John Carter Super Bowl Ad – was it always Disney’s plan to air 30 sec version? Or did something happen?

John Carter News

When the Disney John Carter ad played during the second quarter of the Super Bowl, it was a thirty second ad with 18 seconds consumed by a slow zoom out on the title as a montage of images played. Yes, there was a “find the hidden code” promo going on and the montage (actually more of a collage) clearly had something to do with that. But there’s been a lot of discussion in the aftermath about the efficacy of a 30 second spot with that much of it consumed by the title.

Here is the 30 second version:

Almost immediately the “extended version” was released online — but never played during the Super Bowl. Here is the extended version, in which the 18 seconded allocated for the title zoom out are not as much of an issue:

So, was it always Disney’s plan to have it play as a 30 seconder in the Super Bowl?

Or did something happen in the ad rotation that had an impact on the situation.

A pal in the ad biz who was live blogging at the time had this to say.

First — this is what he posted when it first appeared:

Injuries killed this…

Super Bowl ads have to be played in a certain order. JC had a GREAT spot near the beginning of the game. BUT, it was a during an injury time out for Travis Beckum… so with the odds of them having to cut back to the game, they had to go with 30 second commercials.

Theoretically, they’ll have show it again later in the game, since a 60 second ad was paid for. Otherwise, this was a horrible bad luck call.

Then later, in post mortem mode, he posted this in response to a question about how he was sure about what happened:

Super Bowl ads aren’t aired randomly. They’re also broken down so that you don’t get the same type of commercial in each break. It goes something like beer/movie/snack. One commercial in each break will be the minute long one. Each ‘anchor’ commercial has a 60 and a 30 second variety. It’s why when you see them after the game in normal programming, there is a shorter version, more digestible for the “2 and 2” format of commercial breaks. While there are TV time-outs (why the Super Bowl takes forever, as they double the number compared to a regular season game), there are times when the game is interrupted unexpectedly–injuries and instant replay delays for instance. When they do this, the programmers have no idea just how long it will take, but they’re given by the NFL at least a 90 second window where they’ll cut away for commercials. The JC commercial got aired in order, but it happened ‘as scheduled’ during an injury time out. So, they had to go with the 30 second one to get all three ads in.

If the injury happened earlier, the Battleship commercial would have been cut down. If it had happened later, then Avengers. I’m still wondering why it didn’t get a replay…

I’m not sure if I buy this completely, but at this stage, I want to buy it.

Does anyone else have any info on this?


  • I don’t buy into that explanation at all. With the kind of money they charge for a super bowl commercial that shouldn’t happen.

  • Im sorry but Disney have royally fucked up the marketing for this… John Carter was the lowest tweeted about movie out of ALL of the superbowl commercials! Christ even Act of Valor got more… and I have no idea what that even is??!!×436/media_superbowl_twitter_movie_buzz.JPG

    John Carter has HUGE money put into the movie but it seems like a junior kid is advertising this. I know the movie is going to be awesome but its going to bomb unless Disney do some amazing turn around in 6 weeks!. Word of mouth alone wont sell this movie, there have been plenty of amazing movies that have come out (with 5 star ratings across the board)that havent raked in hundreds of millions and theres no reason to suspect something different would happen to John Carter!

  • Hmmm well, that is interesting. I hadn’t realized that happened since I don’t watch the super bowl.

    On a purely trailer-detail note, I LOVE the that quick shot of the green men locking tusks! That is SO sweet!! Details like that make me SO happy! 😀

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