Preview Ads Dominate Water Cooler Discussion Before Big Game

Monday, February 6, 2012

A handful of Super Bowl commercials have already been released online, with more to come in the next few days. This is all part of a growing trend by advertisers to pre-release commercials to build social media buzz and drive consumers to channels devoted to the product.

“It’s like opening your Christmas presents on Christmas Eve,” says David Allan, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Allan compares the tactic to the approach used by performing artists who pre-release tracks in advance of an album launch.

“The only difference is that advertisers are releasing the commercials to a general audience rather than select radio stations and media outlets,” he says. "Alerting the press with a preview of what's to come helps with ‘word of mouth’ and lets the media do background research before the Super Bowl.”

Some advertisers, like Lexus and Honda, have been teasing their campaigns for weeks. According to Allan, Lexus has the best marketing strategy of those competing in this early release game. While automaker Honda has previewed its commercial in its entirety, Lexus has only given consumers a 15-second preview of its 30-second commercial.

“From a consumer perspective, the movie trailer/tease approach that Lexus is doing is the most effective,” says Allan. “The ad hints at more to come. Consumers are curious; there is anticipation and excitement around the final reveal.”

Media Contact

Allan can be reached for comment at, by calling 610-660-1637 or by contacting University Communications at 610-660-1355.

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