Super Bowl LVI and Television Ads Galore
Millions of spectators are gearing up for this Sunday, when Super Bowl LVI will be played and televised live at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. Along with the anticipation over what team will claim victory—the Los Angeles Rams or Cincinnati Bengals—many viewers are equally psyched to see the ads that will run in 2022. Which Super Bowl ads will be hits? Which will be misses? Anything new and exciting in the way of Super Bowl ads? The curiosity about the commercials is staggering. As the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic loomed large over last year’s game, the excitement for this year is especially strong.
The most up-to-date rundown of ads that will run during Super Bowl LVI have been collected by Adweek and may be viewed here.
Super Bowl and COVID-19
Everything connected to Super Bowl LVI—as with every other event—was hampered by COVID-19. As Dade Hayes pointed out in Deadline, at last year’s game—which was held at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, FL—only 24,835 fans showed up to see the game in person. (Significantly, one-third of these fans were health care workers who had been vaccinated.)
Compare the above figure to a report in Reuters, which stated that the SoFi Stadium—with 70,240 seats—is predicted to be filled to capacity this Sunday, revealing a very wide contrast in turnout. No capacity has been set, but the thousands of attendees must have proof of either vaccination or a negative test. Wearing masks will be mandatory. As for fans who will be watching the game on television, Business Insider estimates that 100 million viewers will be tuning in on Sunday night. This brings us to the ad lineup…
The Super Bowl rolls out the red carpet for commercials
The Super Bowl is arguably as much about television ads as it is about the ultimate football faceoff of the year. Yes, this is the night where commercials reign, as their expense indicates: According to The Sporting News, advertisers spent about $6.5 million for a 30-second TV commercial—up from $5.6 million last year—and air time has been selling fast. The extreme jump in this cost is reflective, of course, by how much brands everywhere, from every industry, are looking to make up for lost time (and lost revenue) that was the result of the pandemic. And while we’re on the topic of money, a new finance-related sector will be prominently featured in this year’s Super Bowl ads.
Cryptocurrency at Super Bowl LVI
If a product or brand is considered to have “arrived” once it appears in an ad that is broadcast on the Super Bowl, then crypto—the digital currency secured by cryptography—is arriving big this year. During the 2021 game, Dogecoin was featured in a spot which paralleled the first landing on the Moon with crypto as the “currency of Earth in the future.” For 2022, crypto will be promoted in five (count ‘em, five) commercials. A video featured on Fortune noted that commercials for Coinbase, Binance, FTX, Crypto.com, and Bitbuy will make their television premieres during this year’s game. Compared to other industries, cryptocurrency firms are better able to afford the $6.5 million (and up) price tag.
Super Bowl LVI NFTs
And—in connection with the debut of these ads at the Super Bowl—anyone who attends the event in person is getting an extra reward: The National Football League is offering each fan a commemorative NFT (non-fungible token) linked to his or her ticket. Present-is-the-future developments like this prove Super Bowl LVI will indeed be a game for the history books.
Anyone expecting more familiar—and affordable—products, on the other hand, will not be disappointed…
Super Bowl celebrity appearances
Brand promotion via celebrity presence has become standard in Super Bowl ads, and this year has its customary share. Here are six samples of this year’s offering, complete with star power or special effects (or both). Some consider these among the most memorable ads of the year. Although available for viewing, these will be rebroadcast during the 2022 Super Bowl to keep the brands top-of-mind—which also underlines why the price tags are so high:
- Bud Light Seltzer – “Land of Loud Flavors” – starring Guy Fieri
- Lays Potato Chips – “Golden Memories” – starring Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen
- BIC® EZ Reach – “Pass It” – starring Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart
- Hellmann’s Mayonnaise – “The Call” – starring Jerod Mayo
- PLANTERS® Mixed Nuts – “The Disagreement” – starring Ken Jeong and Joel McHale
- Sam’s Club – “VIP” – starring Kevin Hart
So, in addition to high-powered television advertising, the examples above parallel the effectiveness of influencer marketing. Fans of Rudd and Rogen, for example, may purchase a bag or two of Lays Potato Chip the next time they go to the supermarket, having seen this particular ad.
The most up-to-date rundown of ads that will run during Super Bowl LVI have been collected by AdWeek and may be viewed here.
What if a brand has no budget to get noticed?
Owners of small-to-mid-sized businesses may find Sunday night’s ads entertaining and memorable, but also wonder about how successful their own brands are doing, as far as promotion is concerned. True, they likely will never have the budget to appear on as massive a media stage as the Super Bowl, yet that does not mean they cannot find other ways of getting noticed. There was a brief but powerful one-spot campaign that made a big impact during last year’s game. We turn your attention to that combination news, web content rating, and discussion site—Reddit.
A flashback to Reddit: The little “challenger brand” that could—and did
During Super Bowl LV, an ad appeared that featured two racing SUVs, which many thought could have been anything from a well-known auto manufacturer to a high-grade motor oil brand. In the blink of an eye, a message appeared on the screen with the title: “Wow, this actually worked.” Many scratched their heads, while those who were paying extra attention notice the Reddit logo at the lower right of their screens. The entire ad played for only a few seconds. Coverage on this “what was that all about?” moment soon appeared in The New Times and Ad Age, among other publications, and Reddit won big last season, both financially and in popularity. Innovation and creativity; the combination can work wonders. (You can watch the Reddit ad here.) This makes us wonder: Will Reddit make another surprise appearance for Super Bowl advertising this year? Or was another relatively smaller brand that doesn’t have a big budget inspired by Reddit’s campaign, and then created a brief-but-effective ad that might run? Sunday night will tell…
If you have been thinking about upgrading the promotion of your brand through television, contact EGC. Our vast media planning and buying services continue to serve clients from New York to California, and we can provide a media mix and ad placement strategy to effectively get you noticed. Additionally, we can give your brand a new life through state-of-the art video created in The Content Studio. And, we also have expertise in influencer marketing. Trust us. We’ll make your brand visible.
Before closing, a special ad worth seeing…
The Clydesdale ads for Budweiser have become synonymous with the Super Bowl, and a tagline for this year—“…down never means out”—is very relevant as the world regroups and returns from the setbacks brought on by COVID-19. Here then is: Budweiser—“A Clydesdale’s Journey” for your viewing pleasure.
Enjoy the game—and the ads!