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Amazon and PayPal to Splurge on Super Bowl TV Ads

A few years ago, if you were told two ecommerce giants were going to both be running television ads during the Super Bowl, your thoughts might turn to Amazon and eBay. This year, Amazon is running its very first Super Bowl commercial. But it’s eBay’s former subsidiary PayPal, not eBay, that will be joining Amazon in investing in a big-game marketing campaign.

In fact, eBay ruled out television advertising for 2016 when CEO Devin Wenig told analysts last month it was pivoting its ad spend on more brand marketing, but not through television advertising.

Amazon and PayPal are advertising very different products on Sunday. For Amazon, it’s all about its Echo hardware device, and it is featuring actor Alec Baldwin in the campaign. Check out the landing page at Amazon.com/BaldwinBowl.

PayPal is not advertising a particular product or service, but rather, a concept it is calling “New Money.” And, it is giving away money during the game. The campaign includes a tie-in with Twitter for a sweepstakes in which it’s giving away four $500 prizes.

PayPal revealed the ad on Thursday and wrote, “To learn more about New Money and our vision for the future of commerce, check back on the PayPal Stories blog on Monday, February 8.”

PayPal also published seven videos to YouTube, six featuring the theme, “How to Tell If Your Money is Old or New.” The seventh video reveals that PayPal will run a New Money Sweepstakes hosted live by sportscaster Erin Andrews.

At the end of each quarter of the football game, PayPal will tweet out a question relating to its 30-second TV ad. Eligible participants who provide the correct answer to the question tweeted will be entered in the random drawing for that question.

And what about ecommerce firm GoDaddy, which became famous for its Super Bowl marketing campaigns? It’s taking a different approach this year. Spokesperson Elizabeth Driscoll said GoDaddy is skipping the 30-second broadcast commercial approach in favor of a targeted digital Super Bowl campaign.

It will, however, have a 30-second spot during the live stream of the big game on CBSSports.com, and it will be Facebook’s exclusive partner in a project dubbed “Facebook Sports Stadium.”

“The Super Bowl TV broadcast has been a great platform for our domestic brand building,” Driscoll said. “It’s definitely done its job to get our name out there. Now, we can move beyond the generic megaphone of a generic Super Bowl “TV brand” campaign to a more targeted marketing approach.”

Driscoll said the new approach allows GoDaddy to “talk” to a specific segment of the Super Bowl audience – very small business owners – and do it in a more personal and timely way. “Think: “right message to the right person at the right time,” she said. “This online approach is a great example of how we are going about the execution of personalized, data-driven marketing strategy.”

Due to the costs of a 30-second spot, pre-game buzz is crucial when running a Super Bowl ad, according to the Associated Press. Ads will cost an estimated $5 million for a 30-second spot, up from $4.4 million last year. “The cost, and risk, is worth it to the advertisers battling it out for the more than 114 million pairs of eyeballs the Big Game is expected to draw on Feb. 7,” it wrote.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.