The countdown to Super Bowl LIII is on. As advertisers prepare for the big game, and speculation builds around who will have the most buzzworthy ads, we’re looking back at the brands that made the biggest impact last year, as well as some opportunities for brands to capitalize on the halftime show.
T-Mobile saw the greatest lift in social media engagement following its Super Bowl ad last year, with a 46,000% increase in engagement in the five minutes following its #LittleOnes ad. The diversity-themed ad featuring babies of varying ethnicities, a Kerry Washington voiceover, and Nirvana’s “All Apologies” as a lullaby resonated with audiences, sparking social media conversation. Other notable buzzworthy ads were E-Trade’s parody of “Day-O”, Hyundai’s Hope Detector, and HBO’s first-look at the second season of Westworld. Verizon, which aired an ad thanking first responders, and Michelob Ultra, whose ad featured Chris Pratt, are the only two advertisers of last year’s top 10 to have confirmed ad buys for Super Bowl LIII. After the game, we’ll check back in on whether the brands were able to follow the success of last year’s ads. We also expect to see political themes appear in this year’s ads as the NFL continues to be embroiled in political controversy.
Heading into Super Bowl LIII, J.G. Wentworth is the biggest NFL advertiser in terms of ad minutes during the 2018 regular season. Of this season’s top ten biggest advertisers, Toyota, Verizon, Bud Light and Hyundai, have each announced plans to advertise in the Super Bowl. Bud Light’s ad spot will be a part of Anheuser-Busch’s largest Super Bowl ad buy ever, including five-and-a-half minutes of ad time for seven of its products.
Eight teams remain in the running to complete in Super Bowl LIII, including last year’s contenders, the New England Patriots and reigning champion Philadelphia Eagles. Using the 4C Affinity Graph™, we uncovered the brand, TV, and celebrity affinities for each team. Among all eight, audiences for several teams also engage with snack brand goodnessKNOWS, handbag designer Vera Bradley, and TV shows The Talk, The Great American Baking Show, and Final Space. The audiences for each team also tend to engage most frequently with the team’s players across Twitter and Facebook.
Each year, the Super Bowl Halftime show grabs audience attention through performances and scandals alike. Ahead of the game, rumors always swirl around artists who reportedly turn down the offer to perform. We used the 4C Insights Affinity Graph™ to find the brands, TV shows, and celebrities that the audiences engaging with this year’s act, Maroon 5, previous acts, and some rumored almost-performers. LG, Steak ‘n Shake, and Hyundai have strong ties to the audiences of several former and would-be halftime acts, and could likely benefit from capitalizing on the social media conversation around the halftime show.
As we get closer to Super Bowl LIII, we’ll be keeping an eye on the buzz surrounding the biggest day of the year for football advertising. Keep an eye out for our Super Bowl LIII TV Impact Report after the game.