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stabled in Merrimack, the Clydesdales nonetheless bring a sense of familiarity to a series of television commercials that will promote everything from cars to soap.
The Clydesdales have made a mark on an event celebrated as much for its television commercials as the game itself. Super Bowl audiences have seen Clydesdales in 12 Super Bowl ads, doing everything from pulling a red Studebaker beer wagon to playing a football game in the snow.
Anheuser Busch purchased five minutes of advertising from CBS, the network that will carry the game, said Mike Bulthaus, the company's director of brand communications.
In a rare instance of recapturing a horse after it had left the barn, Anheuser Busch reversed its decision and will run an advertisement featuring the popular Budweiser Clydesdales during the NFL's championship game.
"It's very hard under any circumstance to make an advertisement that's water cooler worthy," Lauer said. "The pressure of all the money spent makes some advertisers really raise the bar.
For one, pre game publicity about the ads almost eclipses the pre game hype of the Super Bowl, Lauer said. With a Super Bowl commercial, an advertiser not only gets 30 seconds of exposure, but nearly three weeks of media coverage, he said.
Recognition certainly helps in a venture that's "part art, part science," said Josh Lauer, an assistant professor of communication at the University of New Hampshire.
The commercial will feature a young Clydesdale running opposite a fence that pens a calf, Bulthaus said. The Clydesdale trots off, but the calf can't.
Clydesdale, again, isn't impeded, Bulthaus said, but this time, the calf, Omega White Ceramic Watch now a bull, "has no problem going through the fence."
America's favorite Clydesdales won't be put out to pasture for today's Super Bowl after all.
A television spot for this Super Bowl reportedly cost at least $2.5 million. That may seem like a lot of money, but with advertisers trying to reach an expected audience of 100 million, it's a risk worth taking, Lauer said.
But the Clydesdale commercial that initially came back from the ad agency was 30 seconds long and didn't have enough time to tell a full story, he said. The ad also didn't work with small focus groups, he said.
exclusion of the Clydesdales. Just as those stories appeared, Anheuser Busch received an extended version of the ad, and this new 60 second spot gave the story the kick it needed, Bulthaus said.
"But even if you have all the money in the world and the most talent it's hard to know what will stick."
Anheuser Busch chose to run nine ads for Budweiser, Bud Light and two other Anheuser Busch beers, and for the first time in eight Super Bowls, a Clydesdale wouldn't help market Bud.
"It wasn't quite the bigness that you'd expect from a Budweiser Clydesdale ad," Bulthaus said.
Media outlets that cover advertising picked up on the Omega Seamaster 300m On Nato Strap
Although the draft horses in the ad won't be the ones that are Omega Seamaster Professional Strap
Clydesdales back in the game
At the same time, Anheuser Busch placed the revised Clydesdale ad on its Facebook page and asked fans to choose between it and two other commercials. The Clydesdale spot was a fan favorite, and sure enough, Anheuser Bush announced Thursday it had reshuffled its Super Bowl advertising lineup to include the horses.
Indeed, Anheuser Busch has received a lot of press over the Clydesdales. Many viewers sitting down for the game will now know to keep an eye out for the horses and a bull.
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