Ford's Super Bowl Pregame Plan to One-Up GM with James Franco

Ford Motor Co. is aiming to get out ahead of rival automakers on Super Bowl Sunday with a spot featuring actor James Franco that will break after the coin toss but before the kickoff.

It’s a calculated risk by Ford. On the one hand, buying in the pre-game spot saves money for the Detroit auto-maker. Commercials between the between the coin toss and kickoff cost $3 million to $3.5 million, estimated Adam Komack, chief client officer of MediaCom. Another media executive who declined to be named said spots in that window started as low as $2.5 million. That’s compared to an average price of $4 million for ads from kickoff to the final whistle.

And most of the audience will be on the couch by the coin toss and ready to go. During last year’s game 75 million people were tuned in at 6:25 p.m., ahead of the kickoff. The game averaged 108.7 million viewers, so that slot between coin toss and kick-off has about 30% fewer viewers than in-game play. Getting in front of that audience for perhaps $2.5 million — almost 40% less than an in-game spot — seems to make good sense.

Read More at AdAge