It’s Game Time: Tracking the 2019 Super Bowl Ads

Image result for super bowl mercedes benz atlantaIt’s the week before the Big Game and some advertisers have already started rolling out sneak peeks and in some cases, full ads.

Up first, Stella Artois released their full ad on Monday, which features two memorable characters coming together to pitch the Belgian pilsner.  The unlikely duo of Carrie Bradshaw and The Dude were brought together for the beer brand’s Change Up the Usual campaign.

Lil Jon is tempting the fates of losing his “Atlanta” card by partnering with Pepsi in a trailer for the Big Game, which takes a mocking tone towards Pepsi’s rival Coca-Cola and its Perfect Pour.  Standby for if Lil Jon will be invited back to his hometown after Sunday’s game in the ATL.

ASMR is a hot trend right now.  Pepsi is creating its interpretation using Cardi B and Michelob Ultra is leveraging Zoe Kravitz in its version of the kooky internet phenomenon.

Take a look at the rest of the ads and teasers here: Adweek

If you want to get in on live action, this year 3 Percent Conference is expanding on their Super Bowl Tweet Up, by rolling out locations in cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.  To find out more, go here:

And if you want to vote for your favorites and not so favorites, you can visit USA Today’s Ad Meter to cast your vote! 

Why Its Hot:

Its the Super Bowl.  And at over $5M for a 30 second spot, this ad arena is not for the faint of heart, or the light in the wallet.  But overall trends here, will dictate the direction for brands and advertisers in 2019.  Agencies will need to quickly have POVs for the winners and the losers and how we can use those learnings to guide future creative requests.   Watch this space for a recap of the winners and the losers next week!

Ally’s attempt to hijack Super Bowl ads…

Instead of spending money on an ad, Ally Bank created an Augmented Reality game for this year’s Super Bowl. As explained in the video above, while other brands spent big money on the big game, Ally’s “Big Save” app allowed users to compete to see who could grab the most virtual money, after identifying what they were saving money toward. The game allegedly only activated during commercial breaks, and users would tap and drag AR dollar bills into a small AR piggy bank. The user with the highest score / most virtual money saved got a real cash money prize to be used toward their real-life savings goal.

Why It’s Hot:

Without knowing how successful it was, their different approach to the Super Bowl as a marketing moment is interesting. On one hand, it’s nice to see them trying to do some good with their budget. It also gave them specific insight into the things users were saving for that they could use later for marketing or to create products addressing those things. On the other, it seems a very noisy time to try and get people to ignore friends, family, and entertainment to play a game, albeit one with a nice prize. Either way, you can appreciate their attempt to hijack peoples’ attention during the commercial breaks coveted by other marketers.


What you cannot see is more interesting than what you can see

Skittles will not be airing its Super Bowl spot during the game this year. Instead, the film will be revealed to one selected fan whose reaction will be livestreamed on facebook.

In a mock TV broadcast video, a presenter reveals that the lucky fan is California-based teenager Marcos Menendez. The brand will release four teaser videos in the run up to the event to encourage speculation about the film, but has no plans to release the final ad to the public.

Why its hot?
Reaction videos meet Cialdini’s scarcity principle, which explains one of the most fundamental theories about human behavior: people will always want what they can’t have.
And, I think in today’s world which is addicted to sharing content, its pretty ballsy to show it to just one person and broadcast just the reaction not the content.

Crunch Responsibly

Tostitos partnered with Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving to develop a limited-edition bag that acts as a breathalyser. When alcohol is detected, red LEDs on the packet light up with the message ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’. To further help the unfortunate, or fortunate 😉 , drunkard the bag is NFC enabled so they can order an Uber by just tapping the bag.

Why It’s Hot:

  • Breaks through the Super Bowl advertising clutter by leveraging tech in an innovative way
  • It’s not technology for the sake of technology – it addresses a consumer need
  • Execution reinforces Tostitos’ “Party Bag” positioning within a very relevant consumption moment


How to Play the Game: Winning Over Sports Fans

voice-feb01-01-2016A recent study on Global Sports Fans found that while the majority of fans know who sponsors their team, 80 percent also think that brands fail to consider their audiences when amplifying partnerships.

This study asked 2,000-plus sports fans across the U.K., U.S., Japan, Spain and Brazil their opinions on how brands are doing when it comes to partnering with sports teams. And the results weren’t great.

“Only 17 percent [of sports fans] believe brands are interested in them”

This article states that this disconnect is a result of brands focusing more on the  partnerships than on the actual fans and their rituals.

The key to winning over sports fans is by engaging with their existing behavior and creating meaningful experiences for them to have with others at the game. 63 percent of sports fans say that the rituals they have at stadiums, like doing the wave or singing cheers with others in the stands, are a key part of the live viewing sports experience. In fact, music was cited as the number one form of entertainment at sports games by fans.

Brands who want to truly capture the attention of dedicated sports fans must find ways to create meaningful experiences for fans that add to the live experience while integrating the existing behaviors and rituals of fans.

American Express did this during the most recent U.S. Open, when they offered an onsite virtual reality experience for attendees. Fans could virtually play against Maria Sharapova in a four minute game that was the first consumer-oriented VR unit to go in market. Why was the activation such a huge success? It not only added to the live experience of the U.S. Open, but it also directly engaged with the interests of fans by allowing them to join in on the competition. It was far more than a “sponsored by” message from the brand.

Why It’s Hot: With the hype of Super Bowl abuzz, everyone is talking about the best TV spots. But what will truly be interesting to see is what brands (if any) go beyond TV and develop more engaging activations that contribute to the actual experience for fans attending the game.

Source: 6 Ways Brands can Draft Modern Sports Fans


Budweiser’s anti-craft beer Super Bowl ad made me sad!

Blasphemy! While watching the Super Bowl (commercials) this year, I was taken aback by this non-puppy ad from Budweiser called “Brewed the Hard Way”

The industry and social media is all a flutter as to whether this was a mistaken strategy.

The ad appeared to mock not only craft beer, but also the people who enjoy it — a move that proved to be both tone deaf and embarrassing for the company.

The ad, which began by noting that Budweiser “is not brewed to be fussed over” ended with the tagline: “Let them sip their pumpkin peach ale. We’ll be brewing us some golden suds.”

Except, whoops! Just over a week ago, Budweiser’s parent company bought well-known Seattle craft brewery Elysian . Among the beers that brewery made last year? The Gourdgia on my Mind Pecan Peach Pumpkin Amber.“Elysian’s brands are an important addition to our high-end beer portfolio, and we look forward to working together,” said Andy Goeler, CEO of Craft at Anheuser-Busch at the time.

In fact, Budweiser’s parent company has quietly been buying craft breweries and launching its own craft-style brands for the past few years. Shock Top is a Belgian-style wheat ale produced by the company (which, it’s worth noting, also has a pumpkin seasonal). Organic craft brewery Green Valley Brewing Company doesn’t fly the Anheuser-Busch flag, but it’s owned by the company. So is Goose Island, which was purchased in 2011. And it owns stakes in Seattle’s Red Hook Brewing and Portland’s Widmer Brothers Brewery.

The apparent attack on craft beer comes as the King of Beers has seen its crown become more tarnished. Young drinkers have been turning away from the brand for more than 25 years. In 2013, the company shipped 16 million barrels of Budweiser, while overall craft beer shipments came in at 16.1 million barrels.

On social media, craft beer lovers, not surprisingly, took aim at Budweiser – noting the defensive nature of the ad.

Best response:

Why It’s Hot

Frequenters of this blog know that I care about two things (1) Beer and (2) Marketing Strategy! So I do believe this shows us the power of a misguided insight — Budweiser chose to fight against a trend vs. embrace it. If anything, they were appealing to people who already drink Bud. However, the reaction only amplified the exposure of the ad. Go craft beer!!

The 2015 Puppy Bowl lineup is here!

Before the big Sunday night sports fest, dozens of pups will tackle each other for the pre-game Puppy Bowl shows — and because they’re puppies, and that’s what they do. The starting lineup has been revealed, and they are cute enough to make the toughest NFL players weep.

This year’s event, which airs on Animal Planet from 3-5 p.m. EST, will be the first time the Puppy Bowl is keeping an actual competitive score — usually it’s a bunch of baby dogs flopping all over each other, and no one really cares about who’s winning because everyone is blinded by unnaturally adorable puppy fluffballs. But the bar has been raised, pitting team Fluff against Ruff.

To make matters more unbearably cute, the 2015 lineup will be joined by a team of goat cheerleaders.

Fans can visit the Puppy Bowl website to view the six-part pregame show series leading up to game day, watch the live Puppy Cam, and even participate in a little fantasy pupball.



Why it matters:

I think this is a fantastic example of taking something totally unrelated to football and turning it into its own event! Animal Planet does a great job every year of hyping this up to becoming something people look forward to. Advertising revenue for the 2013 show was up 19 percent over 2012, and drew a number of new advertisers. For the first time, Animal Planet allowed commercial branding of its “stadium” in 2013 as well. It was referred to throughout the program as the “GEICO Puppy Bowl Stadium”. This year, they added fantasy pupball making this an interactive event as well. And besides, who doesn’t like to see puppies rolling around all day?