This is Opening Night in the NFL. It could be the most important night for TV viewing b/t now and the Super Bowl. Will NBC draw 110M viewers. NO! Will the ½ time entertainers even consider paying the NFL on NBC b/c they’re entertaining? NO! Will the commercials that we see tonight be of SB quality? NO! Will they be as expensive as SB ads? NOT EVEN CLOSE! What about this question, will NBC’s Opening NFL night be in the 3 biggest female TV audiences of the year? ABSOLUTELY, DEFENITLEY, HECK YES! YES!! YESS!!



  • A recent article in the USA2Day’s sport section acclaimed the DLS Cowboys addition of Michael Sam to its Taxi Squad as an excellent football decision given the perceived status of the mediocre to poor defense of the Cowboys. PLEASE, Jerry Jones’ signing of Sam is an extraordinary marketing move. How many Cab players (10 to a team) ever play any real NFL football “to speak of”? They are but live “tackling dummies”. Well pd, but PLEASE .No matter whether Sam ever plays a down for DLS or becomes an NFL defensive MVP, his BRAND and DLS’ BRAND have both been burnished, again. America’s Team, Indeed! With a value of $3.2B and revenues approaching $600M, JJ, his stadium, his scoreboard, and his BRAND are unmatched in pro sports. He is the NFL’s MASTER MARKETER!


As the NFL season starts, we must acknowledge the incredible MARKETING MACHINE that is the Sunday Night Football will again be the #1 draw in terms of the highest valued 30 secs worth of advertising. It will cost b/t $600G & $700G for ½ min. Whatever primetime program is #2 it will NOT likely reach the $400,000± mark/ for 30 secs of advertising. Tonight’s opening game (GB vs. SEA) on NBC births yet another TV NFL franchise, Thurs Night Football. The “Skinny” in the “Thick of it” is that CBS will be charging $500,000± for 30 ad secs for its “8 gameThur Night Football package. America is football crazed and advertisers crave NFL time and space. Although the Thur Night Game (tonight) will be hosted by NBC, it has the Sunday Night Football (SNF) franchise the other 8 belong to CBS as they look for a strong audience during and AFTER the game. The reason we bother with tonight’s NFL opener is b/c the ad campaigns that will be launched tonight will likely be among the BEST ads, save the award shows from now to the Super Bowl. In other words this will be TV”s next best night of ads. The program is live, the audience will be 20-40m as we froth from the mouth for the NFL’s return.  An ad sampler is provided below.


  • Anheuser- Busch – The St. Louis/Belgium brewer plans on sponsoring both a VIP beer garden at the ½ time concert (Pharrell Williams & Soundgarden will be performing) and a post-concert party. An-Busch is expected to continue its “Up for Whatever” reality campaign in commercial form. (Can you smell, taste, see and even swallow SB 2015?)



  • DORITOS – Doritos is planning to begin its “Crash the Super Bowl Campaign”. The prize chip in this campaign is a contest that selects 2 winners who will make a commercial that will appear during the Super Bowl! The winnings also include $1M Dollars and a “dream job” at Universal Studios Florida. (This is the 2nd yr that the contest is open to worldwide competition.)


  • EA Sports- The recent release of the latest installment of the Madden franchise mandates a new set of TV ads. Comedians James Franco & Kevin Hart will battle visa vis the game. IT should provide ½ ± min of fun entertainment.


  • GE – GE will debut a 2-min TV spot tonight. It will introduce its fall campaign for “Language of Industry.” The spot, called “The Boy Who Beeps,” is being presented more like a feature film than a commercial. It is designed to show the evolution of GE’s 2 yr-old Industrial Internet Business. ( We wonder where 2 min ads became popular?)


  • Lincoln Motor Company – The Lincoln Car Co loves the NFL’s affluent audience and its very, very, very large sized female audience. (See Stuart Elliot, NY Times). We estimate that the SB female audience is 40-50m. Tonight’s game should draw 2014’s 3rd biggest female audience behind SB 2014 & the 2014’s Oscars! (How about that sports fans?)


  • McDonald’s – Mickey D is launching a TV ad blitz with its “McDonald’s Tailgate Photo Sweepstakes”. This campaign rewards the most dedicated football fans for “tailgating McDonald’s style”.


  • Papa John’s – Using the aid of NFL QB Payton Manning, Papa John’s is prepared to launch their “Up your Game” The campaign involves humorous banter b/t Manning and Papa John’s founder John Schnatter (aka Papa John). They plan a “kickoff” during this opening NFL wknd: Any large 2 topping pizza for only 10 Bucks plus a chocolate chip cookie for $5 more.


  • Tostitos- Recently dropped it’s sponsorship of College Football’s Fiesta Bowl. Tostitos plans on shifting its direction towards pro football starting its “Party Challenge Campaign.” (Can you feel the SB at your backdoor?)


  • Visa – Visa will be using ads to remind fans (using gender neutral marketing) that its checkout online payment system speeds up For example, the company will give 30,000 fans the chance to send 18 free roses from 1-800-flowers to anyone they want. The promotion begins Sept 6th.


  • Other Advertisers Include will: Aflac, Braun, Campbell’s Chunky Soup, GMC, Lowe’s, Nationwide, USAA, Verizon, X-box, and Levi’s


About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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