David Beckham is to appear on American TV screens during the Super Bowl on February 5 - in his underwear. Retailer H&M has booked its first-ever Super Bowl ad, to introduce its David Beckham Bodywear collection.
AdAge magazine says H&M is "a surprising player" in the Super Bowl ad lineup. The Swedish company, well-known for its tie-ups with big names, has produced collections with Madonna, Lanvin, Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and, most recently, Versace.
Each collaboration has been launched with an original in-house short film, helping H&M to establish its reputation as an innovative marketer - but until now it has rarely spent heavily on media.
The Super Bowl 30-second spot "will change that and will provide an opportunity for H&M to showcase its collaboration with David Beckham, one of the world's biggest and most bankable sports stars ", says the mag.
Beckham would need to be "bankable". Ads for the 2012 Super Bowl have been selling for an average $3.5 million for 30 seconds - around £2.4 million.
A spokesman for H&M said "We're always looking for new ways to surprise and delight our customers, and we see this as a unique opportunity to reach millions of fans ."
The girl commentator on the website Hollyscoop was disappointed, "Oh you'll be surprising and delighting us for sure," said Ani Esmailian." Maybe next time you take out a full minute ad, huh? Is this the thanks we get for all the money we spend at H&M?!"
Ad Age points out that although he plays for U.S. team L.A. Galaxy, the star, a personal friend of Prince William and Kate, has said his ambition is to be selected for the Team GB soccer squad at this year's Olympics .
The David Beckham Bodywear collection, subject of the Super Bowl ad, launches on Feb. 2 in stores worldwide and online. It will include nine underwear styles, including four types of briefs, three tops, and pyjama bottoms and long johns.
Said AdAge, "David Beckham is famously rumoured to wear a brand-new pair of underpants every day, so a move into his own underwear line makes perfect sense."