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
Bud Light and 'Game of Thrones' win the night
For its 60-second spot, Bud Light teamed with HBO's "Game of Thrones" for a co-branded ad that was one of the best-received of the night. The ad appeared to be another in the brand's popular "Dilly Dilly" campaign — at least until the Bud Knight was defeated by "Thrones" character The Mountain, who also crushed his head offscreen.
What sealed the deal was the "Thrones" theme music and appearance of a dragon, which spit fire onto the whole scene as a tagline about the show's final season appeared. The ad was directed by "Thrones" veteran David Nutter, according to USA Today.Food & Beverage
NFL celebrates 100th season with 2-minute ad featuring dozens of football greats
More than 40 current and past players, announcers and officials break into a brawl over a golden football in a two-minute ad from the National Football league that showcases iconic game moments over the years and debuted before the big game’s halftime show. In an attempt to be inclusive, "The 100-Year Game" spot also includes female youth player Sam Gordon, the league’s first female official Sarah Thomas and others pointing to football’s wide appeal.
The ad's debut on Sunday marked the kick off a year-long campaign from the NFL celebrating football. Other elements are a behind-the-scenes outtakes video, a NFL100 site and social media content using hashtag #NFL100. Original content will also be released throughout the year across multiple platforms. The NFL partnered with 72andSunny Los Angeles and director Peter Berg, known for his work on "Friday Night Lights," on the ad, which won USA Today's Ad Meter ranking of Super Bowl ads by consumer rating.Miscellaneous
Norwegian Cruise Line serves up free trips in Super Bowl sweepstakes
Norwegian Cruise Line announced on Feb. 1 that it's hosting a sweepstakes during the big game, offering up a total of eight weeklong vacations — two winners per quarter. Between kickoff and the final whistle, fans could enter the contest by answering a trivia question and including hashtag #CruiseNorwegian in a post to the company's Twitter or Facebook page. For every pick-six play during the game, NCL said it would dish out another six weeklong vacations as well as donate a cruise to the Boys and Girls Club.
The company aired a 30-second commercial during Sunday's game, showcasing the entertainment and activities on its fleet of cruise ships and featuring musical artist Andy Grammer's "Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah)."Travel
Mint Mobile's 'Chunky Style Milk' ad: just not right
Mint Mobile made its Super Bowl debut with its much-maligned "Chunky Style Milk" ad. In the spot, a man says "that's not right" about Mint's $20-per-month plan, to which the brand's cartoon fox mascot says, "It's right all right. Now chunky style milk, that's not right." From there, the ad parodies a fake product called Chunky Style Milk, in all its disgusting glory. The telecom handled creative in-house and worked with production company Ruffian on the shoot, according to Ad Age.Digital First
Wix.com builds Super Bowl ad with Karlie Kloss
Website building platform Wix.com returned to the Super Bowl for its fifth year in a row with a 30-second ad that aired during the third quarter and featured supermodel Karlie Kloss. In the ad, Kloss updates her website, highlighting features like Wix Pro Gallery, for displaying images, and SEO Wiz.
In 2018, Wix.com was a last-minute addition to the Super Bowl roster with an ad featuring influencers Rhett and Link after previously saying it wouldn’t appear. The year prior, the company ran an ad featuring Gal Gadot and Jason Stratham.Digital First
ADT builds Property Brothers into Super Bowl debut
Home security company ADT appeared in the Super Bowl for the first time on Sunday. The 30-second ad, created with agency Bear in the Hall, ran just before the third quarter and featured the two stars of HGTV's "Property Brothers." Jonathan and Drew Scott highlighted ADT's tech-powered security offerings in the upbeat "Real Protection" ad, marking an intentional shift in tone from the company's past fear-based marketing, CMO Jochen Koedijk told Adweek. The company also hints at a continued partnership between ADT and the Scott brothers, according to its LinkedIn page.Miscellaneous
Netflix eschews any surprises for 'Our Planet' ad
Last year, Netflix leveraged the Super Bowl to drop two ads for "The Cloverfield Paradox," a surprise movie release that was available to stream that same evening. For Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, the streamer took a more straightforward approach with a single 30-second spot for the upcoming series "Our Planet." If the epic nature documentary footage looked familiar to viewers, there's a reason: the eight-part show, set for an April 5 debut on the platform, is made by the same creator as "Planet Earth." The ad was the first for a nature documentary series to air nationally around the Super Bowl, according to Deadline.Entertainment
WaPo salutes the importance of journalism with last-minute fourth quarter spot
Jeff Bezos-owned The Washington Post announced a last-minute Super Bowl spot on the Friday before the big game. The 60-second "Democracy Dies in Darkness," the newspaper's first-ever big game spot, aired during the fourth quarter. It spotlights the crucial work of journalists, including by honoring the kidnapped freelancer Austin Tice, previously imprisoned reporter Jason Rezaian and columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered last year. The commercial is narrated by Tom Hanks.Miscellaneous
California grocery chain cleverly hijacks Super Bowl spots
Northgate Market is attempting to hijack Sunday's Super Bowl buzz with a series of pre-roll ads, according to Adweek.
The California supermarket chain worked with digital agency Circus on a series of teasers that correspond to the following Super Bowl commercial — without making direct reference to the specific product by stripping official branding. For example, the message "you can get the next product at Northgate Market … okurrr," overlaid on a blinged-out soda can alludes to Pepsi's Cardi B-starring spot.
Along with the pre-roll ads, Northgate is running a search campaign that will also seek to take over Super Bowl-related keywords.Food & Beverage
WeatherTech trots into pet space in 6th game appearance
Auto accessory brand WeatherTech released its 45-second commercial on Jan. 31 ahead of Super Bowl Sunday. The spot, created by Pinnacle Advertising and set to run in the game's first half, features a golden retriever named Scout donning a WeatherTech employee badge and trotting through a warehouse before showing off the company's new pet bowl brand PetComfort.
In its sixth appearance in the Super Bowl, WeatherTech aims to blend its focus on "made in America" products with its new pet brand. The creative this time around is slightly different from year's past, which focused more on the brand's auto accessories.
"This is a brand spot, and it's important for the launch of PetComfort on this type of scale to have the same level of trust in the product integrated with it as WeatherTech does with its accessories," Pinnacle CEO Mike Magnusson told Adweek. "We want to make sure the consumers know that there's a very safe product out there to feed their pets."Miscellaneous
Sprint drafts Bo Jackson for fantastical Super Bowl ad
Sprint will return to the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year, the mobile provider shared with Marketing Dive on Jan. 31. The 30-second ad features legendary two-sport athlete Bo Jackson, a crew of robots and a mermaid, among other things. Four teaser spots are running online with the hashtag #BothForAll.
The ad will air during the second quarter and was created with Droga5, marking the third time the companies have collaborated on a Super Bowl spot. Previously, Jackson appeared in ads for Kia and Bud Light.Digital First
Microsoft's adaptive controller empowers gamers with disabilities in big game return
Microsoft is returning to the Super Bowl after a four-year absence with an inspirational ad, "We All Win," about young gamers with disabilities. With help from friends, family and the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which includes large buttons and multiple jacks for accessories to make Xbox and PC gaming more accessible, the gamers are able to excel.
While the ad's release follows closely on the heels of Microsoft reporting a respectable 8% gain in its fiscal Q2 gaming sales, the emotional ad is designed more to pull at viewers' heartstrings than to drive product sales.
An extended two-minute version of the ad was released on Jan. 31 on YouTube and the company's site. A 60-second cut will air during the Super Bowl, per The Verge.Entertainment
Google and YouTube will air ads before, during the game
Google will run two ads during the Super Bowl, a spokesperson confirmed to Adweek. In addition, the company's YouTube video platform will sponsor the pre-game coverage and run two spots throughout the broadcast. No details about the ads were available. Both brands sat out the big game last year.Digital First
Cars.com is preparing to take over social media chatter during the Super Bowl, complete with a "war room" of employees to help Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users find their perfect car, the company told Marketing Dive.
"The Big Match" campaign, which kicks off when the Super Bowl begins, will share clever responses and real-time creative whenever a Super Bowl commercial features a vehicle — even those from advertisers that aren't carmakers. Twitter, Cars.com and its agency of record R/GA will manage the war room with 40 employees to create the posts and interact with users. The company also will rank which commercials drive the most traffic to the Cars.com website and will release the results on Monday.
Historically, the auto industry is heavily represented on Super Bowl Sunday. This year, Cars.com is not alone in deploying workaround campaigns in lieu of running a pricey commercial to drive brand awareness, likely a strategic move, as 30-second commercials during the game run advertisers north of $5 million. Volvo announced a mobile-based "anti-commercial" contest for game day.Automotive
Girls Inc. and NY Giants tackle youth empowerment in PSA
Girls Inc. partnered with CBS on a public service announcement that's set to air during the network's Super Bowl coverage on Feb. 3, as well as after the final whistle on CBS Sports Network. The 20-second commercial shows a team of young girls playing football against the New York Giants, with narration about girls' empowerment by CBS This Morning's host Gayle King. According to the nonprofit, "the PSA encourages girls to believe they can succeed at the highest levels, especially when they work together."
While fitting to air an uplifting football-themed ad on the big game's host network, CBS's work in co-creating the spot doubles as a way for the broadcast company to demonstrate its support of organizations working to address societal issues.
Ads for the Super Bowl — and sports in general — have historically targeted men; however, this year's big game is shaping up to include a greater number of female-focused spots. Bumble, Olay and Toyota are among the major brands opting to feature women in leading roles focused on empowerment.Miscellaneous
Hulu returns to Super Bowl for fifth time
Hulu will return to the Super Bowl for its third straight year with a 30-second spot, Adweek first reported. In the past two years, Hulu advertised its "Castle Rock" and "The Handmaid's Tale" series, respectively. The streaming platform's 2009 and 2012 Super Bowl ads starred Alec Baldwin and promoted the Hulu brand.
UPDATE: Hulu teased its Super Bowl spot on Feb. 1 with a brief clip of the hit show "The Handmaid's Tale," telling viewers "to see more, watch the big game." The streaming platform says the series' season three will arrive soon.Entertainment
Pizza Hut is giving away free pizza for a year and tickets to next year's Super Bowl to the parents of the first baby born after kickoff on Feb. 3, the company announced. Parents can enter by posting a photo on Twitter of their new baby including the exact time of birth, tagging @PizzaHut and using hashtags #PizzaHutSpecialDelivery and #Promotion. The Yum! Brands chain will also deliver free pies to hospitals in the Super Bowl teams' cities of Boston and Los Angeles on game day to "ease the FOMO" of soon-to-be parents, as they'll likely miss viewing the big game. The brand will also host special fan experiences in Atlanta.
The Super Bowl-centric campaign is part of the pizza chain's promise to "overdeliver" during its first year as the official pizza sponsor of the NFL as it goes all out to connect with sports fans with memorable experiences on one of the biggest pizza-ordering days of the year.
Along with the pizza and ticket giveaway for new parents, Pizza Hut unveiled a series of TV spots, two of which will debut on Super Bowl Sunday, and kicked off a partnership with Pepsi for a sweepstakes.Food & Beverage
Amazon Prime Video teases new series 'Hanna'
The original series debuts in March, but Prime members can watch a preview for 24 hours starting Feb. 3. The ad follows last year's Super Bowl trailer for the platform's "Jack Ryan" series and features Karen O's cover of Smashing Pumpkins' "Bullet With Butterfly Wings."Entertainment
Applebee's targets 'Runaround Sues' with Super Bowl spot
Restaurant chain Applebee's will unveil a new ad campaign during the Super Bowl pre-show, according to materials shared with Marketing Dive. The 30-second spot features a busy mom who wakes up early, walks the dog, attends spin class, works at a hospital and orders Applebee's To Go through the brand's mobile app. Grey served as the lead creative agency on the ad, which is soundtracked by Dion's 1961 hit "Runaround Sue." A full 60-second spot will begin running on Feb. 4.Food & Beverage
Dodge, Jeep and Ram release teaser trio
Dodge, Jeep and Ram car brands each teased a video ad on their respective digital and social channels in advance of the big game. While Olivier Francois, CMO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), didn't specifically state that "the big game" refers to the Super Bowl, he said in a press release that the trio of video teasers give people "a taste of what's to come."
"As for what's next, everyone will just have to wait and see," Francois said in the announcement.
However, some dialogue in the 90-second Ram spot, which was created with The Richards Group, hints at additional clues. In "Can't Remember," two men loading up a horse trailer discuss memorable commercials from years past, with one mentioning how brands' debuting ads online before the game "kind of ruins it" for him. Later, one criticizes the amount of money required to broadcast an ad — "They go crazy and spend all this money on a commercial for the game … can't even remember who it's for … they need to just show you what they're selling" — as they climb into a Ram truck.
UPDATE: FCA revealed its Super Bowl strategy on Feb. 1. This year, the automaker will release seven ads for its Dodge, Jeep and Ram brands on social and digital channels, forgoing broadcast TV.
"We decided to explore innovative ways to ride the wave of highly engaged viewers, during the one time of the year when the commercials are fun and everybody is talking about them," CMO Olivier Francois said in a statement. The videos can be viewed on FCA's website.Automotive
Skechers pairs with Tony Romo for 7th Super Bowl appearance
Skechers debuted its 30-second Super Bowl ad, entitled "Easy" and starring former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current NFL commentator Tony Romo. The humorous ad promotes the sneaker brand's slip-on footwear.
"Being part of an advertising campaign during the Big Game is always major news — but when your star is also commenting from the broadcast booth, well, that's an added bonus," Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers, said in the announcement. This is the brand's seventh Super Bowl ad after its first run in 2010.Miscellaneous
UPDATE: Stella Artois announced on Jan. 28 that it's bringing back The Dude from iconic '90s film "The Big Lebowski," played by Jeff Bridges, and Carrie Bradshaw of "Sex and the City," played by Sarah Jessica Parker, for its Super Bowl commercial.
In the "Change Up The Usual" ad, the recognizable characters cause confusion at a bar when they choose a Stella Artois instead of their usual White Russian and Cosmo drink orders in an effort to "help end the global water crisis” and drum up awareness around Stella's conservation efforts.
Stella announced on Jan. 23 that it had teamed with Water.org as part of the "Pour it Forward" campaign, where each purchase of the brand's beers triggers a donation to the nonprofit that works to provide access to clean water around the world.Food & Beverage
Uber drives rewards program with free rides for losing fans
While no TV commercial has been announced, Uber unveiled a Super Bowl tie-in to help fans get home safely after the big game. Members of Uber Rewards, the loyalty program that launched earlier in January, in the game's losing city can get a free ride up to $50 within the hour after the final whistle on Feb. 3, the company announced. On Sunday, fans in Boston or Los Angeles can open the Uber app on their smartphone and tap the "unhappy hour" message at the bottom of the screen to unlock a special promo code to use if their team loses later that day.
The campaign to promote the new loyalty app kicked off on Jan. 29 and will run on Twitter and Instagram through Sunday night. Uber is partnering with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson — who won the big game in 2014 and fumbled a loss the following year. Wilson tweeted a 15-second clip and the message: "#UberRewards is there when you need it most. Like when an entire city wants to go home and cry after the game on Sunday."Digital First
Michelob Ultra Pure Gold on Jan. 28 announced its first-ever Super Bowl spot, titled "The Pure Experience." In the 45-second commercial, which was created with agency FCB Chicago and is available on the brand's YouTube channel, actress Zoe Kravitz whispers the message using autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) to induce tingling sensations and encourage consumers to reconnect with nature while enjoying "beer in its organic form."
The AB InBev brand is hoping to stand out during the Super Bowl ad frenzy by tapping into the ASMR trend. The spot is part of the beverage conglomerate's more than five minutes of ad time for the big game. The brand will also be available at Snackology 101, an organic concession station at the Super Bowl stadium in Atlanta.Food & Beverage
T-Mobile announces return to Super Bowl with a Twitter puzzle
T-Mobile CEO John Legere confirmed that the telecom giant will air an ad during this year's game, the company told Marketing Dive. On Jan. 28, Legere posted a tweet asking followers to scroll back through his previous eight tweets and string together the first word of each post. Fans who tweeted a photo of the hidden message, which spells out "T-Mobile is back in the Super Bowl again," with the hashtag #TMobileWins were entered for a chance to win prizes. Later that day, he tweeted a two-second GIF of digital football stickers stamping across a magenta screen.
This is T-Mobile's sixth straight appearance at the Super Bowl. In 2018, actress Kerry Washington narrated a 60-second baby-filled commercial advocating for equality and equal pay.
UPDATE: T-Mobile will air four ads during the game, one in each quarter, CEO John Legere announced in a Twitter word scramble on Feb. 1. Details of the spots were not released, though the telecom giant confirmed that it will announce additional company news during the game.Digital First
Turkish Airlines taps Ridley Scott for 'The Journey'
Turkish Airlines partnered with agency Anomaly and legendary director Ridley Scott for a six-minute short film that will debut as a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. "The Journey" celebrates the airline's 85th anniversary, the city of Istanbul and its new airport.
"The Journey" takes the form of a "cat-and-mouse chase" across the city and stars actress Sylvia Hoeks, of "Blade Runner 2049" and "The Girl in the Spider's Web." The full short film will be released on all Turkish Airlines social media platforms, while 30- and 60-second trailer clips will run on TV and in theaters in the airlines' "strategic markets."
The ad is billed as Scott's return to advertising. He has also directed a previously announced brand film for Hennessy that's set to debut later in 2019.Travel
Pepsi cracks open 'more than OK' messaging in full star-studded spot
Pepsi is using its previously announced Super Bowl commercial to respond to a common question restaurant diners hear — "Is Pepsi OK?" — when ordering Coca-Cola. In the 30-second spot, actor Steve Carell tries to convince viewers that Pepsi is more than OK with the help of rappers Cardi B and Lil Jon, the soda giant announced. The spot, developed with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners will air during the game's first quarter, and a 60-second version is available online.
To drum up additional hype around the Super Bowl, Pepsi has blanketed the game's host city of Atlanta with more than 350 out-of-home ads and plans to distribute football-shaped cans to fans on social media in the week leading up to the game. On Feb. 1, the beverage giant will cut the ribbon on an immersive "Planet Pepsi" party, featuring a performance by rapper Travis Scott, multisensory experiences and game projection mapping. Fans can livestream the show through iHeartMedia and view Pepsi's awarding of the fan-selected NFL Rookie of the Year.
This year marks Pepsi's 17th year as the official soft drink of the NFL and the brand's seventh year as the main sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show. Pepsi will also host a 10-second lead-in before the game's kickoff.Food & Beverage
Amazon teases Alexa ad featuring 'famous friends'
Amazon on Jan. 25 teased a mysterious "Amazon Beta Testing Program" with a series of celebrity-starring clips that preview its national Super Bowl ad, a spokesperson confirmed to Adweek. The e-commerce giant says its "famous friends" — Harrison Ford, Forest Whitaker, astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly, and "Broad City" stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer — featured in the spot are testing new Alexa technologies. However, a graphic says "Not Everything Makes The Cut," adding another layer of mystery to the effort.
This will be Amazon's second consecutive Super Bowl ad for Alexa. The company's 2018 spot featured celebrities Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson and Sir Anthony Hopkins filling in for the voiceless digital assistant.
UPDATE: Amazon on Jan. 30 shared with Marketing Dive its full 90-second commercial, which highlights why not all devices make the cut to be voice-powered, as the e-commerce giant integrates its Alexa assistant into more technology. The ad, developed by Amazon's internal creative team, shows several failed Alexa-enabled devices, including a hot tub, toothbrush and dog collar that orders food in response to barking.Digital First
Tostitos plans to set the "unofficial world record" for the longest livestream of a chip bowl, with 53 hours to celebrate the Super Bowl's 53rd year, the company announced on Jan. 25.
The PepsiCo Frito-Lay brand will kick off the coverage on Feb. 1 at 1:29 p.m. ET on Tostitos.com, and will end one minute before the game begins on Feb. 3. The #TostitosLiveBowl will feature current and former NFL players showing off their "chipping and dipping" skills. Fans can request different flavors of chips to be featured, and the bowl will be refilled regularly. Prizes will be awarded to the 53rd and 53 millionth commenters.
The livestream is part of the brand's "For Every Kind of Fan" campaign around the NFL season and Super Bowl. Tostitos is also releasing a series of digital spots featuring former player Shannon Sharpe. Tostitos is the latest brand to forgo a pricey Super Bowl ad spot for a campaign that has the potential to go viral during the weekend surrounding the big game.Food & Beverage
McCormick hot sauce brand Frank's RedHot will join the growing number of marketers opting to hijack Super Bowl ads rather than running one. Instead of a pricey TV commercial, Frank's is asking viewers to watch other brands' Super Bowl spots and to tweet the chili pepper emoji, an emoji related to the ad's category and the hashtag #FranksSweepstakes during the commercial break in which the ad airs.
The concept of the sweepstakes is line with the brand's "Put Frank's On Everything" tagline. The tweets will be entered into a drawing for a variety of prizes that correspond with the respective ads: a Kia Soul for an auto commercial, a trip to Mexico for an Avocados from Mexico ad and a sponsor-selected Kegerator during an adult beverage ad, among others.
The broader marketing campaign was crafted by Grey New York, will include 30-, 15- and six-second TV and online ads, and features a partnership with YouTube chef Andrew Rea, according to Adweek.Food & Beverage
Michelob Ultra plays with robots in 4th consecutive Super Bowl ad
Michelob Ultra revealed its Super Bowl commercial, entitled "Robots," on Jan. 25. The lighthearted 30-second spot, produced by FCB Chicago, demonstrates how robots can outperform humans at everything except for enjoying beer.
The Anheuser-Busch brand's commercial features Maluma, marking the Latin music superstar's Super Bowl debut. It's the fourth straight year that Michelob Ultra has run an ad during the big game. The 30-second ad is part of AB InBev's more than five minutes of Super Bowl airtime.Food & Beverage
Coca-Cola released a 60-second video that will air just before the national anthem during Super Bowl pre-game coverage. The animated spot, "A Coke is a Coke," aims to bring people together and celebrate their differences, the beverage giant said on its website. The creative, which was developed with agencies Wieden+Kennedy and Psyop, was inspired by Andy Warhol's 1975 quote around the idea that "All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good."
Fans are encouraged to post photos to social media of what makes them different and beautiful. Some of the posts will be incorporated into a mural on Coca-Cola's Instagram during the big game on Feb. 3. The beverage company also plans to respond to fans on Twitter with uplifting messages, and The Coca-Cola Foundation plans to issue a $1 million grant toward free admission to Atlanta's National Center for Civil and Human Rights in February.Food & Beverage
Expense management app Expensify previewed its Super Bowl debut with a comedic music video starring rapper 2 Chainz and actor Adam Scott. Viewers of the nearly four-minute clip can use the Expensify app to scan receipts featured in the video for a chance to win cash or the actual items, such as an ice-sculpted sports car, diamond-encrusted football or a gold bust of 2 Chainz. The company developed the video and broader "You Weren't Born to Do Expenses" campaign with agency JohnXHannes New York.
Expensify's multimedia effort combines several creative efforts — a 30-second game day spot, longer video preview and sweepstakes — that could boost brand engagement and drive app downloads, while standing out from the flurry of traditional Super Bowl TV ads. The campaign appears to target younger audiences that are more likely to recognize 2 Chainz and use mobile apps to manage their finances.Financial
Burger King will advertise during this year's game after a 12-year absence, the brand shared with Marketing Dive. The burger chain teased its return with a 30-second YouTube clip that announced a partnership with food-delivery app DoorDash. Customers can use the code MYSTERYBOX on DoorDash to receive a "mystery box" that they must keep until game day, when the fast-food chain airs its 45-second commercial.
The mysterious campaign could help the company to stand out amid the flurry of marketing efforts around the Super Bowl, while potentially boosting engagement beyond the normal buzz of more traditional TV ads. By partnering with DoorDash, the burger chain could reach a broader group of customers who may not have tried Burger King delivery.Food & Beverage
AB InBev's Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer splashes into Super Bowl
Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer will become the first hard seltzer brand ever advertised during the Super Bowl, according to materials provided to Marketing Dive. The 30-second ad, entitled "The Pitch," features two mermaids pitching the sugar-free beverage to a group of shark investors. It was created by agency Bullish with director of photography Dan Laustsen, best known for his work in the award-winning film "The Shape of Water,” and is part of AB InBev's more than five minutes of Super Bowl airtime.
In addition to the ad, the brand is running a social media contest, asking people to make a pitch to the mermaids for a pair of Super Bowl tickets, using hashtags #BONandVIV and #Contest.Food & Beverage
While Volvo is foregoing a TV commercial during the big game, the German automaker will host a mobile contest 30 minutes before kickoff, the brand told Marketing Dive's sister publication Mobile Marketer. The three players who "complete the longest drive" by keeping their eyes on a video of the new vehicle model the longest will get a chance to win a Care by Volvo subscription to the S60.
Volvo may earn more bang for its buck with the counter-programming strategy, considering Super Bowl spots are reportedly costing around $5 million per 30 seconds of airtime. However, the move is reminiscent of Mercedes-Benz's "Last Fan Standing" contest from 2018, when it asked mobile audiences to hold a finger on an image of the car brand's latest coupe. Technical issues blocked the contest from ever starting, driving Mercedes to convert the contest into a drawing.Automotive
Stella teases 'Sex in the City'-inspired spot, but will it air during the big game?
Stella Artois announced on Jan. 23 that it's teamed with Water.org as part of the "Pour it Forward" campaign, where each purchase of the brand's beers triggers a donation to the nonprofit that works to provide access to clean water around the world.
For the campaign, the AB InBev brand tapped actress Sarah Jessica Parker to reprise her iconic role as Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex and the City." The spot was created by Mother New York.
While the announcement makes no mention of the Super Bowl, ad watchers might recall that the Stella Artois-Water.org partnership produced an appearance in the 2018 game starring Matt Damon, stoking speculation that the Parker ad could show up in Stella's already-announced Super Bowl slot.Food & Beverage
Budweiser celebrates energy commitment with Bob Dylan-soundtracked ad
Budweiser on Jan. 23 released its full Super Bowl commercial, which showcases the AB InBev brand's commitment to brewing its beer with 100% renewable electricity from wind power, an initiative it announced last year.
The ad, titled "Wind Never Felt Better," features the brewer's Budweiser Clydesdales running through a field filled with wind turbines. Appropriately, the ad is soundtracked by Bob Dylan's iconic "Blowin' in the Wind." The creative was handled by David the Agency, and while it has been released as a 60-second spot, Budweiser confirmed to Marketing Dive that it will air as a 45-second spot during the game.
In addition to the ad — part of AB InBev's five-plus minutes of Super Bowl ad time — Budweiser announced that it's offsetting 100% of the electricity used to power Super Bowl week in Atlanta. Plus, the brand has teamed with clean energy provider Drift to offer a one-month free trial of a green plan for consumers who sign up between today and Feb. 7.Food & Beverage
UPDATE: Kraft Heinz's frozen food line Devour announced on Jan. 10 that it will appear during the Super Bowl's third quarter with a 30-second commercial. The brand on Jan. 23 debuted a 60-second "uncensored" version of the spot around the idea that its meals are so good, they're "frozen food porn," according to details shared with Marketing Dive. On Jan. 29, Devour ran banner ads on the website Pornhub, The Wall Street Journal first spotted. The frozen foods maker confirmed to the Journal that the media buy was intentional and a continuation of its Super Bowl campaign centered around "food porn."
Along with the video, created by agency David Miami, Devour launched the 1-83-FOODPORN hotline and will partner with Barstool Sports for a "man cave on wheels" RV and hold a sweepstakes where winners can score a branded freezer, a year's supply of meals or "the ultimate man cave."
While not present during last year's Super Bowl, Devour used a creative workaround to snag some attention around the big game with 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.Food & Beverage
SimpliSafe will unlock its first home security spot during the game
Home security company SimpliSafe told Marketing Dive that it will make its Super Bowl debut this year with a 30-second spot at the end of the game's first quarter. While the commercial won't air until game day, the brand's creative director Wade Devers said that the ad will "upend people's expectations about the security space." Devers worked with agency Preacher to develop the ad, which SimpliSafe says is the first home security spot in Super Bowl history. Preacher's chief creative officer, Rob Baird, told Marketing Dive in emailed statements that the theme around SimpliSafe's commercial touches on the "fear and anxiety in the air right now" and offers solutions to face those fears.
UPDATE: SimpliSafe released a teaser ad on Feb. 1. The actual, forthcoming Super Bowl spot is the first for both SimpliSafe and creative agency Preacher.Miscellaneous
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.
UPDATE: To celebrate this year's Super Bowl, the pizza chain is temporarily changing its name to Pizza Hut Hut in a nod to the common quarterback phrase, USA Today reported on Jan. 22. Fresh signage appears on the company's website and on a brick-and-mortar location in the game's host city Atlanta, which the Yum Brand's chain has dubbed "Hutlanta."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.
UPDATE: Former baseball player Alex Rodriguez will star in Planters' Super Bowl spot alongside the brand's mascot, Mr. Peanut, according to details shared with Marketing Dive on Jan. 23. A 10-second teaser clip, titled "Catch of the Day," shows the duo spending time together and closes with the line "game day's gonna get nutty."
Along with Alex Rodriguez, Planters told Marketing Dive on Jan. 29 that the ad will also feature actor Charlie Sheen. The brand released a 30-second ad that will air during the game and an extended 45-second version.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.
UPDATE: On Jan. 23, Olay teased the ad's creative via Adweek, which features "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer" star Sarah Michelle Gellar. In the #KillerSkin spot, Gellar is stalked by a creepy masked man in a knowing nod to the horror shows and films with which she made her name.
Olay revealed the full 30-second spot on Jan. 30. The ad toys with the fact that Gellar's character can't use her phone's face recognition feature because of her new Olay routine.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.
UPDATE: Skittles announced on Jan. 21 that actor Michael C. Hall will lead the brand's Broadway-style musical on game day, per details shared with Marketing Dive. The Mars-owned candy brand unveiled the news in a 90-second clip, featuring the "Dexter" star contemplating accepting his role for the Skittles' show in a therapist's office.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.
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.
UPDATE: Persil ProClean told Marketing Dive on Jan. 29 that its Super Bowl campaign will include a 15-second commercial during the game's second quarter. In the spot, which is directed by Emmy and Cannes Gold Lions award-winner Erich Joiner, Peter Hermann's character "The Professional" and a team of fictional scientists will reveal "the deepest levels" of the brand's Stain Lab technology to highlight Persil's deep cleaning power.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. The full spot was released on Jan. 31.
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 teaser videos on Jan. 17 and Jan. 24 to promote its new Flamin' Hot Nacho flavor, and released the 30-second ad and a 60-second version on Jan. 29.
Rapper Lil Jon will star in Pepsi's 30-second spot during the Super Bowl, the soda brand told Marketing Dive on Jan. 18. The Atlanta-native appears in a short teaser for the commercial titled "Acting Lessons," pouring a fountain drink in an old-school diner and delivering his signature tagline "okayyy!!!" In addition, Pepsi on Jan. 23 released teasers that feature rapper Cardi B and actor Steve Carell in the same diner as Lil Jon.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.
UPDATE: Audi released its full commercial, entitled "Cashew," on Feb. 1.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.
UPDATE: On Jan. 30, Intuit TurboTax released a teaser clip for its Super Bowl ad, which won't debut in its entirety until after airing during the game. In the 30-second spot, a child robot attempts to wake his father in a lab at 3 a.m. to ask for food, despite the fact that he can't eat. After requesting a kale salad with guacamole, he says he's "hashtag, living my best life," to which his father replies "the world isn't ready for you yet. Your time will come."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 quarter, marking the company's debut Super Bowl appearance. The 30-second clip set to run on Sunday will be cut from an extended 60-second version that's available on Bumble's website, the company shared on Jan. 31.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.
UPDATE: M&M's on Jan. 23 released a 15-second teaser clip and announced that actress Christina Applegate will star in the ad. The Mars candy brand on Jan. 30 released the ad, which marks the first time it has debuted a new product — the M&M's Chocolate Bar — during the Super Bowl.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.
UPDATE: Colgate marks the first brand to unveil its full Super Bowl commercial ahead of game day. The ad, which aired on Jan. 18, shows star and "close talker" Luke Wilson touting the benefits of Colgate Total while speaking just inches from his officemates' faces. Colgate is reportedly hosting a related event in New York later in January.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.
The chip brand unveiled its full 30-second commercial on Jan. 28, featuring a melancholy smart device that's upset it can never taste Pringles' 318,000 flavors created from stacking three different chips. Two men listening to the device order it to play the 1970s hit "Funky Town" to bring the device out of its funk.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.
Hyundai revealed the full ad on Jan. 30. In the spot, Bateman plays an elevator operator who takes prospective Hyundai buyers through a series of unpleasant experiences, including root canals, vegan dinner parties and getting stuck in an airplane's middle seat. It was directed by O Positive's Jim Jenkins, who worked on Hyundai's 2013 Super Bowl ad "Team."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.
UPDATE: Toyota told Marketing Dive on Jan. 29 that its Super Bowl ad will air toward the end of the second quarter and feature Antoinette "Toni" Harris, the first female college football player to play a non-specialist position. The 60-second spot was narrated by sportscaster Jim Nantz, directed by Super Bowl ad veteran Joe Pytka and produced by Burrell Communications, with support by Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith Media.
Toyota told Marketing Dive on Feb. 1 that it will also air a 60-second spot titled "Wizard" to promote its new GR Supra. The carmaker will sponsor the Toyota Halftime Report and the ad will air immediately after the halftime show. The ad was also created by Saatchi & Saatchi.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.
UPDATE: Kia is taking a different approach this year by transferring its budget for a celebrity-backed commercial into a scholarship fund for higher education. The automaker teased its upcoming Super Bowl spot with a brief clip during the NFC Championship game on Jan. 20, per details shared with Marketing Dive. Kia plans to unveil more details about the campaign ahead of game day.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. 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.
Mercedes-Benz debuted the 60-second ad, which features Ludacris, PGA champion Rickie Fowler and classic TV and film characters like Lassie and Wile E. Coyote, on Jan. 31. "Say the Word" was created with Merkley+Partners and directed by Noam Murro, with visual effects by Blacksmith and cartoon animation by ATK PLN. The campaign includes digital, social media, print and radio elements, as well as a local activation, per a press release.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.
UPDATE: Actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth will star in AFM's Super Bowl spot this year, the trade group told Marketing Dive on Jan. 22. In a 15-second teaser, she attempts to teach three dogs how to bark the brand's jingle. The brand also aired a short poker-themed teaser on Jan. 24. A 60-second digital ad was released on Jan. 30, along with the 30-second cut that's set to run during the game's second quarter. AFM also launched a digital platform to drum up excitement before the big game, including partnerships with The Onion and Adopt a Pet and an animal-matching tool powered by IBM Watson.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.
UPDATE: On Jan. 25, Yellow Tail unveiled its 30-second commercial that will air during the big game and feature two fans who submitted in November videos of what makes them happy. The wine brand received more than 1,500 fan submissions on its website and social channels and vetted the videos through a panel of more than 10 judges. Two clips — one of salsa dancing in Spain and the other of a rope swing in Aruba — will be featured in Yellow Tail's Super Bowl commercial, which was directed by Jeffrey Darling and shot in Miami in November. The wine brand previously told Marketing Dive that 15- and 30-second cuts of the video will run across YouTube, iHeart Radio, BuzzFeed and other media properties.Food & Beverage