One of the more memorable Super Bowl commercials in recent years was EDS's 2000 spot, Cat Herders, which depicted cowboys rounding up a bunch of kitties. The technology company followed that up last year with its equally deadpan Running with the Squirrels. So what does EDS have in store for this year? Nothing. EDS will skip the big game and instead spend those ad dollars on the Olympics.
This year's Super Bowl will air on Feb. 3, only five days before the start of the Salt Lake Games, which means two premier sports properties are duking it out over advertisers. Rather than buy one 30-second Super Bowl spot on Fox for $2 million, EDS decided to air a series of ads during the Olympics on NBC, which is charging $600,000 for a prime-time commercial. "We want to spend more time going into the specifics of what we do," says Lawanda Burrell, EDS's VP of global advertising.
In addition to EDS, Cingular Wireless and Volkswagen have also scrapped Super Bowl plans in favor of the Olympics. Still, Fox executives say all their commercial slots will be filled come game day. NBC execs say they're close to their goal of $720 million in ad revenues for the Games. As for which event will end up being the better investment, well, that's harder to predict than a herd of cats.