WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM SUPER BOWL ADS
After a year of political NEW YORK — and cultural upheaval, Super Bowl advertisers appear to be pulling back from themes of unity in favor of in-game stunts and ads that aim for the heart.
The stakes are high — a 30-second spot costs more than $5 million. The goal is to capture the attention of the more than 110 million viewers expected to tune in to the big game Sunday.
“More people will see me in this than they have in the last three movies I’ve made,” actor/ comedian Bill Hader muses in a teaser for Pringles’ first Super Bowl spot.
Super Bowl ads often provide a snapshot of the national psyche. Last year, just after President Donald Trump took office, ads offered themes of inclusion. Airbnb’s “We All Belong” commercial showed faces of different ethnicities. Coke ran an ad featuring “America the Beautiful” sung in different languages.
This year, many advertisers are playing it safer by showcasing famous faces, focusing on inoffensive causes and trying to stand out with silly humor and stunts.
Cindy Crawford will reprise an iconic 1992 Super Bowl spot for Pepsi. The beverage maker also will feature actors Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman in linked ads for new versions of Doritos and Mountain Dew.
In a Pringles ad, Hader introduces a made-up practice called “flavor stacking,” in which he stacks together different Pringles varieties. M&Ms released a preview of an ad showing Danny DeVito dressed as an M&M being dunked in chocolate.
Groupon’s ad shows Tiffany Haddish asking people to support local businesses — then cuts to a wealthy man who plots to crush small businesses, only to double over after players nail him below the belt with a kicked football.
“The crotch hit is the lowest thing in the book,” Advertising Age columnist Barbara Lippert lamented. “I was hoping it was retired forever.”
An ad for Febreze air freshener goes all in for toilet humor. It presents a pseudo-documentary about a boy whose “(expletive) doesn’t stink,” alluding to a profane phrase that commonly refers to people who are full of themselves.
Other advertisers are aiming for warm and fuzzy, figuring it’s best to bet on “things that are universally liked,” said Kelly O’Keefe, managing director of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter.
NBC created five cinematic 60-second ads showcasing American athletes to drum up excitement for the Winter Olympics, which starts airing four days after the Super Bowl.
An Anheuser-Busch ad shows a factory producing cans of water instead of beer, highlighting the brewer’s donation of drinking water to places in need. Its Stella Artois brand also teamed with Matt Damon to sell a limited-edition beer glass, with proceeds also targeted at providing access to water.
Lexus is promoting its new LS 500 luxury sedan, which it is aiming at a 45- to 55-year-old demographic, with an action spot starring the Black Panther, a Marvel superhero.
Lexus will promote its new LS 500 luxury sedan with an action spot starring the Black Panther, a Marvel superhero. Advertisers pay more than $5 million for a 30-second Super Bowl commercial.