Super Bowl XLVII saw five major advertising trends boosting, most of which helped the ads live a longer life on more platforms. With the prices high for an ad piece rocketing high—average $4 million for a 30-second commercial,—the advertising has to be really effective (Brand Keys explored this theme in its latest report). The goal was achieved by various approaches, from making the ads more like films to building a longer, engaging campaign around the spot. Find the five trends as spotted by Time.
This year, Super Bowl saw a larger portion of longer spots than before. According to Kantar Media, this year about 20% of commercials ran for 60 seconds or even longer versus 10% created for the 2011 Super Bowl game (Kia, Toyota, Volkswagen, Lincoln and more decided to launch longer ad stories).
While the game is the major platform to launch the ads, brands used the time before Super Bowl to tease the audience and engage it before the commercials aired within the match. This year, manufacturers like Coca-Cola generated much buzz around their Super Bowl ads by launching the pre-game activity, which was designed to be even more important than the ad itself—here, the ultimate commercial is more like a prize here, a prize for being patient, and it is rather a final chapter than the beginning of the story (Mercedes, Sketchers).
This year, brands created great plots for their ads as well as invited consumers to share their own stories online. Companies encouraged the audience to make their life part of the brands’ lives through a series of activities focused on aggregating user-generated content. For instance, Doritos kicked off its annual Crash the Super Bowl competition of user-created ads, Pizza Hut offered its fans a chance to celebrate their favorite pizza maker in a self-created commercials with the “Hut! Hut! Hut!” message, Lincoln invited the audience to share their tweets to co-write the story, and Toyota’s consumers were able to upload their photos on Twitter or Instagram using the #wishgranted hashtag for a chance to get it featured in the ad. Why? Just because you pay much more attention to what you (your family friends, co-workers, rivals) have created.
Another way to attract a bigger audience to watch the ad is to create a funny spots with famous comedians. This year, the “funny army” was joined by Amy Poehler and Tracy Morgan (Best Buy and Kraft Foods MiO Fit) and Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd (Samsung) to name but a few.
Engaging Multi-Screen Audience
It’s not enough to engage only TV viewers—these days, brands want more. They put hashtags and channels into TV and online spots and invite public to visit other platforms for making the conversation really big. Plus, since now audience is not tied to the TV platform, but also watches content on their mobile devices and tablets, it’s possible to reach viewers in multiple ways online. In mid-January, Coca-Cola kicked off the Chase promotional initiative, inviting the audience to cast a vote in order to determine, which ad will air during the game. But some brands engaged the Super Bowl audience even without advertising during the game: for instance, Target created a Snack Bowl mobile app.
As usual, Super Bowl half-time show is a stage for grandiose music performance—this year, the headliner was Pepsi’s new face Beyoncé, who did a truly great job (watch the video here). This helped erase memory of her lip-sync scandal at the U.S. Presidential Inuaguration.
Here’s the list of major brands, which decided to buy ad time during the Super Bowl this year: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Audi of America (Volkswagen), Axe (Unilever), Best Buy, Calvin Klein (Philips Van Heusen), Cars.com, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, Century 21 (Realogy), Doritos (PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay), E-Trade, Gildan Activewear, GoDaddy.com, Hyundai (Hyundai Motor Group), Kia (Hyundai Motor Group), Lincoln (Ford Motor), M&M’s (Mars Inc.), Mercedes-Benz, Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Mio (Kraft Foods), Oreo (Mondelez International), Paramount Pictures (Viacom), PepsiCo Beverages, BlackBerry, Samsung, Skechers, SodaStream International, Speed Stick (Colgate-Palmolive), Taco Bell (Yum Brands), Tide (Procter & Gamble), Toyota, Universal Pictures (Comcast), Volkswagen, Walt Disney Pictures (Walt Disney Co.), Wonderful Pistachios (Roll International), find more (along with the commercials the brands launched) here.