What To Look For During This Year’s Super Bowl Ads

Last year’s Super Bowl reached 111.5 million viewers. Since the Seahawks are back again but this time with an east coast opponent that’s a bigger draw than the Denver Broncos, chances are good that this game will beat last year’s numbers. Which is great for brands who are now spending $4.5 million per ad.

The cost for a :30 second Super Bowl spot has increased 75% over the past decade. Additionally, the volume of commercial time has grown with the last five Super Bowls becoming the most ad-saturated in history with 47 minutes of commercial time.

What are some things we can expect this year with all that time?


Around thirty companies purchased Super Bowl time this year and so far online ad pre-releases haven’t shown us much. Actually, that strategy hasn’t been working as well for brands considering that social sharing decreased 29% for pre-released Super Bowl ads last year. There are some theories as to why. Mine is that the creative wasn’t as good.

More brands will probably pre-release this week and, when they do, they should remember to keep Facebook in mind since the social network’s share of video views has recently risen to 18% while YouTube’s has fallen to 21%.

One of the biggest things about this year’s game is the number of first-time advertisers. Not since the dot com days have such a notable number of new advertisers purchased space.

Among these first-time advertisers, I’m creatively curious to see Deutsch’s work for Mophie and Wieden’s work for Weight Watchers, neither of which will be pre-released. I’m also curious about what Carnival Cruises has to say.

There’s also been talk about brands looking to show more caring sides of men versus the clueless buffoon, which I’m quite tired of. Let’s see how Nissan extends what they started and if Dove builds on what they pre-released.


One good Super Bowl media strategy is to bring immediate mass awareness to something relatively unknown (that a mass audience will find value in). Will website creators Wix.com and glue company Loctite do well this year using that strategy? We’ll see.

Another good Super Bowl media strategy is to take an already well-known brand and extend the way people think about it.

BMW is on top of my watch list as they introduce their i3 Electric Car. In 2007 the brand started a complete re-think about how cars would look in the future and now everyone will see it beyond early release markets.

Some big brands just want to protect (and further grow) their market share and the Super Bowl’s dominant penetration and share-of-voice is a great strategy to help do that. This year Snickers will continue “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” and Anheuser-Busch has purchased seven spots. GoDaddy.com is back but with a new agency that promises entertainment without the sexually-suggestive tone.

Let’s see how they all do. Every year I’m hopeful that we’ll get another “when I grow up.”

Enjoy the game. And if you’re following online while watching and wonder why so many brands avoid saying “Super Bowl”, it’s because of this.

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