Advertising and the Superbowl

This Year’s Advertising Themes.

Advertising and the Superbowl

Over 113 million people tuned in to watch the Superbowl in February, an over 14 million view increase since last year. Known to set the stage of marketing for the year, this year's advertisers struggled to create ads that stood out from the crowd of celebrities used to boost brand engagement for popularity alone.

This Years Themes

As with every year, there is a theme brought on by the most popular ads that predict the marketing strategy of large brands for the year. Not only do these ads usually stand out, they also drive an emotional crowd effect. This year's themes for the ads that created the largest impact were nostalgia and recognition.

Likely brought on by the events of the past few years (and the ongoing stress of losing favorite TV shows) this years favored ads focused on creating a safe, warm presence in the minds of viewers.

One of the most favored ads, The Farmer’s Dog commercial followed a woman and her dog over the years – from when she as a little girl promised to always take care of him to when he was old and gray watching over her and her new baby. Not following the last few years trends of gimmick-focused marketing, this advertisement focused on forming an emotional connection that pet owners could relate to.

T-Mobile's highly rated ads featured John Travolta reprising his role from “Grease” and a blooper reel of Bradley Cooper and his mom Gloria. Simple but impactful, these commercials spoke to both the nostalgic and recognizable themes of the year and led to T-Mobile being one of the few brands to receive an “A” by CBS news this year.

Highly rated on almost every platform, Forbes placed the General Motors/Netfilx ad as number 1. Using two well-known brands, leveraging crossovers from various hit shows and emphasizing the ever-popular electric vehicle with Will Ferrell as the lead, led to a 5% stock raise for GM and a 50% increase in site traffic on on the advertised models around the time of the ad.

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Though celebrity appearances are always going to be a big part of advertising, the change from gimmicks and shock-value to more traditional, emotion-focused advertising seems to be the direction of marketing this year. Though we’ll have to wait and see if and how advertisers will build upon their Superbowl commercials, it is highly likely that the theme of recognition and nostalgia will continue throughout the year.