MediaFile

It’s Super Bowl time and that means beer ads

We recently wrote that advertisers have even more riding on this Super Bowl than usual. There may be no better illustration of this than Anheuser-Busch InBev, brewer of such Super Bowl marketing staples as Bud and Bud Light.

Yesterday, the company gave the press a glimpse of some of its advertising for this year’s big game. The company has purchased 4-1/2 minutes worth of advertising time, once again making it the biggest Super Bowl advertiser.

At first glimpse, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s plans don’t seem that different than other years. It will go for humor in Bud Light spots and emotion in its Budweiser spots, using the Clydesdale horses. (Actually, it will run a record 3 Clydesdale commercials during the game).

But you get a sense from company executives that they feel like there is a lot riding on this year’s marketing blitz, given it comes during a recession when all budgets –  including, and perhaps especially, advertising — are under close scrutiny. Tossing a few million bucks at some commercial time is no easy decision right now.

Moreoever, the company has to rebuild some bridges after the rush of bad publicity that came with the takevoer last year by InBev (Think foreign super-company taking over American beer icon and you’ll get a sense how this thing was being played).

Television ratings in deep freeze

Since we’re coming up on year’s end, it’s worth a quick review of the television season so far. It has stunk. There. That’s about all you need to know.

Don’t take our word for it, look at the weekly Nielsen numbers that came out yesterday. The lone exception is CBS, which continues to hold up relatively well in the face of all the challenges facing the TV market.

Here’s the Hollywood Reporter’s roundup:

Following its 12th consecutive weekly victory in total viewers, CBS became the first major broadcast network this season to move into positive year-to-year territory since premiere week.

Jay Leno to NBC’s Rescue

How odd is it that perhaps the most exciting story in network television is not about “Lost”, “Fringe” or some other edgy, expensive small-screen phenomenon, but instead, about a veteran night time talk show host moving to prime time?

According to reports, NBC is set to announce today that Jay Leno, who relinquishes his “Tonight Show” gig next May, will get a new show at 10 p.m. each night “in a format similar to “The Tonight Show.”

This news comes as last-place NBC tries to cut costs during the economic slowdown. It wants to streamline creative decision-making. I suppose you can’t streamline it any more than putting the same gab-fest on every weekday night to compete with everything from legal and espionage yarns to hospital dramas and time travel shows.

More talks between Yahoo and AOL? Why not?

yahoo2.jpgHere we go again… It seems that Yahoo’s new board has given the thumbs up to a new round of talks about Time Warner’s AOL, according to a report in the Financial Times

The newspaper says that the board’s move potentially reignites “negotiations for a combination of the two internet businesses that stalled earlier this year.”

According to one person familiar with the company’s thinking, the Yahoo board approved a new round of discussions with AOL, though active deal negotiations are not underway at this stage.

NBC’s super ad sales

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NBC’s sports department is having quite a year. We all know about the Olympics, but now it appears they are raking in money for the 2009 Super Bowl.

The broadcaster said yesterday that it has sold 85 percent of its commercial time for the game — and a dozen spots have gone for $3 million.

It’s worth remembering that there was some snickering when word spread that NBC wanted to sell time for $3 million. I mean, come on! $3 million? In this economy?