This year, the Super Bowl brings to an anticipated 110 million-plus U.S. television audience its perennial cast of characters: two iconic National Football League powerhouses, more than a few carmakers, beer companies, and big-studio movies. And for the first time in a long time, a real estate brokerage company will be part of the mix.
Century 21 Real Estate — among the largest global real estate franchisors with about 7,600 franchise offices in 71 countries — is set to air a 30-second spot during the third quarter of Sunday’s Super Bowl, which begins at 6:30 p.m. EST on NBC this Sunday, Feb. 5.
The Super Bowl ad continues the brokerage’s "Smarter, bolder, faster" national campaign, launched earlier this year, and will feature Century 21 real estate agents besting celebrities at their own game.
In the ad, a Century 21 real estate agent takes on and overcomes the "smarts" of real estate don Donald Trump, the boldness of NFL hall-of-famer Deion Sanders, and the speed of U.S. Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno. A series of about a dozen teaser ads will run during the 4.5-hour pregame show on NBC, which starts at 2 p.m. EST. Century 21 is also the sponsor of the pregame show that runs between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. EST.
"It’s the perfect springboard to the springtime selling season," said Beverly Thorne, chief marketing officer of Century 21 Real Estate, of the Super Bowl ad.
It’s the first Super Bowl ad by a real estate brokerage in 21 years, said Thorne, and signifies the company’s optimism that the housing market is on the rise. Real estate hasn’t been completely lacking from the game in the last few years. A real estate-related company, Homeaway, which provides vacation home-location services, ran ads in each of the last two big games.
Beyond this year’s sporting drama of whether the New England Patriots will avenge their devastating 2007 Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants is an expected record-setting TV U.S. audience. The last two Super Bowls set all-time U.S. TV viewership records, with an average of 111 million viewers in 2011 and 106 million viewers in 2010, according to Nielsen data.
"The Super Bowl’s a crazy couple of hours," said advertising industry analyst Bryan Michurski. "Optimism comes with Super Bowl hype," he said, "which Century 21 may be able to capitalize on."
"There are 10 car ads this year," said Michurski, "and only one real estate company." Century 21, by purchasing a 30-second Super Bowl spot — with an average price tag of $3.5 million apiece, according to NBC Sports — might be able to get a good return on its investment, he said.
NBC Sports sells 70 30-second ad slots for the game, which have historically been dominated by advertisements from car and beer companies and movie studios.
Reflecting the depressed housing market and a changing media landscape, Century 21 had temporarily suspended its national TV advertising in 2009.
View the Century 21 Super Bowl pregame ads: