Friday, January 30, 2009

The Super Bowl Is A Gold Mine For Cash4Gold


....Or at least that's what Cash4Gold is hoping, right? Cash4Gold will be the first direct-response advertiser to claim one of the coveted and extremely expensive 30-second Super Bowl ads. They cost around $3 million dollars each. Rather than going with their standard hard-sell ads, they'll be going the humorous route with an ad featuring MC Hammer. As this article from the New York Times states, Cash4Gold's inclusion in the Super Bowl is raising some eyebrows among advertising executives:

"In another sign of the (troubled) times, Cash4Gold, a company that pays money for jewelry and other valuables, is buying commercial time for the Super Bowl that might be the first spot in the game from what is known as a direct-response advertiser.

The buy, reported on Thursday by USA Today, raised eyebrows among some who follow the advertising industry, wondering whether the recession was reducing demand for Super Bowl spots among mainstay brands.

“The Super Bowl advertising ranks are usually filled with the big boys of marketing: Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo,” an article on the Web site of the trade publication Advertising Age began. “And now: Cash4Gold?”

A spokesman for the NBC Sports unit of NBC, which is overseeing ad sales for Super Bowl XLIII, demurred.

“The Super Bowl obviously is the best way to reach a mass audience,” said the spokesman, Brian Walker, and Cash4Gold “saw value in it for their business needs, much in the way the Pepsis and Anheuser-Busches did.”

Even so, Cash4Gold is not running one of its regular commercials, which specialize in hard-sell tactics like repetition of a toll-free telephone number.

Rather, the company worked with two mainstream agencies to create a humorous spot — with a Web address (Cash4Gold.com) in place of the toll-free number — that would not seem out of place with Super Bowl spiels from blue-chip brands like Pepsi-Cola or Bud Light.

“We definitely wanted to do a commercial with a creative concept worthy of the Super Bowl,” said Steve Netzley, chief executive at Euro RSCG Edge in Carlsbad, Calif., part of the Euro RSCG Worldwide division of Havas. His agency worked on the spot with another Havas agency, Arnold Worldwide, and a director, Bryan Buckley, who has directed Super Bowl spots for advertisers like E*Trade and Monster.com.

The Cash4Gold commercial features Ed McMahon and the rapper MC Hammer in a can-you-top-this competition to sell gold memorabilia and other valuables through Cash4Gold.com. The spot even borrows a page from the Super Bowl ad playbook of major marketers by ending with a mildly naughty punch line.

“We absolutely changed up everything for the Super Bowl,” said Jeff Aronson, chief executive at Cash4Gold in Pompano Beach, Fla., part of Albar Precious Metal Refining, to help the company reach more consumers who may be receptive to its message as a result of the bad economy.

To be sure, many Super Bowl advertisers intend to run commercials looking just like those that have appeared during boom times. Many spots on Sunday will be filled with Super Bowl ad staples like celebrities, special effects, anthropomorphic animals and surprise endings.

“It’s a conundrum,” said Gary Carr, senior vice president for national broadcast at a New York media agency, TargetCast TCM.

“Some boards of directors are saying, ‘Let’s not do something so high-profile’ like advertise on the Super Bowl,” Mr. Carr said, yet “the world hasn’t come to an end and people still have to sell beer and cars.”

“Companies have to look inside their hearts and minds and do what they feel is right,” he added."

To read more from this article, go to this page on NYTimes.com.

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