FLO TV is willing to spend some serious cash to make sure people are aware of mobile TV.
On Sunday, roughly 100 million people will gather in front of TVs to not only watch the Saints vs. the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV, but also the commercials. This year’s line-up includes three from the Qualcomm-backed entity, featuring talent such pop singer will.i.am from the Black-Eyed Peas and CBS (NYSE: CBS) Sports Commentators Jim Nantz and James Brown.
FLO’s plan is to raise awareness for its newly launched direct-to-consumer brand, which includes selling live mobile TV to portable devices and to screens in automobiles. The three slots will last for a total of two minutes. With Super Bowl ads estimated to cost roughly $2.5 million for 30 seconds, that could be an investment of nearly $10 million. It’s a pretty bold move for a company that only launched its first consumer product late last year. Jayne Hancock, FLO’s VP of Marketing told mocoNews: “Certainly over the last four months, consumer awareness has been elevated significantly, but it is still low for the whole category and our brand. We will be doing some heavy lifting to meet both of those challenges.”
The first ad will run about an hour before kick-off. Called “Driven Crazy,” it focuses on the in-car TV systems. It features CBS Sports Commentator James Brown, who introduces a family on a road trip to the service, when things just seem to be at the breaking point.
The second commercial, called “Injury report,” features CBS Commentator Jim Nantz, who offers a play-by-play of a man and woman on a shopping spree, where the guy is being forced to miss a game to shop for bras. The irony in this case is that FLO TV could not help because it doesn’t have the rights to the Super Bowl. Despite FLO’s close ties to CBS, it did not obtain the rights to the game. Hancock acknowledged that although they don’t have the rights to the Super Bowl, FLO does have access to more than 3,000 hours of sports. “We are selling a product like everyone else and are getting in front of 100 million viewers,” she added.
The third commercial, Hancock said, is more emotional. Will.i.am will be remaking the Who’s hit song “My Generation.” The song is accompanied by images of some of the biggest news events in people’s lives that are typically watched on TV, Hancock said. The idea is that with FLO TV, you won’t ever have to miss the big moments in life again. In this case, the commercial has an additional tie to the Super Bowl because the Who is performing at half-time.
While advertising during the Super Bowl has been a mixed bag, and many brands have never being heard from again, Hancock says it will be just the beginning for FLO in 2010. “This is the first time there’s been a commercial from the mobile TV category during the Super Bowl…There is the responsibility to sustain that.” She said the 2010 media plan will include support from their content partners, service providers, and retailers, like Best Buy, Radio Shack and soon Target.