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Hollywood Shuns the '07 Super Bowl Ad Blitz

Category: 300 News
Article Date: February 3, 2007 | Publication: Premiere Magazine | Author: Tom Roston

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Hollywood Shuns the '07 Super Bowl Ad Blitz
The 300 trailer is one of many you won't be seeing during the usually clip-strewn Super Bowl this year. Notes From the Dream Factory's Tom Roston tackles the reigning studio wisdom.

"This. Is. Miamiii!" I hope to hear Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher say those words as he tosses the Colts' Peyton Manning to the ground in Florida this Sunday at the Super Bowl. It's the closest we'll come to getting a teaser of the movie 300, which has a great Bowl-worthy trailer and features the perfectly delivered line, "This. Is. Spartaaa!"

The movie, a kickass sandal-and-swords epic, won't be in one of those highly touted commercial slots because I've heard that Warner Bros. has a new policy against Super Bowl ads. At least, this is what the movie's director, Zack Snyder, told me. He sat down with the suits, and "They're, like, 'We will not advertise during the Super Bowl. It's too expensive and not enough people see it.' I said, 'That's true, and I agree. But no movie has ever been made that's [so] designed for the Super Bowl." ("'Policy' is the wrong word," says Dawn Taubin, Warner Bros. president of marketing. "We made the decision not to go into the Super Bowl this year.")

The studio's thinking appears to be the reigning wisdom in Hollywood. Although Lionsgate will have a trailer for Pride and Buena Vista will have one for Wild Hogs, the other studios are choosing not to put out the $2.6 million that the commercial slots cost. Over the past decade or so, we've been treated to about five movie trailers during each Super Bowl. Not this year.

"Usually, we have a few more movies in the game," says executive VP John Bogusz, who sells the ads for CBS. "Movies that advertise during the Super Bowl have been extremely successful when they release. But we have a limited number of movies this year. We're still talking to some studios, though."

Hey, I'm not a fan of the overbloated hoopla that surrounds the big game, but with 300, it's just too perfect. The two football teams are unevenly matched, just like the adversaries on which the movie is based. There are the all-powerful Persians (the Colts are seven-point favorites) and the scrappy underdog Spartans (The Bears, headed up by quarterback Rex Grossman, whose name appropriately derives from the Latin for "king"). And then when you factor in that Snyder is actually an ex-commercial director—he directed the one with the zebra referee for Budweiser that aired during the Super Bowl! — and it just seems right. Alas, it looks like all the action will have to be on the field.


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