Paramount, Universal Gear Up for Super Bowl Commercials

Lights, camera, Super Bowl: Viacom’s Paramount and Comcast’s Universal will run advertising in NBC’s coming broadcast of Super Bowl LII, according to spokespersons for the studios, suggesting that movie trailers will – yet again – likely represent a healthy portion of the glitzy commercials supporting the game.

Movies are typically one of the biggest categories of Super Bowl advertising. Indeed, in Fox’s 2017 broadcast of Super Bowl LII, movies represented the fourth-largest sector of commercials, according to Kantar Media, a tracker of ad spending. Only automobile manufacturers, telecom marketers and beer advertising (from Anheuser-Busch InBev, the exclusive beer sponsor of the event) spent more. The four categories represented 44% of the total ad time from paying advertisers, according to Kantar. Advertisers took up a record-setting 41 minutes and 30 seconds of air time during the event, Kantar said.

Universal’s presence in the coming Super Bowl broadcast, slated for February 4, is something of a fait accompli. Like the movie studio, NBC is part of NBCUniversal. A Universal spokesman declined to offer details on what movies might be promoted, but Universal’s coming attractions include “Fifty Shades Freed,” slated for release in February just a few days after the Super Bowl, and a new entry in the “Jurassic Park” franchise, expected to debut this summer.

Paramount was unable to offer specifics on its Super Bowl plans, but the studio is slated to release the kids-oriented animated feature “Sherlock Gnomes” in March and is readying a new “Mission: Impossible” feature for later this year.

Paramount and Universal both advertised in last year’s Super Bowl LI, along with Walt Disney. Paramount used the broadcast to promote “Baywatch,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron, and the release of “Transformers: The Last Knight.” A Disney spokesperson did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the company’s potential Super Bowl plans.

Time Warner’s Warner Brothers typically does not advertise in the Super Bowl, but has been known occasionally to try other marketing related to the event. A spokesman for the studio could not be reached for immediate comment on its plans or lack of same.

A spokesman for 20th Century Fox was not able to offer immediate comment regarding possible Super Bowl plans, and a spokesman for Lionsgate did not respond immediately to a query seeking comment.

Since 2012, as many as 7 studios and as few as 3 have advertised in Super Bowl broadcasts, according to Kantar, which has not released full statistics for the 2017 broadcast. In 2015, seven different studios spent $35.2 million on Super Bowl commercials.

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