Companies buy first-ever Super Bowl ads, hope to gain attention in streaming era

By Sheila Dang
NFL: Super Bowl LIII-Host Committee Handoff Ceremony

By Sheila Dang

(Reuters) - Little Caesars pizza chain, Facebook <FB.O> and the running brand Saucony will buy their first Super Bowl ads ever this year, taking advantage of one of the last events that enjoys a large live audience in an era where streaming services like Netflix <NFLX.O> have splintered TV viewing habits.

"There's one stage left where you get 70% of the population watching," said Jeff Klein, senior vice president of global marketing for Little Caesars, in an interview, adding "a lot of people are watching for the ads."

The National Football League's Super Bowl LIV matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 2 will draw millions of viewers and plenty in ad revenue for broadcaster FOX <FOXA.O>.

A 30-second commercial cost up to $5.6 million for the upcoming game, FOX said in November. Last year's Super Bowl on CBS drew 98.2 million TV viewers, and Super Bowl commercials often are widely discussed for weeks on social media.

Little Caesars, known for its carryout-only pizzas, will take advantage of the nationwide audience to announce it now offers delivery.

The 30-second spot, which will air during the third quarter, stars actor Rainn Wilson of NBC's hit show "The Office." In teasers released before the game, Wilson plays the CEO of the Sliced Bread company who descends into madness trying to keep his company on top since Little Caesars' delivery service has become "the next best thing since sliced bread."

After the game, Little Caesars will advertise the competitive price of its delivery service, Klein said. Little Caesars is partnering with food delivery startup DoorDash for the service.


(Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by David Gregorio)