By thelaegotist / /
The Super Bowl is the biggest day of the year for two things: football and advertising. And, depending on who you ask, the ads might even be the real star of the show.
According to a study by Statista, nearly a quarter of all Super Bowl viewers consider the ads to be the most important part of the game—and we can assume that most of the remaining audience doesn’t mind the commercials, either.
But what makes a good Super Bowl ad? And what trends should would-be advertisers be aware of? The team at Pavone has had its finger on the pulse of Big Game advertising for each of the last 16 years, thanks to the advertising agency’s national Super Bowl commercial poll, SpotBowl. www.spotbowl.com
According to the experts at SpotBowl, the 2019 game is shaping up to be one of the most memorable in recent years because of five key trends:
- WOMEN TAKING CENTER STAGE: The #MeToo movement has shined a white-hot spotlight on women’s issues and female empowerment, and at least two ads in 2019—Olay and the women-focused dating app Bumble—will feature female-first messages. The focus is overdue considering 45 percent of the NFL’s fanbase is women (according to the NFL).
- FEWER POLITICS: While the 2017 and 2018 games were heavy on political themes, advertisers are expected to steer clear of politics in 2019. The reason: It’s too easy to alienate a large contingency of consumers and viewers, and all affiliations agree that politics are best left to the talking heads on the news networks—at least on Super Bowl Sunday.
- MORE LAUGHS: Checking their politics at the door will allow advertisers to focus on a tried-and-true advertising trope: laughs. According to a study by the Villanova School of Business, 49 percent of Super Bowl ads over the past decade have featured humor. And that number is expected to increase in 2019 as more viewers seek refuge from the 24/7 barrage of political news in today’s media climate.
- DRIVING THE CONVERSATION ONLINE: Gone are the days when the Super Bowl was a battle waged solely by 30-second ads that played out on television. Today, brands recognize that the real battle for consumer attention is waged online and on social media. As a result, we’ll see more spots that tap into that digital power by driving viewers to microsites and inspiring social media buzz with hashtags.
- PRE-RELEASED ADS: Although pre-releases in 2019 are down slightly from the past few years, when between 50 and 75 percent of the ads were released ahead of time, many brands are still sharing their ads with fans before the game. While some see the tactic as taking some of the excitement and anticipation out of the commercial game, brands wisely see it as an opportunity to stoke the fires of pre-game buzz, both online and off.
But even if an advertiser is able to check all of the boxes for what makes an effective Super Bowl ad, the inevitable question remains: Is shelling out $5.2 million for 30 seconds of air time a good investment?
According to the team at SpotBowl, it is.
That’s especially true, given the astronomical viewership numbers the game is able to attract—the 2015 game was the most-watched television event in American history, with 114.5 million viewers—and the unprecedented focus placed on the ads.
“If you’re an advertiser looking for a highly targeted buy, the Super Bowl isn’t it,” said Pavone Media Director Cory Lorenz. “But if all you want are highly focused eyeballs, and lots of them, the Super Bowl is definitely worth the investment.”
Add it all up (and don’t forget to find a little extra money in the budget for a big-shot director and an A-list celebrity) and you might just find yourself with a winning Super Bowl ad. Or you could just sink the entire budget into digital and social media ads—but where’s the fun in that?
Communications Planning Director