The Super Bowl is known as one of the biggest days not only in sports but also television advertising. While we don’t specialize in TV here at Missouri Press, it’s always interesting to look at advertising events. We’ve gathered some of the more interesting news about ads from the big game.
MediaPost’s Wayne Friedman reports the game brought in “$414 million in advertising sales to NBC — the second-biggest take in history.” Last year’s game brought in $419 million. It’s not only the revenue numbers that are high. The total non-program time was close to 50 minutes and there were 45 different advertisers.
This year had an array of ads, with some being controversial. Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz reported on the Ram ad, which used a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech as its backdrop. The ad “came under heavy criticism Sunday for using MLK’s words to sell a truck,” Schultz reported. People took to social media to comment on the ad; with one of the major points being that King had been vocal about his dislike of advertising. Many different columns commented that ads trying to deliver a higher message failed. Examples included ads for Stella Artois and Hyundai. Both ads focused on non-profit work the companies are doing.
Marketing Week’s Lucy Tesseras looked at the content trends of the most popular ads from the game. She reported that while many brands went with political statements last year, many companies chose humor for 2018. She pointed to an analysis by Lucid and Realeyes which showed the “top” ads for this year’s Super Bowl included the NFL’s “Touchdown Celebrations to come” and M&M’s “Super Bowl Commercial 2018 featuring Danny DeVito.” The report showed that viewers enjoyed ads such as these because the content had aspects like parody and celebrities. A survey by Morning Consult ranked Amazon’s “Alexa Loses Her Voice” as the best overall ad. While some outlets differ on what took the top spot, it is obvious that humor was the star of the show.
Every year, brands bring the best to the Super Bowl commercial slots. Yet, the influence of these ads is often debated. In 2016, Time’s Ethan Wolff-Mann wrote about how Super Bowl ads didn’t boost product sales for the companies but instead “increase brands awareness.”
While the motive and outcomes of this year’s Super Bowl commercials might be unknown, most media outlets agreed it was another year of innovative and creative work. One question we ask is, will the trends of this year’s Super Bowl advertising transfer into other parts of the industry? We know we will be keeping an eye out.