Super Bowl LIV brought a fourth-quarter comeback, a sprightly halftime performance and a heap of quality commercials.
Between the host of celebrity cameos and movie references, this years’ commercials aimed to be humorous, be memorable, promote social change and sometimes go too far.
The Super Bowl is the biggest event of the year for TV commercials. Big companies pay up to $5.6 million for 30 seconds of advertising time.
With an audience surpassing 100 million people and traditional TV on the decline, Super Bowl marketers have a lot at stake.
“To reach that many people costs brand a lot of money – well over $5 million per commercial,” said Amanda Respess, a mass communication senior lecturer.
A lot of celebrities were used in commercials this year. This included the likes of Post Malone, Ellen DeGeneres, Lil Nas X, Tom Brady and much more.
“Using celebrities is a tried and true Super Bowl tactic, but so many brands this year used big names,” Respess said.
The Sabra hummus commercial used 19 different celebrities, including Ric Flair, Meg Thee Stallion and Becky G, in just 30 seconds.
Other large companies like Coke, Procter & Gamble, Olay, Pepsi, Doritos and Michelob Ultra used recognizable stars.
Nostalgia was another theme this year that surfaced in many of the commercials. MC Hammer made an appearance in a Cheetos ad. Bill Murray relived “Groundhog Day,” a 1993 comedy, in a Jeep ad. Mountain Dew Zero pulled a scene out of the 1980 film “The Shining,” with Bryan Cranston.
There was a fair share of heartfelt commercials, from NY Life Insurance to Google.
“The Google commercial was sad,” said Lauren Janis, a senior marketing major. “I thought it was going to be for an Alzheimer’s association.”
This was the first Super Bowl to run two presidential ads. It is also the first Super Bowl to include drag queens in a big game commercial.
“I was glad to see the representation of the LGBTQ community, from high profile advertisers like Amazon Alexa and Microsoft to more subtle LGBTQ portrayals from TurboTax and others,” Respess said. “Finally, we continue to see more inclusion for women and minorities both in front of the camera and behind the scenes as creative directors and brand managers.”
USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter asks the public to rate ads online with a score from one to 10. Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” took first place, scoring a 7.01 out of 10. Hyundai’s “Smaht Pahk” ad came in second with a score of 6.98.
According to iSpot.tv, the commercials with the highest digital share of voice were Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” followed by Facebook’s “Ready to Rock?.”
The Super Bowl commercials that aimed to humor, humored.
Between Patrick Mahomes and Shakira, this year’s commercials did well to grab some of the spotlights and entertain.