It’s the biggest advertising holiday of the year: when Americans sit down on the first Sunday in February to consume their body weight in buffalo wings and enjoy some of the most exorbitantly expensive ads known on this earth – with a smattering of football here and there.
With a 30-second spot going for a cool US$4.5million a pop, it’s no wonder brands line up trying to make the biggest bang for their buck, employing anything from Hollywood celebs to life-sized Pac-man games to get the attention of one of the biggest TV audiences of the year. However, in trying to stand out from the pack, some ads inevitably start to look like others. Let’s look at some of the big trends coming out of the starting line-up this year.
During the 2012 London Olympics, Procter & Gamble stole the show with their “Thank you Mum” campaign. In 2015, Dove, Nissan and Toyota are all attaching tow ropes to the emotional bandwagon, in concerted attempts to pull heartstrings across the world. We’ve become pretty used to this sort of messaging from the likes of Dove before, but for Nissan and Toyota it’s a particularly smart move – worlds away from the standard, epic landscape, big-budget car ads audiences sleep through with their eyes open, as well as delivering big pats on the back for a large proportion of the Super Bowl-watching audience.
$4.5m is a pretty ludicrous amount of money to blow on an ad placement, and brands are starting to laugh at this themselves. Newcastle Brown Ale has been the trailblazer for this movement over the past couple of years – in 2014 using a mock-outraged Anna Kendrick to deliver a hilarious spoof on the Super Bowl ad that “never made it”. They’re taking it one step further this year with Aubrey Plaza rallying 37 smaller brands to create the #BandofBrands, pooling together funds so they could afford the Super Bowl commercial they never would be able to by themselves. The result is a relentless rollercoaster of product messaging that makes you feel like you’ve watched an entire Super Bowl’s worth of ads in 30 seconds. Deep?
People of Influence.
Last but not least, expect to see active and frequent participation from myriad Hollywood celebs more than happy to cash a meaty cheque for half a day’s work. With Kim Kardashian fronting for T-mobile and Pierce Brosnan playing “not James Bond” for Kia, advertisers are still relying heavily on the celeb factor to give their ads that blockbuster finish.
And in a sign of things to come, YouTube influencers are also getting a bigger slice of the talent pie year-on-year, with Kid Prez appearing for Coca Cola, and Nissan using a group of influencers (Roman Atwood, Action Movie Kid amongst others) to support their main ad with supplementary content that is internet exclusive.