The serious tone set by many Super Bowl ads, including one from Nationwide Insurance on preventable childhood death, is an effort to win over Americans who have a lower tolerance for crass ads with an overuse of sexually explicit themes and sophomoric humor. They also have short attention spans these days, thanks to the bite-sized communication of social media.
Dish Network roiled the TV industry with its AutoHop technology that enables subscribers to automatically delete commercials from blocks of primetime network programming. On Thursday, the satellite TV giant introduced a new AutoHop gimmick just in time for Sunday’s Super Bowl extravaganza. “Instead of automatically skipping commercials, customers will have the option to instead skip the game and watch only the commercials,” a Dish spokesman said.
Fewer are being released online before the game, but more are being promoted through social media. SpotBowl founder Michael Pavone talks about this year’s most notable Super Bowl trends in advertising, what they mean for viewers, and how companies are building buzz.
NBC Sports Group and NBC Universal News Group’s EVP of Sales Seth Winter told reporters on a Wednesday conference call that the big game’s commercial slots are officially all spoken and accounted for. Winter also boasted that his team’s digital efforts have resulted in that platform tripling from NBC’s prior Super Bowl, hitting eight figures.
There will be 15 new Super Bowl advertisers this year, the most since 2000, before the economy fell into what would be the first of two recessions since. Advertising experts say the rookie interest in Super Bowl ads is a positive sign that companies are feeling good in the most recent economic recovery.
Just hours after GoDaddy released its Super Bowl spot on the Today show, a commercial depicting a puppy being sold online, the company said it won’t air it after all. “The responses were emotional and direct. Many people urged us not to run the ad,” CEO Blake Irving wrote in a blog post. GoDaddy is pulling the ad from the Super Bowl and will replace it with a spot Mr. Irving said he hopes will make viewers laugh. The company also pulled the video down from YouTube.
As Super Bowl audiences demand more second-screen content and as online ad opportunities expand, brands are aggressively growing their presence beyond merely multimillion-dollar TV spots. It’s about so much more than simply posting longer versions of an ad online, with marketers investing heavily in full-blown digital campaigns that run during the Big Game.
Even with all the competition for eyeballs and the rise of second-screen and cord cutting, the Super Bowl remains not only the biggest televised sports event in the U.S. but the year’s most anticipated advertising showcase. So, which ads this year will cut through the streams of Twitter chatter? Which spots stand to keep people talking long after the game? Here are some that are already generating buzz.
Hyundai has decided not to advertise in Super Bowl XLIX, snapping a streak of seven consecutive appearances in the game. It joins a growing list of automakers that frequently buy into the big game but are abstaining for 2015. Hyundai has typically run one or often two commercials in each Super Bowl since 2007.
All the figures you could want on ad spending, the cost of an ad, how it compares to other sporting events, and a breakdown of this year’s new and returning advertisers.
NBC’s live stream of Super Bowl XLIX doesn’t include the same commercial load as the TV broadcast, but those watching through the platform won’t have to miss out on the ads. The peacock network, which will air the game on Feb. 1, has created a new NBC Sports Tumblr page that will include all of the commercials to view on demand moments after they run on TV.
Many non-sports lovers watch the Super Bowl just to watch the glitzy commercials that appear during game breaks, but in recent years many of the game’s ads aren’t a surprise to viewers. With the proliferation of social media, several Super Bowl advertisers have opted to pre-release their spots in the days and weeks ahead of the game to generate more publicity for their brands.
General Motors will sit out the Super Bowl, the company confirmed. Last year the automaker aired two 30-second ads in the Big Game supporting its Chevrolet brand, but all its makes will be absent from the ad lineup during Super Bowl XLIX. GM will, however, have some presence in the game — Chevy will present the Most Valuable Player with a Chevrolet Colorado, a spokeswoman said.
NBC is still trying to sell a bit more Super Bowl ad inventory, with a handful of units left and about 95% of its commercial time sold for the Feb. 1 game. “We fully expect to meet or exceed our sales goals,” said Seth Winter, EVP-sales and sales marketing, NBC Sports Group and NBC Universal News Group.
Leading up to the Big Game on Feb. 1 in Glendale, Ariz., Adweek will be updating this post with everything about this year’s advertisers. Since a 30-second spot will reportedly cost $4.5 million during the game, it will also look at how brands are making the most of their spots with digital and social campaigns.
Nationwide is returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2007. The company became the official insurance sponsor of the NFL in August and signed a new deal with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in May.
After debuting its first advertisement campaign during the 2010 Super Bowl, Unilever’s Dove Men+Care will make its second appearance in the upcoming game hosted in Glendale, Ariz.
The soft TV ad market this year is extending even to Super Bowl XLIX, where NBC said in November ad sales were moving along slightly more slowly than in prior years. Automakers, too, aren’t crowding the field as much as they have lately, without as many new models that the game is well-timed to promote. Still, there will be about a dozen new advertisers in the 2015 game, especially in digital commerce and technology, said Seth Winter, EVP-sales and sales marketing, NBC Sports Group and NBC Universal News Group.
Skittles is headed to the upcoming Super Bowl, where it will appear in a commercial during the big game for the first time, according to people familiar with the matter.
NBC has sold about 75% of the approximately 60 30-second spots that regularly appear during a Super Bowl broadcast, according to the estimates of one media buyer familiar with negotiations. This buyer said NBC may have between 15 and 18 30-second berths left, and suggested the network might face some headwinds in getting to the goal line.