The Super Bowl is an unofficial national holiday affectionately entitled “Super Sunday.”
It is also the biggest food production day in the food retail business. One in every six televisions is bought just before the game. Snack companies increase production of potato and tortilla chips in anticipation of higher sales. Pizza delivery companies hire more drivers and sell more pies than at any other time of the year. The big game sends sales of beer, soda, chips, guacamole, and salsa through the roof.
Super Sunday is the third largest alcohol consumption celebration behind New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day. One in four workers will participate in a game pool while Super Sunday weekend is the slowest for wedding bookings.
The Super Bowl decides the champion of the NFL, and also the champions of the advertising universe. Since the Super Bowl has created a mass gathering either in sports bars or at household gatherings, this splendid festival generates just as much interest in the commercials as it does in the actual game itself.
The Super Bowl is the most influential amphitheater in TV promotion. In the world of advertising, it is viewed as judgment day. New ad campaigns often begin their kickoff airing during the game.
Three of the four networks that carry the NFL broadcasts - CBS, FOX, and NBC - alternate as hosts of the Super Bowl each year. This Super Bowl will be only the second Super Bowl simulcast, the other being Super Bowl 1. CBS will also stream the game on some of its sister networks including Paramount+, Nickelodeon, and the Spanish-language network Univision. Westwood One will broadcast the game on their radio affiliates.
For international broadcasts, some of the networks include ESPN (South America), Azteca 7 (Mexico), TSN (Canada), Seven Network (Australia), Tencent (China), ITV1 (England), SuperSport (Middle East), Premier Sports (Asia), and DAZN (Europe), among others.
CBS will broadcast Super Bowl LVIII this year and has announced the cost for each 30-second commercial spot averages $6.5 to $7 million for the game held at the 65,000-seat Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The entertainment this year will be provided by Post Malone (America the Beautiful), Andra Day (Lift Every Voice), Reba McEntire (National Anthem), while Usher will headline the halftime show.
Why the Super Bowl?
This one broadcast annually ranks among the highest Nielsen ratings, reaching more than 113 million people worldwide. The game ranked the third most-watched show on television behind the Apollo 11 splashdown in 1969 and coverage of Desert Storm in 1991. Of the Top 25 shows of all time in the United States, 17 are Super Bowls.
These figures have outdone the Olympics, President Nixon’s resignation speech, the mini-series “Roots”, “American Idol,” Ali vs. Spinks boxing match, the Royal wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, the O. J. Simpson murder trial, Apollo 13 splashdown, the World Cup, and final episodes of “M*A*S*H”, “Friends”, “I Love Lucy”, “Oprah,” “Seinfeld”, “Big Bang Theory”, “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “Dallas.”
With the high cost this year, viewers are guaranteed that the commercials will be creative and interesting. Even before the opening kickoff, there is a lot of anticipation about the innovation and humor that the commercials will create. After the game, numerous sports-related websites post the commercials and even write reviews of the best - and the worst.
The price tag only includes advertising on whichever American network the game is telecast on. With foreign venues, those networks sell their own advertising time and are usually just a fraction of the rates for the North American region. And the cost of the commercials does not include the funds needed for the ad agencies, scriptwriters, actors, equipment, director, and crew to produce the final product.
For advertisers, the need is to scale the communication and make certain that the product’s ideas are sending enough exposure for the high-priced message to have some basis of accomplishment. And at the same time, advertisers need to form a bond with consumers. This enables a dedication factor to the brand names as well; especially when dealing with choosing, say, a soft drink brand.
Critics of the high-dollar commercial time point to modern advantages for consumers to record the game and thus have the ability to fast-forward past the ads. However, survey data states that viewers who record the game in any form are rewinding the commercials to watch them over and over.
The Super Bowl stage is important to advertisers. It is viewed as the foremost program to create product awareness, unveil big news, speed up sales of a service or product, or simply remind folks that their product is still around.
What is unusual about the Super Bowl broadcast is that it was created on the premise that the primary audience would be watching the game on television.
This Year’s Advertisers
Everyone expects the beverage and food companies to advertise at the Super Bowl, and this year is no exception.
Expect to see multiple commercials from Doritos, Michelob Ultra, Bud Lights, State Farm, and Budweiser.
For the thirsty category, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Coors Light, Budweiser on the alcoholic spectrum, with Pepsi introducing their new soft drink Starry and Mountain Dew a spot on its own.
As for the food industry, Doritos. M&M candies, Oreo cookies, Pringle’s chips, Nerds candies, Hellman’s Mayonnaise, Lindt Chocolatiers, SToK cold brew coffee, DoorDash, Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits, Reese’s candy, Bodyarmor sports drinks, and Uber Eats.
Auto manufacturers include Volkswagen, BMW, Kia, Kawasaki, and Toyota.
Other commercials include DraftKings, Verizon Wireless, FCAS, E-Trade, Pluto TV, e.l.f. cosmetics, Paramount+, CrowdStrike, NYX makeup, Booking.com, Dove body products, Drumstick, Google, TurboTax, Etsy, Squarespace, United Airlines, State Farm Insurance, and Salomon mountain sports brand.
Ingredients for a Successful Super Bowl Commercial
Because the game of football is not the only reason we watch the Super Bowl, advertisers have to involve certain elements to make their commercials successful and memorable.
In recent years, the game itself has been a close encounter often coming down to the last series of downs before a winner was crowned. But, in earlier contests, the game was often known as a boring lopsided affair that was usually over before the second-half kickoff.
So, advertisers need to have their best game face on while constructing their commercials. Advertisers need customers. The more customers they entice, the broader opportunities for additional business.
To have a great Super Bowl commercial, the quintessential ingredient is a great product. The second most important aspect is the art of being memorable. This is usually accomplished in several ways; the most common is by using humor, inserting a heart, or adding sex appeal. 30 seconds is not a lot of time to capture your audience, so it needs that zip to drive the message home.
Usually, it is best to incorporate only one of these aspects into the message, or an advertiser can just use all three and hope it works.
Here are this year’s commercials:
Mountain Dew Baja Blast
Foundation to Combat Antisemitism
Which was your favorite?