After the holidays, brands from around the world start announcing if their company will be sinking millions of dollars into commercial advertising during the Super Bowl. Did you know that a 30-second ad for the big game has a price tag of $5.6 million? That didn’t seem like a hefty price for well… anyone, because this year there’s more 60-second advertisements than ever, valued at over $11 million per spot, and it’s the first year Fox Sports has completely sold out of its full ad inventory.
Depending on how the game goes, 70 advertisements or more will run over the four-hour time slot. There will be about 120 million people watching the game domestically and a good chunk of those people are looking forward to the commercials in between the action that features today’s brightest sports stars.
Last year, the NFL 100 featured a commercial of a disrupted banquet with Hall of Famers Peyton Manning, Joe Montana and others reacting to the word “fumble.” Bumble had six-time Wimbledon champion, Serena Williams, appear in a spot that emphasized women shouldn’t wait for what’s next and that making the first move in life can be empowering. TV Broadcaster, Tony Romo appeared in a Skechers commercial, ‘Best of Both Worlds,’ had Bo Jackson reenacting Sprint’s favorite catchphrase and CBS reminded viewers its platform has always been there to capture championship moments.
“This is why you see so many brands come up with creative, funny, iconic commercials for the Super Bowl — because they know virtually all of America is watching, and that their ad would play a huge role in defining how people view their brand,” said Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia. Gary V and his full-service agency have three ads being shown during the event. Super Bowl ads are designed to be compelling, proactive, and used to communicate multiple conversation starters.
So, with less than a week to go before the game, I looked at some of the 2020 spots that purposely uses adored athletes in their Super Bowl commercials to reel in viewers.
Microsoft – Be the One
On Super Bowl Sunday, San Francisco 49ers Offensive Assistant Coach, Katie Sowers will be the first woman EVER to coach in a Super Bowl. Her love of the sport as a child has brought her to where she is now—game planning for the biggest event in the sport of football. Being the best female coach isn’t in Katie’s plans. She has her eyes set on being the best coach ever. HELL YES. Microsoft, a long-term partner of the NFL, thanks coach Sowers for being “the one” to open doors for a generation of girls, women and anyone who desires to lead the pack in this spot.
NFL – Inspire Change
In 2017, Portland based advertising agency Weiden + Kennedy, pressured Nike to make one of the most impactful ads of the decade, which eventually won an Emmy. A record engaging ad that challenged individuals to be bigger than the sport, recognized racial injustice and paid homage to those who “dream crazy.”
Now, 72andSunny and former San Francisco 49ers player Anquan Boldin, team up in a 60-second spot tackling justice reform on behalf of the NFL. “There are just some things that are bigger than football,” Boldin said in the ad. “I felt like starting the Player’s Coalition and affecting change in this country is one of those things. We focus on police community relations, education and economic advancement and criminal justice reform.”
Budweiser – Typical American
The beer company has had a long-term contract with the NFL that allows the company to buy several slots of airtime every year. In this slot from ad agency David Miami, Budweiser plays it safe by celebrating the “typical American.” Everyday scenes are displayed in the 60-second commercial that comes at a polarizing time where stereotypes aren’t “politically” correct. “These are stereotypes that we all collectively share. We strategically used those to help everyone see themselves as being on the same team and then debunking those stereotypes and rising above,” Budweiser VP of marketing, Monica Rustigi said when she spoke to Ad Age. The closest the commercial gets to athletes are scenes that shows the U.S Women’s National Soccer Team and Washington Nationals celebrating their championship wins with a somewhat champagne-like beer shower.
Hyundai – Dialect Coach
The New England Patriots won’t be in the Super Bowl this year, but Hyundai will be showing a commercial that Bostonians might still look forward to. In the teaser ad, retired Boston Red Sox David Ortiz sits with down with a Boston local and spoofs the states vernacular. Ortiz, of Dominican decent, practices his Boston accent, but his clutch gene doesn’t quite translate over as he has a hard time dropping his “r’s.” A follow-up commercial from Hyundai, sells the 2020 Sonota’s new “smaht park” feature, and Big Papi still hasn’t mastered the Boston accent as he shouts from an upstairs window.
Saint Archer’s Brewing – Patience
Nike SB team rider and LA native Paul Rodriguez cruises the California hills in search of something—Molson Coors new low-carb beer, Saint Archer Gold. Not a seltzer, but the result of a partnership between San Diego-based craft brewer Saint Archer and MillerCoors. P-Rod skates from liquor store to liquor store only to be disappointed to find that each location is out of Saint Archer Gold, and the full stock of Michelob won’t cut it. Paul takes the scenic route in this ad and finally ends at his destination after a long day of hunting for the beer. Riding “switch” with a 6-pack in hand, the ad concludes with a slogan claiming that a light beer like Saint Archer is worth waiting for.
So, there they are. Several Super Bowl commercials featuring athletes that all hope to be memorable on the biggest TV night of year. Commercials tell stories and are meant to drive consumers to act, laugh and inform. Because the world is so fascinated with sports and how they intertwine with pop culture, Super Bowl commercials that hope to go viral and when athletes speak up, people listen. Super Bowl 54 will air Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 on Fox, live from Miami Gardens in Florida.