Super Bowl Ads are Back Baby!
Anjali McKenzie, Former UX Researcher
As a fan of both the NFL and good advertising, I'm usually glued to the TV come Super Bowl Sunday (though the "good advertising" part is questionable when it comes to Super Bowl ads). In any case, I was delighted to read that this Sunday we'll be seeing the return of some big name brands that were out-of-sight last year. The return of ads from Pepsi, GM, and Best Buy are sure to provide some entertainment if the actual game fails to do so this year.
Why Are the Ads Back?
The return of popular brands points to a strengthening economy. These companies see that consumers are starting to spend money again, and they're willing to spend money on attracting those consumers. Coupled with a rebounding economy is the fact that two of the most popular teams are battling in Super Bowl XLV. While it may be hard to pinpoint exactly which team has the largest fan base, due to the many "bandwagon fans", ESPN.com did rank the Steelers and the Packers as #1 and #2 for the "best" fan base in 2008. A more recent 2010 Nielsen Co. report ranked the Steelers as #2 and the Packers as #5 for most popular teams out of the 32 NFL teams. Additionally, according to a 2007 Scarborough Sports Marketing survey, both the Steelers and the Packers were leaders in several categories including most female fans, most loyal fans, most fans in households with at least one child, and most fans between the age of 18 and 24. It's no wonder that retailers are looking forward to advertising this year.
What Should We Expect to See?
Other than big brands coming back into play, there will be a lot more to take-in with this time around. While last year we saw limited and relatively plain ads, this year we've already seen several "previews" of what's to come on Sunday. Both E-Trade and Budweiser seeded ads during playoff game breaks, with Budweiser taking the obvious route with a "To Be Continued" ending to their 15-second spots:
Most conspicuous this year will be the push for social media. In 2010 we saw only a sprinkling of social media promotion with ads pointing to their Twitter or Facebook accounts at the tail end of the spot. But this year, be prepared to see pushes toward Twitter handles, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, and iPhone and iPad apps, to name a few.
What ads will prove to be the most entertaining? Watch the Super Bowl (or just the ads) to find out!