* Fox is charging about $3 mln per 30-second Super Bowl ad
* Chrysler spent less than $9 mln for the two-minute ad
By Ben Klayman
DETROIT, Feb 4 Chrysler Group LLC is hoping to
catch its rivals off guard during the Super Bowl by running an
unusual two-minute commercial during the most heavily watched
U.S. television event of the year.
The U.S. automaker plans to run the ad during the third
quarter of the National Football League's championship game on
Sunday, being played by the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh
Steelers, Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on
Friday at a J.D. Power conference in San Francisco.
He said it is the longest ad in Super Bowl history.
"A two-minute spot is incredibly unique in the world of
advertising, and it is almost unheard of on the Super Bowl,"
said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern
University's Kellogg School of Management. He said it appeared
Chrysler was trying to distinguish itself from other carmakers
advertising during the Super Bowl.
Chrysler, managed by Italy's Fiat FIA.MI, emerged from
bankruptcy in 2009 with the help of U.S. government loans. The
company expects to be profitable this year.
"Any time you can put a two-minute ad in ... the most
expensive television show of the year, it's a message to the
viewing public," said Brad Adgate, senior vice president of
research at ad buyer Horizon Media. "You associate yourself
with a blue-chip event so that in the mind-set of consumers,
you're a blue-chip car."
News Corp's (NWSA.O) Fox is charging an estimated $2.8
million to $3 million for 30-second spots during the Super
Bowl. But Marchionne said Chrysler had spent less than $9
million for its two-minute ad, which was created by the
Carmakers are expected to account for more than a quarter
of this year's Super Bowl commercial time, roughly twice as
much as in 2010, reflecting improving fortunes of the U.S. auto
The game is a chance for the industry to pitch about 100
million viewers, most of whom watch it live. Last year, it
attracted 106.5 million viewers, the biggest American TV
audience in history.
"This is going to be the most-watched two-minute ad in
television history," Adgate predicted.
In a poll of Super Bowl viewers last year, television
audience researcher Nielsen found that 51 per cent of them
tuned in more to watch the commercials than the game itself.
General Motors Co (GM.N), which emerged from bankruptcy
protection in 2009 with government help and had an IPO in
November, will run five 30-second ads during the Super Bowl.
Others automakers scheduled to run ads during the game are
Daimler AG's (DAIGn.DE) Mercedes-Benz, BMW (BMWG.DE), Hyundai
Motor Co (005380.KS) and its Kia (000270.KS) affiliate,
Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and its Audi unit, and Suzuki Motor
Mercedes and Kia are each slated to run one-minute ads, an
approach Chrysler took last year in its only Super Bowl ad for
its Dodge brand.
(Additional reporting by Deepa Seetharaman and Bernie Woodall
in San Francisco)