Matthew Broderick appears in a You Tube video that reprises his role as Ferris Bueller. (Source: YouTube
William Shatner will appear in a Priceline commercial titled, "The Negotiator's Last Deal" in which he plunges to a fiery demise.... or does he? (Source: YouTube)
A still from a Star War- themed 2012 Super Bowl commercial from Volkswagen that will air on Feb. 5, 2012. (Source: Volkswagen of America, Inc.)
A dog named Bolt chases a red Volkswagen in a preview still of a 2012 Super Bowl commercial with a Star Wars theme. Why is Bolt chasing the car? You'll have to tune in to find out. (Source: Volkswagen America, Inc.)
(RNN) – In the battle for pregame Super Bowl commercial buzz, Honda took the early lead last week and held on to crush the competition, scoring almost 4.5 million views for its offering featuring Matthew Broderick as a middle-aged Ferris Bueller.
The rumble started with a 10-second teaser released 14 days before the game and never slowed down.
In second place – Volkswagen's hilarious chorus of dogs barking The Imperial Theme from Star Wars – foreshadowing the company's followup to last year's smash hit Darth Vader Kid. The pooch choir got more than 3 million hits – and had almost nothing to do with the product and everything to do with advancing this year's commercial.
The game-day commercial, titled The Dog Strikes Back, is more than a little strange: it features a morbidly obese dog who gets into shape so he can chase a red Volkswagen, a smash cut to the creepy people in the Star Wars bar and a return of Vader … sort of.
Most of this year's Super Bowl commercials have already been released on the web, and the ploy is working. Many of the ads have been featured on daytime talk and news shows, and dozens of internet articles (like this one) have included links to the commercials.
The early release strategy makes good financial sense. A 30-second spot runs about $3.5 million this year, so it's understandable that companies want to get as much bang as possible for all those bucks.
The competition for pregame clicks is stiffer than it was a year ago, and so is the payoff. Last year, according to AdAge.com, Doritos led the pack with about 1.44 million pregame views with its campaign to get fans to vote on viewer submissions to see which ones would win big bucks and a place in the game-day broadcast.
Doritos is again conducting the online poll to allow fans to vote on which of five 30-second spots will air Sunday. More than 400,000 votes have been cast to select the finalists, and for every 100,000 votes, the company says it will give away $10,000 to one lucky voter. You can log on and vote once a day.
But it's harder to get noticed with so many ads being released ahead of time.
Honda's strategy worked brilliantly. It broke out of the pack last week with a 10-second teaser of a graying Broderick reprising his role as Ferris Bueller while the film's theme music "bow-chicka-bow-bowed" in the background. The date of the Super Bowl appeared at the end of the 10-second spot, igniting speculation that it might be the precursor of a sequel to the 1986 comedy. As online entities began investigating what was up, the groundswell grew.
A few others worth looking for: A screamer about a group of Chevy Silverado drivers who are the only survivors of the Mayan Apocalypse, the new eTrade Baby commercial and an Audi whose headlights incinerate a group of partying vampires.
And keep an eye out for as-yet-unreleased Priceline ad to see if pitchman William Shatner is resurrected from an apparent fiery death in a bus plunge off a bridge.
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.