Welcome to the best time of the year for big brands and advertising agencies. Because of its extremely high viewership and wide demographics, the Super Bowl has historically been a great way for brands to speak to the masses. It’s become such a cultural phenomenon that brands are spending gobs and gobs of money on celebrity spokespersons, big productions and cute animals in hopes of having the best commercials and creating the most online social buzz. Spokespeople and cute, cuddly animals mean big business for brands.
It will be interesting to see how these celebrities and animals are going to be used. Most of these celebrities will be current, some washed-up and a few, even dead. The animals on the other hand will be used to impersonate food, dress up as humans and even sing a famous rock ballad. Psychologically, brands use celebrities to show consumers what they aspire to be or do. Likewise, brands can use animals and babies to make an emotional connection between the consumer and their brand.
This year seems to be no different. There are at least twenty-four brands that are using celebrities and/or animals to sell their products. It’s no surprise that the food & beverage brands are leading the way with eleven or more celebs and/or animals, followed by tech & telecom brands with seven. With all of these celebrities and animals being put on air, it has me wondering which brands are going to create the most social chatter during the Super Bowl?
Here are my predictions on which ones might break through the clutter.
Avocados from Mexico
At least I now know where Scott Baio has been since Arrested Development was canceled. He’s been hanging out in space with aliens. If #AvosInSpace and GSD&M follow the same success they’ve had the last two years, than there could be quite the buzz around the Avocados from Mexico brand.
Following last year’s wildly successful Brady-Bunch themed spot with Danny Trejo, these new spots featuring Willem Dafoe as Marilyn Monroe should be just as great and provide plenty of content for social media channels.
These commercials featuring James Harden, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, Bryan “Law Hawk” Wilson and a mysterious new product seems like it’s rip for the twittersphere. What I’m not 100% sure on is whether or not this social media buzz is going to be positive or negative.
BMW’s new commercial, titled “Defy Labels,” features Serena Williams, Abby Wambach, T-Pain, Randy Johnson, Tony Hawk & Harvey Keitel. That’s a whole lot of celebrities rolled into one commercial. The message behind the spot is great and I’m sure the six long-form interviews that are going to be released leading up to the game are sure to drive some social chatter.
Hyundai’s new commercial “Ryanville” stars Ryan Reynolds and is sure to create some social media conversations in the female demographic about all of the good things that would come from the possibility of cloning Mr. Reynolds.
Kraft Heinz’s new commercial has something that I’m surprised hasn’t been done before, Dachshunds dressed as tiny hot dogs running in slow motion down a hill. This commercial is just asking for internet memes.
Doritos is doing its 10th and final year of their “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign. This year one of the finalists has a gang of dogs in the commercial. I think that their brand will create some social buzz because it’s their final year of doing this campaigns, people love talking about the creativity of the spots and dogs dressed up as humans is always hilarious.
Budweiser and their iconic Clydesdales will make an appearance during the Super Bowl and I’m pretty sure whatever they have planned will make some type of impression on the social media channels.
When you combine Queen’s “Somebody to love,” with singing sheep it’s a combination that could provide a ton of social conversations during the game.
Every year there are some commercials that are daring, controversial and sometimes head scratching. This year Mountain Dew is back in the Super Bowl limelight and their commercial is leaving me scratching my head. Because the Puppy Baby Monkey is two-thirds animal and one part baby, I feel like it needs to be added to this article. I think it’s going to create a ton of social chatter. Most of this chatter will be WTF and possibly negative, but like P.T. Barnum said “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
There’s plenty of commercials that are going to run that don’t have celebrity spokespeople or animals in them, and I’m sure they’ll produce plenty of their own social media buzz. I just want to see if the investment in these common advertising methods are going to translate into success that the brands and advertising agencies are hoping for. There’s also a group of brands that are hoping to hijack the social conversation like Volvo did last year. I can’t predict what they’re going to do, but I’m sure they will cause some interesting chit-chat during the game.
I also can’t forget to point out that PepsiCo is the brand sponsor for the halftime show and with Coldplay and Beyoncé performing there’s no doubt that the halftime social media chatter “will run the world.” I hope you find this year’s Super Bowl advertising as exciting and interesting as I do.
Kevin Taylor, Associate Creative Director at 22squared
Kevin Taylor is an Associate Creative Director at independent, fully-integrated advertising agency 22squared. In the last 18 years working in the advertising industry, Taylor’s work has garnered him a Cannes Lion award, as well as recognition as an Outstanding Art Director. His work has also been published in The One Show Award Book, Advertising Age, Adweek, Print Regional Design Annual, and Gallery The World’s Best Graphics, International Editions Vol 02 & 03.