In an attempt to raise the bar on Canadian creative around the biggest event on the TV calendar, CTV and the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) have officially launched the “Super Bowl Ad Challenge.”
First announced during Bell Media’s upfront presentation, the competition – using the hashtag #SB49adchallenge – formally kicked off Tuesday. Advertisers and agencies have until Dec. 1 to submit their work at BellMedia.ca/thechallenge.
The top five finalists will be unveiled on Bell Media’s digital platforms on Jan. 15, and will be featured in the Super Bowl pre-game show. The winning entry receives a spot in Super Bowl XLIX on CTV, as well as a trip for two to the 2015 Super Bowl in Arizona.
The challenge is intended to spur Canadian marketers and agencies to create Super Bowl commercials that are on par with those of their U.S. counterparts.
“It came out of the Super Bowl and some disgruntled viewers [upset] by the simulcast rules and not being able to see the U.S. commercials,” said Lucy Collin, vice-president of marketing innovation for Bell Media Sales. “The thought was ‘Canadian commercials are great too. Why is nobody focusing on how great they are?’
“We thought maybe we should have a little fun with this and encourage Canadian advertisers and their agencies to think a little bit more about what’s going on in the U.S. and just continue to keep producing the great material.”
Canadian viewers have long been miffed at being unable to watch U.S. commercials during the Super Bowl because of simultaneous substitution. It even prompted the CRTC to issue a release in advance of this year’s game noting that simulcasting contributes as much as $200 million to the Canadian broadcast system.