With over 130 million viewers in the US alone, the Super Bowl has become one of the biggest global events in the calendar, with people tuning in as much for the razzamatazz of the half time show as the match itself. This means that any brand forking out for one of the lucrative advertising spots needs to pull out all the stops.
This year was no exception – here’s what we learnt from some of the most talked about ads:
Netflix changed the game
The Super Bowl has long been viewed by the film and television studios as the perfect place to hawk your upcoming releases to the masses, with movie trailers some of the most anticipated Super Bowl adverts. Well this year Netflix totally changed the playing field (ha!). Running a trailer for upcoming film The Cloverfield Paradox
, the streaming giants dropped a bombshell – the movie was going to be available to watch, right after the match. No ‘coming soon’ or two-month wait, just “here’s the trailer…go watch it after the game”.
Enough has been written about consumers’ demand for instant gratification, but this took things to the next level – don’t be surprised if these release strategies become the norm soon enough.
Nostalgia is a powerful drug
On the subject of film, two of the night’s most-talked about ads leveraged a couple of much-loved films from the 80s and 90s.
a familiar shot of a smouldering Jeff Goldblum prone in the back of a Jeep in the original Jurassic Park
, the ad then cuts to Goldblum in the manufacturers newest model, speeding away from a T-Rex. Not only did this leverage Jeep’s partnership with the film franchise, but it also leant heavily on nostalgia. The kids who queued up to watch Jurassic Park in 1993 are now the ones buying vehicles – by referencing one of the most memorable films of their childhood, Jeep make strong emotional connection with the viewer.
And they weren’t the only ones at it – the Australian tourist board roped in actor Danny McBride to star in a spoof trailer
for a new Crocodile Dundee movie. Part of a two-year, $27million campaign, the spots went down so well with viewers that there are already petitions calling on Hollywood to make Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home
From Brexit negotiations to possible nuclear Armageddon, there is so much uncertainty in the world that people are choosing to hark back to ‘the good old-days’, a time when they remember everything being a lot simpler. This has led to everything from chocolate bars to video game consoles from our childhood getting re-released, feeding this appetite for nostalgia. And if the big-budget Super Bowl ads are anything to go by, nostalgia-driven advertising isn’t going to stop any time soon.
Release your ad BEFORE the big game
Super Bowl adverts are as much a part of the spectacle as the cheerleaders or the half time show. As a result, they have always been hotly anticipated – probably the only ad break where you wouldn’t want to go and make a cup of tea. Yet this year, we started to see more companies releasing their adverts in advance of Super Bowl Sunday, including Amazon who put their Alexa spot
up online four days before the game.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, that ad spot didn’t come cheap. Neither did the agency you hired to create it (we got mouths to feed). Or the A-lister staring in it. So, it stands to reason that companies would want to squeeze as much use as possible out of their ad.
Secondly, advertisers don’t really care where you see their advert, just as long as you do see it. By sticking it on YouTube ahead of time, they guarantee more eyes on their advert, and there’s a good chance it’ll go viral and be seen by millions even before the first ball has been thrown.