Tackling the Super Bowl

Two Canadian firms take the plunge into expensive ads

by Chris Sorensen

At a cost of $3.8 million for 30 seconds of airtime, Super Bowl ads don’t come cheap. But it can be money well spent to reach nearly 180 million TV viewers, which is why two Canadian firms are taking the plunge this year.

Montreal’s Gildan Activewear, a heavyweight in the private-label T-shirt business, wants to convince Americans that Gildan is a consumer brand just like rivals Hanes and Fruit of the Loom. Meanwhile, Research in Motion needs its first-ever Super Bowl commercial to spark interest in the launch of its new BlackBerry 10 platform.

Shelling out millions for ad spots doesn’t guarantee success. The best Super Bowl ads are memorable and capable of generating significant online buzz, which may prove challenging for Gildan and RIM—two companies not known for their marketing chops. But there’s another plus: Super Bowl advertisers tend to see a bump in their stock prices just by announcing their intentions to run a Super Bowl ad in the first place.




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