Monday, February 13, 2023

A Recap of the Ads from Super Bowl 57

What do you remember from Super Bowl Sunday? This year, the game went down to the final seconds, so for football fans, the game was a genuine contest. Also, at the conclusion of the National Anthem, for the first time in Super Bowl history, an all-female team of US Navy aviators conducted the pregame flyover, commemorating 50 years of women pilots in the US Navy. But for marketers and those who watch the game specifically for the ads, there was not as much applause.

There was no ad similar to Apple’s 1984 ad. There was no ad that was as memorable as Budweiser’s post-9/11 ad from 2002 with the kneeling Clydesdales. There were no animated Coca Cola polar bears, and there was no Tweet memorable enough to rival Oreo’s “dunking in the dark” from 2013. And one thing to note for this year's batch of ads: no brand mentioned the Covid-19 pandemic, which was a complete reversal from the ads during the 2021 game.

The difference this year from previous years was Twitter. Since Elon Musk took over in late 2022, many users left the platform, and some chose to not participate in the real time chats as in previous years. While some chatted on Mastodon, some remained on Twitter and discussed the ads using familiar hashtags #SuperBowlAds, #BrandBowl, #AdBowl, and #KelloggBowl.

According to Statista, the cost of a 30-second ad during Super Bowl 57 was $7 million. According to Forbes, the match-up between the Kansas City Chiefs (now 2023 Super Bowl champs) and the Philadelphia Eagles was the third most-watched Super Bowl, and 113 million Americans watched.

This quote from Landor Associates is timeless and worth repeating: "Here are three tips to help you, your dad, or even your football-crazed grandma decide which brands scored a touchdown with their commercials: Is the ad on-brand? Will you remember the brand tomorrow? And, does the ad speak to the times?”

Here were the ads that stood out to me from this year’s group:

DUNKIN DONUTS: This ad featured actor Ben Affleck working in the drive-thru surprising customers. The final customer was his wife, Jennifer Lopez, who asked why he was working there and asked for a glazed donut. This ad was funny and a surprise. Brands can never be sure if the use of celebrities will be a hit or a miss, but this ad worked.

This ad featured actor Sylvester Stallone in a similar storyline to his film Cliffhanger. His three daughters were also a part of the ad. Again, the use of celebrities can be a hit or a miss, but the point was that Paramount Plus is a way to watch films, so the ad worked, and was also funny – since Stallone fell off the mountain into snow when he sneezed.

T-MOBILE: Two ads were laugh-out-loud funny. One featured actor Bradley Cooper with his mother. His mother could not read her lines correctly, and the two were nearly hysterical with laughter – causing the audience to laugh. The second ad featured actor John Travolta singing a famous song from Grease, whose antics are usually funny. Both ads were memorable.

AMAZON: This ad featured a dog that tore up everything in the house, so its family ordered a dog crate from Amazon, and a new puppy arrived – hopefully to entertain the dog. The ad tugged on the heartstrings. This ad also reminded viewers to watch the Puppy Bowl if they taped it for later viewing.

While AVOCADOS FROM MEXICO featured an ad that did not wow me, throughout the game, the brand’s Twitter feed was full of Tweets that addressed other ads. The Tweets were ALWAYS on brand and memorable. Therefore, big applause to this brand’s Twitter team!

And lastly, a few words about M&M’S. Prior to the game, the brand made a big deal and announced that actress Maya Rudolph would take over for the colored spokescandies, who were taking a break from their duties, which always included participating in an ad during the Super Bowl. In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, the name of the candy was changed, the inside of the candy was changed, and to be honest, it was hard to keep up with all the drama. But then, at the end of the Super Bowl, the spokescandies held a news conference, and all was right with the world: The candies/characters/brand ambassadors announced their return.

A few words from Jacques de Cock, a faculty member at the London School of Marketing: "The Super Bowl is a phenomenon unsurpassed in the world. It is one of the few national social events, which is also why social media traffic during the game is so high...What is also remarkable is that advertising is not viewed as something to skip but is seen by 77 percent of viewers as part of the entertainment, and therefore, more watched and engaged with than any other television advertising during the year."

There were some other interesting brands that stood out during the game:

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING: During the game, the building changed the color of its lights based on which team scored a touchdown, and at the end of the night, the top of the Empire State Building was red for the Kansas City Chiefs.

VIRGIN VOYAGES: This brand was a scoreboard at sea and showed updated scores on the side of its ship throughout the game and at the end.

Let’s not forget the friendly wagers made by these brands before the game:

PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART: Since the Chiefs won, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will now have to display a piece of art from the Nelson-Atkins Museum.

PHILADELPHIA ZOO: Since the Chiefs won, the iconic elephant statue will wear Chiefs-branded attire.

Are you counting the days to Super Bowl 58, scheduled for February 11, 2024, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas? I am – with hopes that we’ll see an ad or two that will go down as the best of all time!

Image credits: Debbie Laskey.

To read any of my previous Super Bowl ad recap posts, search this Blog using the term “super” to access all the links.

To watch all the ads from Super Bowl 57, here’s the link:

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