Super Bowl Advertising Blog Article

Big Game, Big Ads: What’s The Big Deal?

The big game––er, the Super Bowl is not just a championship game or a sporting event but THE event that brings people from all walks of life together, whether they’re football fans or not. The game, the food, the halftime show, and the fans (looking at you T-Swift)—are all part of the experience. But most exciting of all, the commercials. Super Bowl commercials have become a significant part of the overall Super Bowl experience, and some people watch the game exclusively for the commercials. These ads have become a cultural phenomenon often discussed and analyzed in media and social platforms. We’re fast approaching this year’s Super Bowl, and the anticipation is killing us ad folks and advertising agencies alike!

THE BIG DEAL

So, why are Super Bowl commercials any more different than regular ads? The Super Bowl is the biggest TV event of the year. More people watch it than anything else. Last year, the Super Bowl set a viewership record of approximately 200 million viewers––60% of Americans watching. When more than half of the nation is watching their televisions, what better opportunity to drop some innovative and expensive ads? To this day, the Super Bowl has established itself as the premier showcase for new ads. And since so many people are watching, spots are really valuable. The average cost for 30 seconds of air time during the Super Bowl is seven million dollars. So, when spending big bucks to air a 30-second advertisement, advertisers want to make sure that it’s memorable.

 

From snacks to beer to automotive, many veteran brands are returning this year such as Doritos, Bud Light, and KIA. Some have already teased campaigns, with a few more whispers from first-time advertisers. Volkswagen is making a comeback for the first time since 2014, and we can’t help but remember their 2011 Darth Vader spot that was worked on by none other than a Brandcenter alum! Bud Light’s “Easy To Drink, Easy To Enjoy” spot from last year’s game was by Brandcenter alumni as well. Our academic neighbors are always killing the ad game! Remember that clever Tubi interruption last year during the game where your dad started yelling at you for sitting on the remote? Yup, Brandcenter alumni. If you want to be the judge of this year’s big game ads, make sure you register for USA Today’s Ad Meter so you can join in the ad fun and rate your favorites. Rating opens on February 7th.

Super Bowl commercials go as far as providing entertainment and an interest that doesn’t require a working knowledge of the game. In many ways, the ads are the great unifier of everyone watching. Some may understand the game on a different level, others may be rooting for different teams, but they all enjoy a good laugh or 30–60 seconds of good entertainment. The commercials that air during the Super Bowl are highly anticipated and have gained a reputation for their creativity, humor, and production value. People watch them because they are more entertaining and amusing than average, typical television advertising. They’re interested in seeing the new and clever commercials companies and brands invest heavily in to reach the massive Super Bowl audience. And advertisers take this very seriously.

THE PREPARATION

And we mean very seriously. While everyone is preparing for game day, the snacks, the party––it’s crunch time inside the realm of advertising as it prepares for the one day a year where everyone cares about ads. With less than a month to go, we’re at a point when brands and their agencies really have to crank up their efforts for the final push to break through with a successful Super Bowl commercial.

Timeline-wise, most brands have creative finalized and talent locked and loaded by fall and shoot before the holidays, with final editing taking place in January. But it all begins even earlier. According to Rob Schwartz, chair of ad agency TBWA New York Group, in a discussion with MarketBrew, says, “It begins in earnest over the summer in July because that’s the moment you’re doing your calculus between what it takes to come up with the idea, sell the idea, negotiate with the talent, and produce the idea,” Schwartz also adds that traditionally shooting begins in the fall, ensuring an entire rollout is ready in the lead-up to the game before the holidays. In some cases, advertisers may even start discussions and negotiations with networks for Super Bowl ad slots a year or more in advance, especially if an agency wants to feature celebrity talents.

 

JOIN THE GAME

It’s not too late! If you’re a local business or small brand, now is the opportunity to capitalize on the biggest sports day of the year. Here are a few ways how:

 

Local Food Delivery:

Party favors, ingredients, booze, catering? Ensure that your business is listed on delivery platforms and that all your information and options are up to date. Consider offering package deals for larger orders to encourage customers to order more and that cater to groups of people watching the game together. If you offer food, create a special game menu featuring popular game day snacks, finger foods, and appetizers. Are you able to offer pre-orders? Cater to those who think ahead and lock in orders well before kickoff!

 

Digital Billboards:
Digital billboards are a win because they combine a rapid turnaround, creative flexibility, and audience targeting to advertise relevant and quick messaging! Tailor your ads to the game theme by crafting your messaging to be relevant on game day. This could include game-related imagery, team colors, or popular phrases in Super Bowl culture! Make sure your language is relevant and captures the spirit of the game.


Rideshare Advertising:

Another form of digital, out-of-home advertising that often goes overlooked: rideshares. Display options range from car wraps to interior displays. These can be a popular choice as your ad can reach people as they commute from one watch party to the next. So for a day filled with families and friend groups carpooling and ordering a ride home, your brand can be the focus on the way to the party and back!

CLOSING THOUGHTS

After months of planning, producing, strategizing, and, yes, spending money to prepare, agencies and brands are in the throes of the final hectic weeks before the biggest advertising day of the year. What’s irrefutable is that Super Bowl game day remains the biggest single-day audience—and live TV cultural moment—in American pop culture, and its price and quality for brands reflect that status. The amount of time and dollars spent for Super Bowl ads just so they’ll be talked about and remembered long after the game is over. There’s no doubt that the audience’s expectations grow even more every year, which inspires and motivates advertisers to create even better commercials for the next one. 


The ad center on ispot.tv is a great digital resource to look back at all current and past Super Bowl commercials to get a deeper look at creative effectiveness, impressions, and even real-time performance. Start the party early and view this year’s ads that have already premiered or go back a few years if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic. Happy Super Bowl 2024!