Different times for ‘Super’ commercials

The game itself wasn’t too exciting in fact it was a blowout with Tampa Bay trampling Kansas City 31-9. But there were lots of commercials to watch. This was a very different year in terms of the commercials. The tone of the ads was quite different; more cause-related, more emotional content, more compassion and more caring vs. previous years’ drama, nostalgia, testimonials and humor.

For sure 2020 was certainly not a normal year and likewise for this year’s Super Bowl ads. But toning down a bit probably makes good sense during these times. With regard to the cost of a 30-second ad this year, advertisers had to cough up a mere $5.5M which equates to some $183,000/second! The financial difficulty here is to understand the R.O.I. on such an investment, but there probably were some 115M people viewing the game and the commercials do have a “before and after” life. Many of the commercials sneaked out online before the game and then many of the commercials are used throughout the following 12 months.

Make no mistake, however: when things do get back to normal (we hope), so will the Super Bowl commercials with their humor, drama, new products and new ad campaigns.

The scoreboard ranking this year’s commercials was all over the board but Rocket Mortgage with their “Pretty Sure” theme seemed to rise to the top. Also Bud Light with their Lemonade Seltzer and “raining lemonades” was a hit. Others that got some attention from the raters were: Pringles and the astronauts stranded at sea; Jimmy Johns taking over Tony Baloney’s sandwich turf; and GM and their “No Way Norway” scenario relating to who is leading in EV sales; Frito-Lay and their ‘Twas the Nite before the Super Bowl; Tide and their “Face Sweatshirt” that needs a cleaning; M&Ms giveaway for a big mistake; and Cheetos and Ashton Kutcher in “Who stole my Cheetos crunch pop mix?”

All in all the commercials were OK but not spectacular — but there is always next year with new commercials and a new game

George R. Cook