CTV gets first down with sold-out Super Bowl

The network sells out Super Bowl XLIV with over a week to go. Brands on board include Labatt as title sponsor and PepsiCo as the half-time show sponsor.

With superstar QB Peyton Manning on the field for the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints warming the nation’s hearts, Super Bowl XLIV is set to be a classic for audiences and advertisers alike.

CTV has reported sold-out status on its ad inventory for the 44th edition of the big game on Feb. 7, lining up headline sponsors such as Labatt, Pepsi-QTG Canada, Hyundai and Ford for the Canadian broadcast. In the heat of the recession last year, the network still had inventory left just days before the broadcast.

‘It’s certainly much better than it was last year,’ Rick Brace, president, revenue, business planning and sports, CTV, tells MiC. ‘I’m really pleased with how it’s turning out.’

Labatt retains its season-long title sponsorship into the Super Bowl, Brace says, while Pepsi has taken on the half-time show. This is a departure from the brand’s strategy in the US, where the company announced that it would not be advertising through the Super Bowl this year, rather focusing on cause-based advertising instead.

The food and bev co will bring new, Canadian-specific creative to the game with a new ad for Gatorade G2, Cheryl Radisa, VP consumer marketing, PepsiCo Beverages Canada, tells MiC. The brand will also advertise its SunChips, Doritos, and PepsiMax brands. OMD is Pepsi’s MAOR, while TBWAToronto handled creative for the new G2 spot, which is part of a larger television and street-based marketing campaign.

Florence Ng, head of broadcast investment at Zenith Optimedia, confirmed that Hyundai is helming the first-quarter sponsorship and that Kia has purchased air time for the game. CTV also confirmed that Ford is on board as well.

The Super Bowl will also mark the North American debut of Unilever’s new men’s skin care product line, Dove Men+Care. The first ads for the new products will launch during the game.

Rates were slightly up for the game this year, Brace says, which wasn’t the case south of the border, where rates fell for only the second time in Super Bowl history. Media reports last week pegged CBS ad rates at US$2.5 million and US$2.8 million, down from an average of $3 million the year prior.

Ratings-wise, the game is already shaping up to be a winner, Brace says. The NFL divisional playoffs last weekend scored huge for the net, bringing in 2.3 million viewers for the Colts vs. Jets early game and 2.6 million for the Saints vs. Vikings game later in the day, a record NFL audience in Canada (excluding Super Bowls), CTV said Monday.

Add to that the iconic Manning on QB duty for the Colts and the against-all-odds New Orleans Saints on the field, the final match-up should be one for the books, Brace says. ‘I don’t know if we could have scripted it better, quite frankly!’