Digital Media and The Super Bowl

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11 Jan 2022
5 min read

This is it, “the big one”, “the big kahuna”, and a bunch of other silly nicknames referring to the big game we call The Super Bowl. For football players and sports fans this is the most exciting day of the year where legends are made in an instant. For marketers and digital media creators this is also true. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year by the world’s top businesses and marketing agencies for the chance to earn billions (yes, with a “B”) of dollars in return.

Just think of all of the people you know who actually watch the super bowl for the 60 minutes of football being played versus all of the others who watch for the halftime show and the commercials. At your watch party this year, go around the room and take a poll- you’ll be shocked by what you find. For years to come you’ll joke with your friends and family about how funny that Budweiser or Doritos commercial was, but you’ll likely all forget the exact score of the game, or even who won!

With this knowledge, it’s no secret that advertisers and digital marketers across the world are salivating at the chance to have over 100 million eager people view their brand, even for just 30 seconds.

In this article we’ll talk about:

  • Recent trends in Super Bowl advertising
  • The role of digital media in the Super Bowl
  • Expectations for the 2022 Super bowl

Recent Trends in Super Bowl Advertising

Every year presents a new opportunity, and thus a new challenge for marketers and advertisers to overcome. With any ad or ad campaign, it’s important to both be creative by bringing new ideas, as well as follow trends in the industry and society. Societal trends are hugely important to understand. In 2021, major brands like Budweiser and Coca-Cola decided against advertising during the big game out of respect for the global pandemic and those affected by it. It was hard to believe that we didn’t get to see the iconic Clydesdale horses from Budweiser or the Coca-Cola polar bear.

Other companies, such as Pepsi took a more involved approach while still abstaining from their typical commercials. Instead of running ads during the broadcast, Pepsi sponsored the halftime show which always draws the attention of the audience.

Other trends we saw in 2021 include:

  • Themes of bringing people together and supporting each other through difficult times.
  • Typically we’ll see ads presented with a sense of humor or irony. With the pandemic in full swing, most advertisers felt it more prudent to avoid making light of the world’s problems or create any more division or controversy amongst the community.
  • Using celebrity endorsements in “real world” situations.
  • While celebrity endorsements have always been a large part of advertising, in 2021 we saw a shift towards displaying celebrities in less elegant situations. In the same notion of the themes of bringing people together, this trend focuses on normalizing celebrities instead of glorifying them and making viewers feel belittled in comparison while many people around the world were already struggling.
  • The use of bright colors in psychedelic themes.
  • Many commercials seemed to jump right out of the screen during the 2021 Super bowl. Fast-paced and visually stimulating graphics were sure to grab viewers’ attention.
  • A focus on “at-home” services such as delivery apps, virtual assistants, and entertainment streaming services.
  • No secret here, at-home and digital services have been on the rise for years. It came as no surprise that amidst a global pandemic we saw a much higher focus on these products and services.

The Role of Digital Media in Super Bowl Advertising

Though hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on commercials and sponsorships during the game itself, digital media and online advertising play an essential role in generating interest and revenue for brands hoping to take advantage of the Super Bowl spotlight. Brands have begun “teasing” their advertising content to help create buzz about their campaigns or promotions during this time. Offering special deals to customers who engage early on or participate in their contests, brands found great success in running large scale organic and paid campaigns.

Creating buzz and addressing consumers where they are is huge for marketing. Some of the other great ways companies found success during this time include social media campaigns such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Creating compelling and relevant hashtags in the weeks leading up to the big game is a great way to expand your reach across a social media platform. The best aspect of organic and social media marketing is that they are almost completely free for an experienced marketer. This is why it’s crucial for you and your team to take advantage of these opportunities. As we said, this is the day that legends are made, on and off the field. A well-executed campaign can really elevate your brand and your business to the next level.

Expectations for the 2022 Super Bowl

While it’s impossible to know for certain what we’ll see during the Super Bowl, we expect most of these trends to continue into the future. Focusing on “feel-good” themes of togetherness and community support, we’ll likely see a little more humor and light-heartedness in this year’s commercials.

One major shift we can almost guarantee is the focus on the recently exploding topics of cryptocurrency and the “Metaverse”. All throughout these last few months we’ve seen a stark rise in the popularity of these fields. We’ve seen advertisements all throughout the football season for brands like, FTX, and Facebook’s “Metaverse”, not only that, stadiums are now being sponsored by these new virtual giants. We aren’t sure how they’ll all execute their campaigns but it’s likely to involve some sort of humor about the topics as well as an establishment of trust in their industries. Beyond that, be on the lookout for an increased presence of digital media campaigns in the weeks leading up to the big game. TikTok, Instagram and Facebook are sure to include many campaigns from businesses large and small.

Explore Your Advertising Opportunities with Nxt Era!

Are you hoping to gain some brand recognition or scale your business in this exciting Super Bowl season? Nxt Era Marketing has the team and tools necessary to elevate your digital media and marketing campaigns to take advantage of this buzz. Reach out today to schedule your free consultation and grow your profits today!

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