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Super Bowl ads: Travel brands are no-shows, but Priceline shows up for the pre-game

@denschaal

Jan 31, 2013 9:24 am

Skift Take

A few travel companies can afford a Super Bowl ad at $3.8 million for 30 seconds, but is it really worth it? Perhaps, as they can be part of integrated, digital marketing campaigns, but no travel companies bit on that premise this year.

— Dennis Schaal

Free Report: The State of Student Travel

Priceline  / YouTube

Priceline is advertising during the Super Bowl pre-game show. Priceline / YouTube


Barring last-minute changes, like last year, there will be no travel ads during Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII.

Vacation-rental site HomeAway ran Super Bowl ads in 2011 and 2010, and has opted to go silent during this year’s football game.

For ad prices ranging between $3.7 to $3.8 million for a 30-second spot, can you blame public-company HomeAway for sitting on the sidelines this year?

The Walt Disney Co., which owns a few theme parks familiar to travelers, will be advertising this year during the game, but the advertising will focus on upcoming movies, AdAge reports. And they can always count on a member of the winning team promising a visit to Disney World (as long as it’s not Ray Lewis).

Jamaican tourism officials hope Volkswagen’s controversial ad featuring a white guy talking with a Jamaican accent will provide exposure for the island as a vacation destination.

Totally out of character, Google ran a Parisian Love ad during the 2010 Super Bowl. The ad focused on winning the love of and impressing a Parisian woman, and showed screenshots of someone searching online for the Louvre and for flights to Paris.

That leaves Priceline, which will be running a commercial during Sunday’s pregame show, which will focus on Priceline Express Deals, a discount hotel product that doesn’t require bidding. Priceline also advertised during the pregame show in 2012, and ran an advertisement during half-time in 2009.

The cost of the pregame ads for the 2013 Super Bowl are believed to run about half of those during the game itself.

Here’s Priceline’s ad for the 2013 Super Bowl pregame show:

Here’s the Volkswagen ad for Super Bowl 2013:

Here’s HomeAway’s ad from 2011:

And, here’s Google’s Parisian Love ad from Super Bowl 2010:

One travel marketer notes that despite the hype there usually are last-minute discounted rates for Super Bowl spots so perhaps a travel advertiser could come in as the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are warming up for the game.

But, that’s as likely as a Super Bowl shutout.

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