When you’re in the advertising business, the real sport at the Super Bowl is in the commercials not in the plays. Who will have the funniest spot, the most brilliant strategy, the best time slot? As a veteran of the industry, our president, Del Esparza, lives for the pre-game analysis. He’s been making the rounds on Albuquerque’s TV and radio stations with his predictions and take on the teasers we’ve been seeing in the run-up to the game. Here’s what he’ll be paying attention to this Sunday.
Each year the cost of a Super Bowl ad goes up, adding to the stakes for the brands who choose to purchase one. Fox has filled its ad space with 30-second slots that cost $5.6 million apiece. That’s a substantial increase from just five years ago, when the same 30 seconds were $4.5 million each. This year the total revenue for Super Bowl ads will surpass $400 million—for just 77 ads.
So, who is paying for these slots and what are they advertising? There are a handful of returning companies, including Audi, Hyundai, Kia, and Porsche (which is reappearing for the first time since 1997). Others are making their Super Bowl debuts, including Facebook, which will feature Sylvester “Rocky” Stallone and Chris Rock in a spot to promote Facebook Groups.
From the funny to the offbeat to the political, read on for a roundup of what you can expect to see during the 2020 Super Bowl ads.
This year’s ads will skew towards comedic sketches that feature musicians and actors. One of our favorite teaser ads in the run-up to the game is a Cheetos spot featuring MC Hammer.
Another buzzy ad is for Planters. After 104 years of work, Planters’ spokesperson, Mr. Peanut, has officially been killed off by the brand. The third quarter of the Super Bowl will air his funeral. In an unexpected twist to the twist, the campaign has been put on pause in the lead up to the game out of respect for the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
Not everything will be humorous. Some companies are taking a more serious approach. The NFL will feature an ad on the subject of police brutality, hoping to boost its social justice platform in the wake of the Colin Kaepernick controversy.
Kia’s ad will explore child homelessness through the experiences of NFL player Josh Jacobs.
Diversity will also be highlighted this year, though in a lighter context than the NFL and Kia ads. Adding humor and laughter into the mix will allow brands to cautiously promote diversity in today’s heated political environment.
Budweiser is one of the brands featuring diversity with an ad about “typical Americans.”
How do you cram two minutes of content into a 30-second ad spot? You run four commercials at once. That’s what Heinz is doing with a conceptual art-piece ad. Four different plots will happen at once during the 30-second spot. Heinz is hoping it will force people to rewind the ad to watch it again—up to four times—turning that 30 seconds into 120 seconds of exposure. That’s some clever advertising.
Things will also be getting political, as both Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump have purchased a 60-second ad each. It’s interesting to note that advertisements surrounding the political campaigns will not feature brands. Fox is bookending political ads with Fox spots about the network. Most brands do not want political associations that could potentially leave viewers with a skewed perspective. If an ad played right after Bloomberg’s campaign, people might subconsciously associate the brand with Bloomberg. The network is playing it safe with this strategy.
Some companies have opted out of the traditional TV ad altogether. AT&T is hosting “Super Saturday Live,” a Lady Gaga concert dedicated to the Super Bowl that was previously hosted by DIRECTV.
Marriott is hosting a Courtyard Super Bowl Sleepover contest. The winner and three friends will get to sleep inside the stadium in a replica of the Marriott Suite, waking up there on the morning of the Super Bowl.
The Lowe’s Bring It Home campaign involved designing an entire block of 32 houses each dedicated to a different NFL team. The campaign presents the brand as a go-to option for the tools needed to host a Super Bowl party at home.
Get ready to see celebrities endorsing tons of products and brands. Let us know which are your favorites in the comments below. And get excited for Sunday!