If you haven’t heard of the Super Bowl before, it’s the annual final playoff game of the National Football League to determine the league champion and takes place in different American states each year. This year, the event will take place in Arizona, marking the 57th Super Bowl.
It’s one of the most important sporting events for many Americans, and the commercials played during the event have become a cultural phenomenon. It’s crucial to clarify that these are not average commercials. Every year, each advert adopts a cinematographic quality featuring A-List celebrity cameos. In fact, the average cost of a 30-second commercial is $4 million, but according to Variety, this year’s figures show that they’re costing advertisers closer to $7 million. Yep - you read that right.
With costs this high, we expect that brands will be reaping huge benefits from securing premium advertising spots. In terms of viewing, the Super Bowl is one of the most watched broadcasts in America, with 112.1 million people tuning in to watch in 2022. It’s not just lovers of the sport tuning in every year; in 2015, a survey revealed that 42% of participants watch the Super Bowl for the advertisements, not the football. We can’t think of many other television broadcasts where the advertisements are more interesting than the event itself. It’s no wonder that no expense gets spared!
With 50 minutes of adverts every year, there’s a lot of pressure on brands to bring out something memorable, and they usually succeed! In 2022, a survey said that 51% of people that watched Super Bowl commercials went on to purchase after watching. According to Drinks Digest, a successful commercial can generate a 500% uplift in sales for brands in the days afterward.
So why is the Super Bowl such a huge deal? The Super Bowl began in 1967. It was an agreed competition between the NFL (National Football League) and its rival, the AFL (American Football League), to compete in a joint championship game before officially merging into a single entity three years later. It also helped that the Super Bowl came about around the same time that Televisions entered the homes of Americans. In 1955, just half of the American households had TV sets; by 1967, 93% of households had a TV.
Today, the Super Bowl is an all-American patriotic spectacle. Soon after the Super Bowl started, the NFL wrapped itself in the American flag and initiated a close relationship with the US military, hoping to turn the spectacle into something of a holiday. It succeeded. It’s no wonder that advertisers saw this opportunity and ran with it. Quartz sums up the Super Bowl phenomenon nicely; ‘The Super Bowl might not be an official American holiday, but it is, for better and for worse, the most American event the world has ever known.’
Many people also know the Super Bowl for its impressive half-time shows, which have featured some of the biggest music artists across the globe, for example, Michael Jackson, Shakira, Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd, Beyonce, and the much anticipated Rihanna. Rihanna’s brand, Savage x Fenty, went as far as to release this top: :
The top has been released amongst the Savage x Fenty Super Bowl collection, and we can’t help but highlight the truth behind this witty merchandise. Interestingly, Pepsi ended its longtime partnership with the Super Bowl halftime show and has been replaced by Apple Music. Rihanna will headline the streaming service’s first performance.
So what’s new, and what’s the same about this year’s Super Bowl? Well, in 2022, the ads at the Super Bowl were very much dominated by crypto companies. After the crash of FTX and the decline of Bitcoin, we likely won’t be seeing much from them. On the other hand, there’s a large range of beer companies advertising this year. This change occurred following AB-InBev’s decision not to renew its exclusivity deal with the NFL, which was worth a reported $250 million annually. This means more beer/drinks brands have entered the pool of ads, including Heineken and the spirits brand Diageo.
A few brands have started teasing fans with clips from their upcoming adverts and sneak peeks at celebrity appearances. Rakuten (an online shopping platform) has recruited Alicia Silverstone as her iconic character Cher from the 1995 film Clueless. Pringles have enlisted the singer Meghan Trainor following her recent TikTok hit. Doritos is dramatising the love life of American rapper Jack Harlow as he is found to be in a love triangle with a Dorito… Maybe the most random of them all, the software company Workday has enlisted Ozzy Osbourne. The singer might not be able to tour anymore, but the teaser advert says he can offer out piercings, though we’re not sure we’d let him near our ears.
As we anticipate the final release of this year’s Super Bowl commercials, we can be certain that they’ll be ultra-American and even more dramatic than previous years (since when have teaser trailers for advertisements ever been a thing!?) You can check us out on our socials, and if you’re watching the game, let us know what your favourite advert of the day is!
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