Now that Beyonce has been officially announced as the performer at the 2013 Super Bowl on Feb. 3, can she top Madonna's record for most-watched U.S. telecast of all time? The Material Girl's performance during this year's Super Bowl reached over 116 million viewers, according to Nielsen, watched by more viewers than the game itself.
But advertising and branding executives think that Beyonce has an appeal wide enough - not to mention a buzzy post-Blue Ivy narrative - to draw an even bigger crowd.
"She's one of the biggest stars in the world, music or otherwise, and she's got an incredible reputation. She's an incredible performer and is great with brands," says Russell Wallach, president of Live Nation Network. "The Super Bowl is an incredible marketing platform for any artist, and this puts her in front of the biggest worldwide television audience. That is obviously incredibly powerful for her."
Although ad time bookending the halftime show during the second and third quarters is already sold out, according to executives who spoke with Billboard, there is still potential for advertisers associated with Beyonce to synch their spots based on their ad buys. Salesforce.com, for example, was able to secure a spot featuring Will.I.Am just before the Black Eyed Peas' performance in 2010, while M&M's bought ad time just before Madonna's halftime show featuring LMFAO, whose "Sexy & I Know It" was featured in the candy ad. 30-second spots for this year's telecast, which will air on CBS, are expected to match and potentially exceed the rates of $3.7 to $3.8 million advertisers paid last year.
"For people who have bought media time in the second and third quarter, that's a good thing. There's going to be a lot of happy CMOs," says Colin Jeffery, executive creative director for Los Angeles ad agency David&Goliath, whose client Kia bought a lot of time last year for its campaign featuring Motley Crue. "The Super Bowl still skews slightly male, so she'll bring the wider female audience. She also skews young and old, so you'll probably see some record numbers for sure."
The anticipation of Beyonce returning to the stage as a performer is also quite high. Though she performed a short series of concerts at Atlantic City's Revel casino earlier this year and has popped up onstage during a few of husband Jay-Z's recent gigs, she's been largely out of the spotlight since giving birth to Blue Ivy in January.
"Fans have missed her music and eagerly anticipate her return to the stage," says Jennifer Hageney, managing director of media agency MEC Access. "In this case, the world's biggest stage, where she is expected to perform her top hits and unveil new music. Social media conversations have exploded - with more excitement than we've seen in recent years. Collaborations with big names like Jay-Z, Gaga or a Destiny's Child reunion are rumored and adding fuel to the Super Bowl fire."
"I can't imagine why everyone wouldn't be really excited to see what she brings next - few people have a way of really doing that," adds Christianne Brooks, group creative director at entertainment agency mOcean. "With how fast society is moving and how much they want the next big thing, she really embodies that."
Beyonce could also potentially leverage the Super Bowl to debut new music, as Madonna did last year with single "Give Me All Your Luvin'" featuring Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., which later debuted at No. 13 on the Hot 100. The strategy can also backfire, however, as it did for Janet Jackson, whose 2004 album "Damita Jo" suffered following the uproar surrounding her "waldrobe malfunction" with Justin Timberlake months prior.