Canadian Ad Agencies to Compete for Super Bowl Spot

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CTV will feature the winning commercial during the local broadcast of the big game

TORONTO — Canadian TV rights keep buzzworthy U.S. Super Bowl ads off TV sets during the live broadcast of the NFL championship game. But Canadians can still view those American pop culture moments online.

So CTV, which airs the Super Bowl in Canada and will replace the American ads on the NBC live feed with local commercials, is challenging Canadian ad agencies to produce a must-see homegrown Super Bowl ad.

The winning commercial maker will win coveted ad time during the live broadcast of the Super Bowl and a free trip to next year's big game in Arizona on Feb. 1, 2015.

That's prized airtime. The Super Bowl represents the most-watched broadcast on Canadian TV, with last year's Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos match-up drawing an average audience of 8 million viewers on CTV and RDS.

At the same time, CTV, while airing the American feed including pregame festivities, last year swapped out American ads on the Fox feed and replaced them with high-profile Canadian commercials from major local brands such as Labatt Breweries, Ford of Canada, McDonald's and Nissan Canada.

"There’s no better way to demonstrate the deep talent within the Canadian ad community than on the biggest platform on Canadian television," said Perry MacDonald, vp CTV sales at parent company Bell Media.

The ad competition also allows domestic advertisers to get their commercials into Canadian living rooms, where viewers will hopefully watch the local fare instead of going online to check out the American ads.

Two years ago, CTV teamed up with the NFL to start streaming the Super Bowl live online.

This year, the top five original commercials will be featured in CTV’s Super Bowl Sunday pregame show on Feb. 1, 2015, with the winning 30-second commercial spot to air on CTV during the championship game.

Canadian simultaneous substitution rules allow cable and satellite TV operators here to flick a switch and replace American commercials on the American feed with Canadian ones to keep CTV, the Super Bowl rights holders here selling local airtime, happy.