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Minn. company aims for big splash with Super Bowl ad

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KARLSTAD, Minn. — Super Bowls are known as much for their commercials as they are for the games that determine NFL champions.

Mattracks, a manufacturer of rubber track conversion systems located in Karlstad, will be part of Sunday’s commercial showcase that will keep viewers on the couch when there is a break in the action.

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Mattracks, which has about 40 employees, will have its ad aired twice — once at about 3:30 p.m. and the other at the end of the second quarter, according to Vice President Dan Laux.

Its commercials won’t be aired nationally. Instead, they will be shown in regional markets where there is a market for the company’s product, which is a track system that can be used instead of tires on vehicles traveling in rugged terrain.

Viewers in eastern North Dakota and most of northwestern Minnesota, along with other selected markets across the country, will see the commercials.

“This is our first foray into TV commercials, and the Super Bowl is obviously the best place to start,” Laux said. “Super Bowl viewers fit our demographic, ages 18 to 60 males, that would be mostly buying our tracks.

“Everyone knows it’s the most-watched TV event, with more people probably watching the commercials than the game itself.”

Laux declined to comment on Mattracks’ cost for the regional commercials. Thirty-second spots shown nationally cost as much as $4 million.

It’s a homegrown commercial, as it was filmed in the Karlstad area and Mattracks welding supervisor Rod Sele was the lone actor.

In the Mattracks commercial, a tear falls from a horse’s eye when a cowboy uses the tracks — rather than the literal horsepower — to free the pickup and trailer from the mire.

Laux said the timing of the commercial is because Mattracks, within a year, will be offering track conversion systems that can be activated by pushing a button rather than doing the switch manually. He said there is no cost estimate yet for that product.

Their current products range in price from $3,400 to $400,000 for custom models.

Another reason for the Super Bowl splash, Laux said, is because 2014 is the 20th anniversary of Mattracks’ incorporation.

The idea for the rubber track conversion system came from CEO Glen Brazier’s son Matt, who was 11 years old at the time. Since 1994, Mattracks has created more than 100 models of tracks that go on four-wheel-drive vehicles, ATVs, tractors and trailers. The models are sold in more than 100 countries, Laux said.

On the Web: Watch Mattracks’ Super Bowl commercial at http://bit.ly/1iiiELZ.

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