoting movies that have received a lot of attention, and others that need quite a bit more. The superhero flicks Thor and Captain American: The First Avenger made their debuts, while Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides tried to solidify their reputation as possible summer hits. Cowboys and Aliens, along with Super 8, added to the sci-fan fanfare that will definitely occur this year.

Battle: Los Angeles and Priest were showcased to signal the presence of hits during the short spring movie season as well. In terms of children and family flicks, Kung Fu Panda 2, Hop, Rio and Rango were previewed on Super Bowl Sunday as well.  Never Say Never and Drive Angry showed their trailers that night in an attempt to draw fans towards their premieres during this blustery winter.

Due to the large amount of viewers—111 million people according to the Nielsen Co., making it the most watched television show in American history—of Super Bowl XLV, various studios made sure they put as much money as possible toward making sure each commercial received the maximum amount of attention and hype. According to, Paramount payed $3 million to have a 30 second Thor spot appear during the game. Paramount also invested $3 million for its Captain America commercial.

The fact that these two super-hero movies are two of the most anticipated releases for this summer might explain why Paramount pushed so hard for even more publicity.

So what does all this mean? It means that, not only has the Super Bowl become one of the most prime times for advertising, but also that film studios can stake their claim by aggressively pushing their movie trailers.

It can be easily assumed that millions of viewers will tune in to watch the big game between the two best teams in the AFC and NFC every year, which is perfect for advertisers and movie studios.

The important issue to consider here is if promotion will be successful during this time or if it will fail completely.

In the case of the movies, it was a total success. According to, the Super Bowl commercials for each movie generated massive buzz on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The trailers for Captain America and Transformers 3 generated roughly 18,000 tweets respectively, while Thor generated 13,000 tweets.

Movie studios have realized that this would be the best way to promote their summer hits. If one 30-second spot can generate thousands of tweets, imagine how much a two minute trailer could pull off?

Super Bowl XLV has set a standard as an excellent format to preview the summer movie season as well as depicting an epic clash between the best teams in football, while also showcasing new and varied product brands. Super Bowl XLV proves that promotion is power, and the summer movie season has never looked better.

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