It’s the greatest time of year in advertising and we all know just how much money went into building a commercial (or, rather, advertising experience) that will have a long and lasting impact or will be just a flash in the brand pan.
Here are the brands we’re keeping an eye on:
Google – Loretta
P&G – Create Sofia’s Super Bowl Party
Microsoft – Be the One with Katie Sowers
Avocados From Mexico – AFM Shopping Network
Planters – Road Trip (i.e., Death of Mr. Peanut)
Doritos – The Cool Ranch
Pop-Tarts – Fixed the Pretzel
Mountain Dew – As Good As the Original
Budweiser – Typical American
Bud Light Seltzer – Inside Post’s Brain
Although there are fewer Super Bowl ad teasers that have been released before the game this year compared with previous years, social engagements (i.e., sharing and commenting) are up from 2019 according to iSpot. Many marketers are employing social tactics to get more social visibility, such as Procter & Gamble’s “When We Come Together” ad which encourages consumers to participate in the “making of the ad” by choosing the ad’s components via a website in advance of the game.
In this same vein, we see several “ambush” and counterprogramming strategies to reach millennial and Gen Zs who might not watch the game but could still participate in this cultural event on social. Tums, which isn’t among the brands with a commercial during the big game, has created a counterprogramming strategy that aims to take over social media conversations by engaging audiences who “second-screen” on mobile devices during the game. They are even taking it so far as to own the blue dot emoji.
Are marketers making this decision because of a continuous decline in viewership? Why spend $5 million on 30 seconds of air time when you can still capitalize on the cultural significance of the event? For context, from 2005 – 2011 there was a steep increase in viewership of the #BigGame; it drops briefly in 2013 then increases again and peaks at 114.4 million by 2015, before undergoing a steady decline. In 2019, viewership was the same as it was 10 years prior: 98 million.
This year, we asked our agency experts which ads they’re the MOST/LEAST excited about, which they think will have the BEST/WORST social sentiment, and which they think will have the MOST/LEAST social chatter and why.
Graph 1.1 – Ads Ranked in Order of MOST (1) to LEAST (10) Excited About
Collectively, we’re most excited about Doritos “The Cool Ranch” but Mountain Dew’s “As Good as the Original” and Bud Light Seltzer “Inside Post’s Brain” are also highly favored among the agency. The lowest scoring ad was Pop-Tarts’ “Fixed the Pretzel” but it was closely followed by Avocados From Mexico “Shopping Network” and Planters’ “Road Trip.”
Overall the ads we’re most excited about are culturally relevant and offer something entertaining for the consumer. Most respondents said that they were excited about the new products (Mountain Dew and Bud Light Seltzer). The ads we’re least excited about –and maybe even annoyed by– share humor but most respondents felt that the ideas were tired or uninteresting.
Graph 1.2 – Ads Ranked in Order of estimated BEST (1) to WORST (10) Social Sentiment
We all seem to agree that sentimental ads will rank high with social sentiment. Leading the way is Google’s “Loretta,” followed by Microsoft’s “Be the One” and Budweiser’s “Typical American.” It’s no surprise to us that the heartstrings will get pulled, tears will be shed, and people will be eager to share these ads.
We predict that Avocados From Mexico and Pop-Tarts’ will get completely lost among the other social conversations with several respondents commenting, “Who even cares?”
Graph 1.3 – Ads Ranked in Order of estimated MOST (1) to LEAST (10) Social Chatter
We feel confident that Doritos “The Cool Ranch,” Budweiser “Typical American,” and Bud Light Seltzer “Inside’s Post’s Brain” will dominate the social conversations on Sunday. These ads offer components that are engaging for the consumer: relevancy, humor, and heartfelt.
Brands that we think will get buried in the dialogue are similar to our predictions about sentiment. Apparently, we don’t care and don’t think anyone else will care about shopping for avocado gear. We also feel strongly that Pop-Tarts really missed the mark with a boring placement.