We know for a fact that Fedex won't give us a Superbowl ad (sure to disappoint me but please others as usual) this year. It is the first time in 12 years that we won't see Fedex during the bowl, they've explained why on their Fedex blog:
"As a country, we are in unprecedented economic waters. And as a responsible employer of more than 290,000 employees and contractors worldwide, there is a time to justify such an ad spend and a time to step back. "
In short - Money. It's cheaper not to advertise on the bowl, and announce it in advance, thus getting lots of 'free' press regarding not advertising during the bowl, than having BBDO do yet another awesome crazy ad. Peoples reactions to the announcement in that blogpost are overwhelmingly positive.
Even Adage wonders "Does a $3M Super Bowl Ad Make Sense in a Recession?" and man on the street gut instinct says "no". Joining in on saving money is General Motors Corp who will buy only one ad this year. The ever rising pricetag of NBC's 30 seconds during the bowl, now at $3 million, is common knowledge for consumers who may have negative reactions to a brand spending that kind of cash for one time airing.
This is where bargain hunters come in though. And films spots advertising the latest Hollowood blockbusters. NBC told some advertisers recently it still had 10 spots to sell, and could go for much-reduced rate, which wil result in more films spots than any other super bowl in history but also, I hope, ten wildcard ads from brands you normally wouldn't see on the bowl. The Denny’s Corporation is scheduled to have an ad created by Goodby during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLIII. With any luck, smaller brands will brave it into the ten reduced rate spots and we'll find ourselves with a new superbowl hero that can take over Fedex' reign.
As for films being advertised, we've confirmed that Paramount's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Star Trek and G.I Joe will air, along with Sony's Angels and Demons, Universal's Land of the lost and The Fast and the Furious 4 as well as Disney-Pixar's UP and DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs Aliens 3-D.