Let the games begin: Tracking every ad for Super Bowl 2019
As marketers prepare to unveil their highly anticipated ads — many of which will set the tone for the year ahead — Marketing Dive will update this tracker on the road to the big game and beyond.
There's less than a month until Super Bowl LIII, which means the marketing world is just weeks away from unveiling some its most-watched ads of the year. The big game is a chance for marketers to set the tone for the year's advertising, as winner and losers are decided — and not just on the gridiron.
Traditionally, the Super Bowl has been an ad revenue juggernaut, generating $414 million in 49 minutes of ad time last year. Despite somewhat of a viewership recovery early in the season, NFL ad revenue dropped 19% in the September-October period, according to Standard Media Index.
Will that trend affect the Super Bowl, for which CBS is reportedly receiving around $5 million per 30-second spot? And will the game outperform last year's, which saw a 7% audience dip and its lowest ratings since 2009?
As the marketing world grapples with both the messages and spends of its Super Bowl ads, Marketing Dive will update this tracker on the road to the big game and beyond. Stay tuned as new campaigns are announced.
Super Bowl LIII Ad Tracker
Pizza Hut taps Abe Lincoln to highlight $5 meal deals
Pizza Hut, which last February stepped in for Papa John's as the official pizza sponsor of the NFL, is rolling out its Super Bowl campaign through a series of TV spots, two of which will debut on game day, per news shared with Marketing Dive.
The ads, created with the brand's new agency of record GSD&M; and production trio JEAN, depict Abe Lincoln — "Mr. Five Dollar Bill" — as a modern family man who touts Pizza Hut's $5 menu offerings, humorously struggling to impress family and friends. With the push, the Yum Brands' chain is looking to drum up interest prior to the game, which is typically one the biggest days for pizza sales all year.Food & Beverage
Expensify files big expense: Its first-ever Super Bowl spot
Business expense management platform Expensify will debut is first-ever TV ad during the Super Bowl this year as part of a national, multichannel campaign that runs through the Grammy Awards in February, per news shared with Marketing Dive. The 30-second spot will air during the game's second quarter and will take an entertaining and unconventional approach to the tedious task of filing expense reports. Developed with JohnXHannes New York, the campaign also includes digital and film content, digital ads and out-of-home advertising. The push comes as the brand, which has grown quickly since it was founded in 2008, looks to take its growth to the next stage.Digital First
Verizon revealed that it will air a 60-second in-game ad, extending creative messaging around America's first responders that the wireless carrier debuted last year in its return to the big game after a seven-year hiatus.
The latest campaign, called "The Team that Wouldn't Be There," tells the story of 12 NFL stars — 11 players and one coach — who wouldn't be alive without first responders. Though the effort culminates with a new TV spot on Feb. 3, it kicks off during the AFC and NFC Championship games on Jan. 20 and features social media and long-form content, including a 30-minute documentary directed by Hollywood filmmaker Peter Berg, of "Friday Night Lights" and "Lone Survivor."
In the two weeks ahead of the game, Verizon will donate $1 for each social media post that uses the #AllOurThanks campaign hashtag to the First Responders Outreach nonprofit, up to $1.5 million.Digital First
Kraft Heinz brand Planters revealed plans for its first-ever Super Bowl ad, which will star the brand's mascot Mr. Peanut showing how far he'll go to satisfy his "salty snack nut cravings during crunch time," according to details shared with Marketing Dive.
The commercial for the 103-year-old brand was developed with VaynerMedia and will air during Pod 10 of the game's second quarter. Planters will "unshell" new elements of the campaign as the game nears, including naming a celebrity who will appear in the ad.Food & Beverage
Beer brand Natural Light announced it will air a 60-second commercial in five U.S. cities that have some of the highest student loan debt, including Columbia, South Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; Little Rock, Arkansas; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Richmond, Virginia.
The ad, which builds on the Anheuser-Busch brand's effort to relieve fans of mounting college debt, will feature winners from last year's Super Bowl sweepstakes, highlighting the videos they submitted on social media describing their inspiration for going to college.
This year's effort includes a partnership with mobile payment platform Cash App. On Feb. 3, Natural Light will pay 151 fans $351 — the average monthly student loan payment — through the app to help winners throw a game-viewing party and splurge on snacks and "another rack of Natty." Fans 21+ can enter the contest from Jan. 22 through the big game's final whistle by sharing their party plans on social media with hashtags #NattySB, #Sweepstakes and their Cash App username.Food & Beverage
Olay announced on Jan. 15 that it will make its first Super Bowl appearance this year with an "unexpected and humorous" commercial set to run in the first half of the game, the beauty brand told Marketing Dive. Created with agency Saatchi & Saatchi, the Procter & Gamble brand's spot aims to counter the male-centric narrative of ads surrounding the big game by speaking directly to female viewers.
The beauty brand is also promoting its Skin Advisor platform, which recommends personalized product regimens, by holding a 28-day contest that encourages people to try the platform. One contest winner will receive two tickets to the game on Feb. 3, flights, a 3-night hotel stay and a $150 Uber gift card.Packaged Goods
Instead of running a traditional 30-second spot during the big game, Skittles will stage its Super Bowl commercial as a Broadway musical. The 17-person show, developed with agency DDB Worldwide, will be performed for a live audience in New York City on Feb. 3 and will feature a yet-to-be named celebrity, live band and original songs. Tickets are sold through Ticketmaster, and the sales will benefit the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS nonprofit. Fans can buy tickets on the microsite SkittlesTheMusical.com and tune in to the candy brand's social media pages for details.
This is the second straight year Skittles is exploring how to drum up excitement around the Super Bowl without shelling out for a pricey TV spot during the game. Last year, the brand aired its ad to just one teenage fan, and the public could then livestream his reaction on Skittles' Facebook page. Even after the game, the brand did not publicly release the exclusive clip, helping Skittles to win spots on several "best of" lists for the 2018 Super Bowl.
Skittles is now building on the momentum of last year's successful effort by sparking excitement and brand awareness through a Broadway-inspired stunt and campaign teases that boast an air of exclusivity.Food & Beverage
Turkish Airlines lands third Super Bowl ad
Turkish Airlines will run a commercial during the Super Bowl for the third consecutive year. The 30-second spot will reportedly air during the game's first quarter, according to Ad Age, though no other details were released. The airline was not immediately available for comment when Marketing Dive reached out.
Previous Super Bowl efforts by Turkish Airlines starred Dr. Oz and Morgan Freeman, respectively, and followed a 2016 pre-game ad that teamed the travel company with DC's "Batman Vs. Superman" film and featured Ben Affleck.Travel
Kraft Heinz's Devour makes debut Super Bowl appearance – for real this time
For the first time, Kraft Heinz's frozen food line Devour will make an appearance during the Super Bowl. The brand, which launched in 2016 as part of Kraft Heinz's Springboard accelerator program, is airing a "bold" and "edgy" 30-second spot during the game's third quarter. Agency David Miami is handling the creative, though no other details were released.
While not present during last year's Super Bowl, Devour used a creative workaround to snag some attention around the big game through a contest to find a star for its "half-time commercial during the biggest football event of the year." Technically correct, a TV ad ran during the game's timeframe – but on a different cable network.
A Springboard executive told Adweek that the company has big plans for Devour this year, signaling that its appearance during advertising's biggest night will lay the groundwork for the brand's marketing for the rest of 2019.Food & Beverage
Anheuser-Busch has purchased five and a half minutes of airtime for the upcoming Super Bowl LIII, likely making it the biggest advertiser during the event, USA Today reported. The Anheuser-Busch brands with ads are Budweiser, Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold, Stella Artois and Bon + Viv Spiked Seltzer.
The ad buy includes four 45-second ads, three 30-second ads and one 60-second ad, but Anheuser-Busch declined to say how much it was spending on the buy. While details about the creative weren't released, the ads will focus on the products' quality, premiumization and innovation as the brewer attempts to highlight its expansive beverage portfolio and target different kinds of drinkers.
Anheuser-Busch has been a longtime Super Bowl advertiser, and this year's ad buy may be its biggest yet. Last year, Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light Super Bowl spot was one of the most-talked-about of the event. The brand unveiled the final installment in its viral Dilly Dilly Trilogy and released a Snapchat game and two animated filters. The campaign also included geotargeted filters with specific ones for the winning and losing cities.
UPDATE: On Jan. 16, AdAge reported that AB InBev has added 15 seconds to its ad buy. In addition to traditional ads, the brewer will also run eight five-second plugs during the game, including billboards and aeriels that are overlaid during the game when there's a break in play.Food & Beverage
Persil ProClean brings back the Professional
Detergent brand Persil ProClean will return to the Super Bowl for the fourth consecutive year, according to Adweek. While the brand did not share details about creative or spot length, it confirmed that the ad will feature its recurring character, The Professional, played by actor Peter Hermann.
DDB New York will again handle creative for the ad. In 2018, the agency tapped comedy directors Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim ("Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!") for the brand's Super Bowl ad. The campaign also included digital spots, a microsite and influencer content. Persil is marketered by Unilever in the U.K. Ireland, France, Latin America (not including Mexico), China, Australia and New Zealand, and by Henkel everywhere else.Packaged Goods
PepsiCo plans 'triple option' play at Super Bowl
PepsiCo brands Doritos, Pepsi-Cola and one-year-old Bubly will each get a 30-second spot during the game, according to a Jan. 7 report in Adweek. Not much else is known about the ads other than that Goodby, Silverstein & Partners is handling the creative. The brand's commitment appears to be on par with last year, when PepsiCo also bought 90-seconds worth of ad space. This year's investment will cost the beverage giant more than $15 million, with CBS charging at least $5 million per 30 seconds of airtime.
As sponsor of this year's halftime show, PepsiCo will also run a 10-second ad prior to the performance.
UPDATE: Bubly announced on Jan. 17 that its 30-second mid-game spot will star singer Michael Bublé, the brand shared with Marketing Dive. In a teaser for the ad, Bublé is convinced the sparkling water is named after him, and he corrects the "misspelled" cans with a marker. Comedian Aparna Nancherla also appears in the ad, which is the first Super Bowl spot for the PepsiCo beverage brand that's introducing four new flavors to its line.
Doritos also unveiled details of its 30-second Super Bowl ad, which will feature a collaboration between musician Chance the Rapper and the Backstreet Boys. The chip brand released a teaser video on social media to promote its new Flamin' Hot Nacho flavor, and plans to announce more about the collaboration as game day approaches.Food & Beverage
Audi electrifies Super Bowl with mid-game spot
Audi returns to the Super Bowl for its 10th year — save 2018 — with a 60-second commercial set to run in the game's second quarter, the company announced. The German carmaker's spot, produced by agency Venables Bell & Partners, will feature an "electrification theme" to highlight the brand's electric vehicle (EV) ambitions and raise awareness about Audi's goal of EVs representing one-third of its cars by 2025. No other creative details were released.
The pricey media buy arrives around Audi's debut of several electric models, and two years following its controversial "Daughter" Super Bowl 2017 ad that promoted equal pay for men and women. Audi faced criticism of its mostly male executive team after the ad ran, potentially pointing to why the carmaker skipped the following year's big game.Automotive
Intuit TurboTax returns to Super Bowl as part of expanded NFL sponsorship
Intuit TurboTax will return to the NFL Super Bowl for its sixth consecutive year, according to a press release. The ad, which is being created with Wieden+Kennedy, is part of a multiyear sponsorship that will also see Intuit TurboTax Live become the first presenting sponsor of both the AFC and NFC semi-final playoff games that take place before the Super Bowl. TurboTax Live branding will be featured during the 2019 AFC and NFC games in January as well as in additional content across the NFL's broadcast and digital platforms. No further details about the Super Bowl ad were available.Financial
Bumble, the dating app that encourages women to make the first move, announced on Jan. 3 that it will debut its campaign, "The Ball is in Her Court," during the Super Bowl, according to Reuters. The campaign, featuring tennis champion Serena Williams, will run across multiple platforms.
The campaign messaging will center on empowerment and encourages women to make the first move in all aspects of life, themes absent from traditional Super Bowl marketing, which has historically featured women in stereotypical or sexualized roles. During last year's event, in the midst of the #MeToo movement, most brands shied away from mentioning the issue or gender altogether. Bumble is seeking to change that trend and spark new conversations around gender to more strongly resonate with millennial and Gen Z users of the dating app.
Williams is a popular athlete with a massive social media following. Tying the campaign to such a high-profile event and teaming up with Williams should garner plenty of attention for Bumble, which aims to make a compelling statement about women's empowerment and reach a wide audience.
UPDATE: On Jan. 15, Bumble confirmed to Marketing Dive via email that it will air a commercial during the game's first half, marking the company's debut Super Bowl appearance. A spokesperson declined to offer further details on the ad's length or creative.Digital First
M&M's returns with 30-second spot and other 'big news'
Mars-owned M&M's will air a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl's first commercial break, the brand announced. The campaign, produced by BBDO New York, will feature the brand's iconic "spokescandies," along with some other "big news" from M&M's, per the release.
This is the second consecutive year M&M's has advertised during the annual football championship, following a three-year hiatus. Last year's commercial starred actor Danny DeVito as the human form of the red "spokescandy." The ad was one of the most popular from the 2018 event and ranked No. 6 on USA Today's Ad Meter. M&M's released a video teaser of the campaign several weeks ahead of the game, showing DeVito wearing a red M&M's shirt while floating in a pool of melted chocolate, and extended the effort after the game with six- and 15-second pre-roll ads to continue the story arc.
Mars released another talked-about ad last year for its Skittles brand. The 60-second spot, which starred actor David Schwimmer, didn't actually air during the Super Bowl. Instead, the brand screened the ad for one teenaged fan and livestreamed his reaction on Facebook to drum up excitement without dropping the $10 million required to advertise during the big game.Food & Beverage
Colgate taps Luke Wilson for Total toothpaste
Colgate hired actor Luke Wilson to appear in a 30-second spot for its Colgate Total toothpaste for this year's big game, according to information shared by the brand with Marketing Dive. The commercial is part of the brand's biggest launch in 20 years.
The 30-second ad spot will air in the second commercial break of the game's third quarter. Colgate's agency RedFuse is developing the commercial, which will be directed by Bryan Buckley, who has made dozens of Super Bowl ads since 1999.
Colgate last appeared in the Super Bowl three years ago with an ad that never mentioned a product, but urged people not to waste water while brushing their teeth. The "Every Drop Counts" campaign later included celebrity endorsements by Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.Packaged Goods
Kellogg chip brand Pringles is returning to the Super Bowl with a continuation of its "flavor stacking" campaign, which it introduced last year, Adweek reported on Dec. 10. The company is working with Grey Group on the campaign.
Pringles introduced "flavor stacking," referring to mixing and matching different flavors of Pringles chips to create unique combinations, for its first in-game Super Bowl commercial last year. The ad starred comedian Bill Hader and "Documentary Now!" director Rhys Thomas, who also directed the spot. Pringles released the full ad before the game, along with digital and social media elements, and urged fans to share their unique flavor stacks on social media using hashtag #PringlesStack.
While Pringles hasn't said whether the 2019 spot will include a celebrity, the brand's return as an advertiser suggests that it's positioning itself as a strong rival against other snack brands, such as longtime Super Bowl advertiser Doritos. The Super Bowl is a critical opportunity for snack brands to get in front of consumers, as many people host parties and sales soar.
UPDATE: Pringles' "flavor stacking" reboot will feature a digital assistant that's heartbroken it can't ever taste the chips. On Jan. 17, the Kellogg brand released a six-second teaser clip, which will cut from a full 30-second spot that will air during the game's second quarter. Leading up to Feb. 3, the campaign will run across social media, YouTube and Pringles' website. Loyal fans from the final two teams' cities can also tweet for a chance to win a free Pringles delivery via Fooji for their game-viewing parties.Food & Beverage
Will Hyundai outdo itself with another creative feat?
Hyundai plans to run its fourth straight Super Bowl campaign, and the 11th one in the past 12 years. The brand has distinguished itself with ambitious creative feats in the past three games and has ranked in the top 10 of Super Bowl commercials the last seven times it advertised during the football championship, according to Ace Metrix.
Hyundai plans to air a 60-second spot during the game's first quarter, in addition to a 30-second pre-game commercial and experiential activation in Atlanta, per a company announcement.
The carmaker's 2018 ad around the big game highlighted its Hyundai Hope on Wheels organization that gives money for pediatric cancer treatment and research. The spot was ranked No. 2 among automotive brands in the USA Today Ad Meter following the game. For the 2017 Super Bowl, Hyundai and its agency Innocean filmed a spot showing U.S. soldiers reuniting with their families. The final edited version of the ad aired near the end of the game.
UPDATE: On Jan. 14, Hyundai announced that its 60-second spot during the game's first quarter will star actor Jason Bateman and promote the auto brand's digital car-buying platform. The Shopper Assurance tool rolled out to dealers last year, and now Hyundai is kicking off its first national ad campaign for the program.Automotive
Toyota returns to Super Bowl, this time for RAV4 SUV
Toyota will return to the Super Bowl with an ad for its RAV4 compact SUV, which saw sales jump about 19% to a record 38,660 units in December from the prior year. In 2018, the carmaker ran three ads during the big game highlighting its sponsorship of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics that opened just days after the Super Bowl.
Ed Laukes, Toyota's head of marketing, told Automotive News at the L.A. Auto Show that the company will promote the RAV4 to "the biggest set of eyeballs on the planet." Toyota took a break from running ads during the 2017 game after being a sponsor every year from 2012 to 2016.
Multicultural agency Burell Communications is handling the creative for this year's ad, while Saatchi & Saatchi, which worked on some of Toyota's previous campaigns, will oversee media and communications strategies.
"Toyota's multi-agency approach is part of the brand's broader strategy to embrace diversity nuances throughout the strategy, creative and communications of all its campaigns," according to a statement cited by Advertising Age.Automotive
Kia readies 10th straight appearance for the big game
Kia will return to the Super Bowl for the 10th straight year with another ad from agency David & Goliath. The agency created last year's ad featuring Aerosmith's Steven Tyler taking a trip back in time while premiering the first Stinger GT muscle car. The campaign included a 15-second online teaser, a 30-second launch spot that aired during the pre-game coverage and a 60-second video during the game.
In an interactive twist, the YouTube version of last year’s full ad let viewers hear a hidden message by watching it in reverse, similar to the "backmasking" recording technique used by some rock bands during the 1960s and 70s. The "Feel Something Again" video racked up more than 136,000 views in the past year, while Kia sold 16,806 units of the Stinger sports sedan.
Michael Cole, chief operating officer of Kia Motors America, declined to reveal in an interview with Marketing Daily which vehicle will be featured in this year's ad, though the carmaker last month revealed a new electric-powered crossover model.Automotive
Pepsi and Pizza Hut team up on Super Bowl giveaway
Pizza Hut and Pepsi are teaming up on a Super Bowl sweepstakes this year, giving fans the chance to win a trip to the big game and get on the field for the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show, the brands announced in a Nov. 19 press release. Fans entered the contest by purchasing limited-edition Pepsi four-pack carriers at Pizza Hut locations and entering a code from the pack online, or by sharing their "homegate" photos on Twitter with the hashtag #HutxPepsiSweepstakes.
Pepsi has been the official sponsor of the halftime show since 2013, and the NFL's official soft drink sponsor since 2002. Pepsi debuted its "Generations" campaign during last year's Super Bowl, with a buzzed-about 30-second spot rebooting its iconic 1992 commercial starring Cindy Crawford. The beverage brand also unveiled vintage packaging and partnered with Google on a virtual reality experience where viewers can place themselves inside two of its Super Bowl ads.
Meanwhile, Yum Brands' Pizza Hut recently took over as the NFL's official pizza sponsor from embattled Papa John's. This season, the restaurant chain launched Game Plan, a digital platform offering exclusive game day deals, kickoff reminders, weekly prizes and advertising and social content featuring NFL players like Todd Gurley, who also appears in social content for the Pepsi-Pizza Hut Super Bowl campaign.Food & Beverage
Mercedes has home-field advantage in Atlanta
Super Bowl LIII is set to be significant for carmaker Mercedes-Benz, whose name adorns the Atlanta Falcons' stadium that will host the big game.
The brand confirmed that it will run an ad this year for its fifth nonconsecutive appearance. Mercedes two years ago ran a spot directed by Oscar-winning directors Joel and Ethan Coen. The 30-second spot for the Mercedes-AMG GT sports car featured actor Peter Fonda giving a modern take on his 1969 biker film "Easy Rider." A 60-second version of the ad still appears on YouTube.
Last year, Mercedes attempted to counter-program against the Super Bowl with a mobile ambush campaign that misfired. Its "Last Fan Standing" contest asked at-home viewers to hold a finger on a smartphone image of a car that zigzagged a football field. The person who held on the longest would win the car; however, the game ran into technical difficulties, forcing Mercedes to issue an apology and convert the contest into a sweepstakes among the game registrants. This year, perhaps the brand will stick to a traditional TV commercial and in-stadium promotions.
UPDATE: Musician and Atlanta-native Ludacris will star in Mercedes-Benz's Super Bowl commercial this year, according to iSpotTV. The 60-second ad will promote the car maker's new A-Class sedan. No other details were released. As part of the announcement, Ludacris visited Atlanta-based school Ron Clark Academy — arriving in a Mercedes — to deliver tickets to the big game to two students.Automotive
Avocados from Mexico touts idea that the fruits are ‘always worth it'
Avocados from Mexico (AFM) announced in a Nov. 8 press release that it will air a lighthearted 30-second spot during the Super Bowl around the idea that the brand's avocados are "Always Worth It." Along with an in-game spot, the campaign will run across digital platforms, shopper marketing and food service channels.
The 2019 campaign marks AFM's fifth straight year as an advertiser during the big game. The "Always Worth It" creative was inspired by an internal study that found that consumers are willing to pay about $2 more to add avocados to their meals, seeing the item as healthy and versatile. Past Super Bowl ad campaigns have focused on AFM's versatility, seasonality and health benefits.
For last year's Super Bowl push, AFM partnered with General Mills' Old El Paso for the fourth consecutive year to launch the Guac Nation blogger program, featuring avocado-based recipes, in-store displays, coupons and content. The campaign debuted in early January to boost sales ahead of the February game, with food influencers helping to position the brands as must-buy products for game day. The campaign also activated through ChannelSight, allowing consumers to access recipes and add the products to a virtual shopping cart for more seamless purchasing.Food & Beverage
Yellow Tail hops on UGC trend with Super Bowl ad contest
In November, wine brand Yellow Tail asked fans to share on social media a six-second video of what makes them happy. The Australian wine company planned to use two pieces of user-submitted content to craft its Super Bowl spot, according to press materials shared with Marketing Dive. Yellow Tail is spending $6 million on the Super Bowl portion of the campaign, which it estimates will reach 100 million people.
The campaign marks Yellow Tail's third straight year advertising during the Super Bowl. Along with being featured in the ad, one of the two winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to their "happy place" anywhere in the world. The effort was part of the brand's "Tastes Like Happy" campaign running across iHeart Radio, YouTube, BuzzFeed and other media properties.
The focus on six-second videos hints that the wine brand might be looking to experiment with the extra-short ad format that's become increasingly popular, though some in the industry have grown skeptical about its ability to forge an emotional connection with viewers. Tapping into UGC has also become a more common trend in Super Bowl marketing: For its first Super Bowl ad, Kraft last year spliced together photos and posts shared by fans on social media in near-real time.Food & Beverage