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By Nat Ives
Facebook Inc. will run its first commercial in the Super Bowl, buying time for a 60-second ad featuring Chris Rock and Sylvester Stallone to promote its Groups feature, a company spokeswoman said.
Fox Corp. last month said it had sold out of ad time in the coming Super Bowl LIV, earlier than TV networks had completed Super Bowl sales in recent years. The game will take place in Miami on Feb 2.
Advertisers are paying up to $5.6 million for 30 seconds of commercial time during the Super Bowl. Prices during the 2019 game reached as high as $5.3 million.
Facebook has been seeking to improve the appeal of its social-media network, partly through a campaign themed "More Together" that positions Groups as a way for people to connect with like-minded users.
That effort is part of a larger increase in global ad spending by Facebook in a bid to rebuild trust and positive consumer sentiment after a series of controversies over privacy practices and misinformation on its platform. Facebook marketing chief Antonio Lucio said last summer that the drive could more than double the company's advertising spending.
Facebook hasn't traditionally been a major advertiser considering its outsize profile and broad consumer penetration. Ad-tracking firm Kantar estimated that Facebook spent $382 million on ads in the U.S. last year, compared with $50 million in 2017. Amazon, by comparison, spent $1.84 billion on U.S. ads in 2018, making it the fifth-largest advertiser in the country. Kantar estimates don't include certain digital advertising.
Facebook's Super Bowl commercial, created with ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, will put it in the company of other major advertisers on a night when more people than usual pay attention to the ads.
Fox and The Wall Street Journal parent News Corp share common ownership.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 18, 2019 23:27 ET (04:27 GMT)
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