Brands are gearing up for the biggest advertising event of the year.
First-time advertisers like Crypto.com will join longtime advertisers Pepsi, Taco Bell, Budweiser, and Doritos on February 13 at Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.
While the Los Angeles Rams will face off against the Cincinnati Bengals, brands have spent months preparing to run TV commercials that entertain people and convince them to buy their products.
NBCUniversal is charging advertisers $ 6.5 million to run a 30-second ad with millions more spent on production and digital ads.
Insider is talking to the big names and lesser known ad executives behind the scenes to learn what makes an iconic advertisement.
Advertisers will play up humor this year
Ad agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners has worked on dozens of Super Bowl campaigns for Frito-Lay and Sam Adams. Humor is always a big part of making a hit Super Bowl ad, but chief creative officer Margaret Johnson expects to see ads with more sophisticated humor this year.
“People are tired of this we’re-all-in-this-together-pat-on-the-back spirit,” she told Michael Kamier. “But sophomoric humor won’t play well this year. I’m encouraging more sophisticated humor, especially considering the pandemic.”
How agencies find the right idea
Advertisers’ biggest challenge with the Super Bowl is creating the right message that will resonate with people. HighDive, a Chicago-based agency with founders who have worked on more than 50 Super Bowl campaigns, gave this advice to Nasha Smith.
“You start by identifying the strategy, the brand belief, and the product truth. Where it begins to really differ is recognizing the broad Super Bowl audience and the expectations they have to be entertained,” said cofounders Mark Gross and Chad Broude. “If you meet those expectations, you could really insert a brand into the culture.
If you do not, you could fail. This is the one time a year consumers are not avoiding commercials. They’re actually seeking them out, and it’s important you do not make them regret that. “
For Intuit’s first Super Bowl spot for its brand QuickBooks, the company is promoting its recent acquisition of Mailchimp in an ad that will feature a celebrity.
Celebrities are a tried-and-tested way to make a statement.
“Strategically aligning a celebrity that taps into your brands’ DNA and truly embodies their messaging is the real key,” said Susannah Keller, executive vice president and global business leader of Mars at BBDO Worldwide.
Taco Bell will return to the Super Bowl after five years with an ad featuring Doja Cat. “We love to bring in celebrities who are genuine Taco Bell fans and have a connection to the restaurant – like Lil Nas X, who used to work as a Taco Bell team member and is now our chief impact officer,” Taco Bell’s head of brand creative, Tracee Larocca, told Fortesa Latifi. : “We love leaning into the authenticity of a celebrity’s actual relationship with Taco Bell.”
Covid has dramatically changed production
Startup ClickUp is running its first regional Super Bowl ad this year and is testing two different ads. With more protocols in place with how to shoot commercials, Melissa Rosenthal, chief creative officer at ClickUp, said that it’s crucial to shoot as much as possible to have choices for the final ad.
“It’s important to have those options at a time when something as simple as being physically inside an office is so socially and politically fluid,” she said. “Production planning happens over the course of months, but the news is a moving target.”
Super Bowl ads need to extend past the game
For the past few years, Avocados from Mexico has been a staple advertiser in the game. This year, the brand is using the Super Bowl to build a bigger campaign that includes two other parts, Avocados from Mexico’s VP of marketing and innovation Ivonne Kinser told Fortesa Latifi.
Monday.com is also running a regional Super Bowl ad to raise brand awareness and will run performance media like video ads to track how many people signed up for its service after watching the ad.