In a few words, can you tell us who you are and what your job title is?
My name is Eric Kiker, I’m a writer, speaker, agency principal, Chief Strategy Officer and maybe most importantly, an advocate for loyalty-creating food-brand marketing.
The current price for a 30 second slot is over $5 million. In your opinion is the spend worth it?
Aside from the huge brands who you sort of expect to place ads on the Super Bowl, the spend really needs to be coupled with a completely audacious message, something that’s never been heard before, but if done well, could plant a seed in the vast number of people watching the game who are simultaneously eating food that makes them feel lousy about themselves. This idea is my own personal bias and the basis for the rest of my answers.
Is there a demographic you believe Super Bowl advertisers have failed to target or a business sector that is underrepresented?
My side hustle is a website called thedigestiblebrand.com , in which I help food brands create loyalty by giving consumers incredibly small and simple steps for understanding what food does in their bodies so they can look and feel better (lose weight). No food brand has ever placed a spot during the game that addresses the fear of food that results from that confusion at exactly the moment we’re all eating stuff that makes us feel crappy about ourselves, at least subconsciously — when the type of simple tips I hinted at above could actually allow us to continue to eat what we like and still lose weight / be healthier / etc.
Who do you think is the ‘brand to watch’ at this year’s Super Bowl?
For me, based on this new mission of mine, the Kraft “Family Greatly” spot / campaign / etc. is the one. The work really gets to you as a parent (and maybe as a child as well). Their end line about caring about the same things we all do for 100 years, could be used to usher in a new mission — to help people TRULY understand what food does when we eat it, how to pair protein with high-carb foods to keep from gaining weight, when to eat the high sugar foods we love so that these foods actually BENEFIT the body, how to cook a refrigerator full of food without having to follow a single recipe — and more. Man, if Kraft did that, they could start to fix us, they really, really could. And that would be worth a million $5 million Super Bowl spots. Sorry for the soapbox.
Do you think advertisers can benefit from taking a political/social stance in the Super Bowl?
I think brands can only comment on social and/or political causes that are connected to the brand, such as when Patagonia reacted to the President’s shrinking of those two national monuments. If you don’t or can’t do something like that in a way that’ll get consumers nodding their heads due to the linkage with the brand, then, yeah, people will see right through it and possibly punish you.
Are there any fumbled opportunities that come to mind when you think of past Super Bowl advertising?
Well, again, based on what I’ve been saying, every food brand has had a chance to do this — for the smaller ones it might be a riskier proposition, but for the big guys, why not? Especially when I think it really is possible to help people lose weight and be healthier without asking them to go on a diet and/or give up entire groups of food. I mean, how likely is it that anyone will convince anyone to give up sugar? Don’t beat your head against that wall when you could help people learn how to harness it for good.
Eagles or Patriots?
The Eagles were my team all through high school when I played football and lived in South Jersey. So, yep. Eagles.
What is your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?
Apple’s 1984 spot.