Sunday, January 28, 2001

CBS tonight's big winner

At $2.3M per ad, network can't lose

By Randy Tucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        More than two dozen TV commercials will air tonight during Super Bowl XXXV.

        But only three of the dot-com and Web companies that bought 90 percent of the Super Bowl ads last year on ABC are back. Online job-search service, its rival,, and online broker E*Trade are still alive.

        That leaves the field wide open for traditional advertisers, who will pay a record average of $2.3 million for a 30-second spot. That's a healthy jump from last year's $2.1 million.

        Familiar brands such as Budweiser, Pepsi and FedEx are back, accompanied by first-time Super Bowl advertisers Levi Strauss and Volkswagen.

        Still, some so-called “old economy” companies, such as Procter & Gamble, have decided to stay on the sidelines, even though P&G's Sunny Delight is an official sponsor of the NFL.

        “The companies that spend aggressively on Super Bowl advertising are targeting macho men,” said Burt Flickinger III of Reach Marketing in Westport, Conn., and a former P&G brand manager.

        “P&G's target,” he said, “is mothers.”

        Today could be the biggest revenue-generating day in CBS history, thanks to the 1-2 punch of ad sales for Super Bowl XXXV and Survivor II: The Australian Outback.

        The original Survivor series averaged 26 million viewers.

        The potential audience for Survivor II allowed CBS to demand a reported $1 million for a 30-second spot during the show, which has sold out of ad space.

        Combined revenues from the game, pregame and Survivor II ads could give CBS more than $200 million for the day.


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