CarMax will be forking over a pretty penny for 60 seconds of the nation’s attention during this year’s Super Bowl, according to report in AdvertisingAge.
AdAge.com reports that the Richmond-based used car retailer has purchased two 30-second national TV spots during the big game, its first push at a national advertising reach.
The article featured an interview with Laura Donahue, CarMax’s vice president of creative marketing and advertising.
So just how much is 60 seconds of Super Bowl exposure going for these days? Donahue wouldn’t say.
I don’t want to address specifically how much we paid as a company, but when we evaluated the two spots, the ancillary benefit — the fact that you’re so talked about, all the buzz you get both online and on TV — that a national presence provides us as an advertiser seems to benefit us versus last year’s standpoint. It’s expensive obviously, but we really liked the value.
AdAge said that spots were supposedly going for as much as $3 million apiece and that the inventory for this year’s game sold out the fastest in recent memory.
The big gamble is likely part of the effort to get the word out about CarMax’s renewed strategy of opening new stores – a practice it halted until recently thanks to the recession.
In its quarterly report for its third fiscal quarter, CarMax said that amid improvements in its sales and profitability and increased stability in the credit markets, it has opened three stores in fiscal 2011 and has plans to open five stores in fiscal 2012 and between five and 10 stores in fiscal 2013.
One ad will air during the second quarter and one in the third, the AdAge report says, and they will be a different style than the company’s past ads.
In the past, CarMax ads have starred animals such as monkeys and prairie dogs, and while Ms. Donahue was coy about the creative the spots will showcase on Feb. 7, she did say furry creatures won’t have quite the starring role they had in the past. She did guarantee the work would be funny, but in a “sophisticated” way.
CarMax’s ad agency is Amalgamated, which is based in New York.