- Olay, the skincare brand owned by Procter & Gamble, will return to the Super Bowl after making its big game advertising debut last year, according to details shared with Marketing Dive.
- The ad follows 2019's "Killer Skin," which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar and riffed on the "scream queen" actress' prior roles in horror movies. For 2020, Olay is running a commercial with an all-female cast, recognizing data that shows 45% of NFL fans are women. The spot is being developed with Badger+Winters, a women-owned creative agency.
- Olay is also holding an online contest to give one fan and her plus one a trip to Super Bowl LIV in Miami. Contestants need to log in or sign up for Club Olay, the brand's membership service, by Jan. 20 for a chance to win.
Olay breaking into the Super Bowl last year stood out as a noteworthy example of how big game advertising was diversifying to meet modern audience needs. The Super Bowl has historically been dominated by male-centric categories like beer and automotive, but in continuing to message around the event, Olay might be able to both reach female football fans it views as underserved and also round out a broader purpose-led brand positioning that's become commonly adopted at P&G.
Last year's "Killer Skin" ad was not overtly political, instead humorously riffing on Gellar's reputation for appearing in horror classics like "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and the "Scream" franchise. While the specifics of Olay's 2020 spot haven't been revealed yet, it appears as though the brand may be taking a more forward stance on women's issues with the all-female cast and partnership with Badger+Winters, which bills itself as a "purpose-driven agency," according to executives quoted in a press release. Last year's commercial was created with Saatchi & Saatchi. Olay is additionally switching focus for the ticket sweepstakes, putting a spotlight on Club Olay versus its Skin Advisor tech, which was the focus of a similar ticket giveaway last year.
"We want to lead the charge in making space for women during the Big Game, so it was an easy decision to bring our continuous message of empowerment — one we believe everyone can get behind — back to TV's biggest event of the year," Kate DiCarlo, senior communications leader at Olay, said in a statement. "This year, we're taking that one step further with an all-female cast to really make an impact on closing the gender gap in Super Bowl ads."
Promoting cause-led messages at the Super Bowl can prove divisive. Two-thirds of surveyed American consumers believe the big game is an inappropriate venue to make political statements, according to findings published last year by Morning Consult and The Wall Street Journal.
But P&G hasn't shied away from adopting a more bold approach to topics like female empowerment in recent years. Secret, the marketer's line of deodorant targeted at women, was the first sponsor of U.S. Women's Soccer to directly call out the issue of equal pay last summer, timing a campaign around the U.S. Women's National Team's World Cup victory. Copy attached to ads implored U.S. Soccer, the sport's governing body, to stand "on the right side of history," and P&G made a financial pledge to donate to U.S. women's players at the time to help close the pay gap.
If Olay's Super Bowl messaging doesn’t hit the mark, it could make for a pricey misfire. Fox, which is broadcasting the game this year, sold 30-second ad slots for as much as $5.6 million, per Variety. The network claimed to have sold out of all 77 spots for Super Bowl LIV by Thanksgiving, the earliest a Super Bowl has sold out since 2011.