Super Bowl ads have become a cultural phenomenon separate from the football game. A 30-second spot can cost $6.5 million. Some companies even have multiple commercials per game, which is a $1 million increase from last year.

Every year these commercials keep up with marketing and pop-culture trends for the year. Super Bowl commercials can show us marketing and advertising trends that are current or will be developed throughout the year. These ads are also a good test to see if viewers liked the commercials and can be tracked by increased website visits or sales.

It is a complicated and long process to get your company a Super Bowl ad. According to Rentrack, a media analytics service, 98.8% of viewers stay tuned for the ads. In today’s world of streaming services, people often skip ads when they are watching shows or movies. A Super Bowl Ad is something everyone watches. These ads are justified by marketers to their companies because everyone will see the ad. Super Bowl LVI (this year) had a total audience of 112.3 million viewers, combining streaming and cable views. To make a successful commercial during this game, you cannot focus on a single target audience. There are too many viewers to just pick a single generation to target while marketing.

Here are some popular trends in the commercials from this year that advertisers and marketers should make note of as they will continue being trends in other forms of advertising.

1. Adventure and Personal Growth

Following the pandemic, businesses want to show viewers how to make life normal again. Brands did this by providing ways to help customers grow and explore with their product or service. One example of this was Skechers' commercial for their comfortable shoes.

The commercial used the song “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson and featured Willie Nelson. The commercial consisted of people of all different ages going outside and doing things like going to work or exercising. From the song choice to the activities portrayed, Skechers is trying to get its customers out of the house while wearing their shoes.

2. Humor and Celebrities

A good way to grab your audience’s attention is through jokes. This year was no different from others when it comes to funny celebrity commercials. Marketers should aim to make people laugh or smile to reflect a positive customer experience. Celebrities also help grab the eyes of your viewers.

This year's ads had many notable humorous commercials for a variety of companies with celebrities. One memorable commercial was Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan in a commercial for Lay’s potato chips.

Another commercial had Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg for Bic’s EZ reach lighter. Using Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart grabs a larger audience than using one or the other. He was also one of the performers in the halftime show, so this caught many people’s attention.

A commercial for FTX featured Larry David who portrayed different historical figures. The commercial ended by saying “don't be like Larry” because throughout the commercial he was undermining ideas that changed the world. FTX is a company that helps people trade and buy cryptocurrency, another popular trend this year.

3. Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a growing trend in the world of business. This was the first year with any crypto ads in the Super Bowl, as it is a new form of investment. There were not more ads for crypto than the Super Bowl’s usual companies, alcohol, cars, and movie trailers. But, there was a noteworthy amount of cryptocurrency commercials. Crypto trading companies want to appeal to a larger, more mainstream audience and a Super Bowl ad is a good step for that.

The most talked about ad of all night was a bouncing QR code that changed colors. Sounds simple, right? Once you scan the QR code you are taken to Coinbase’s website. They were offering a free Bitcoin to anyone who signed up with them. This commercial caused more than 20 million visitors to enter their site within a minute, causing it to crash for a long time. Coinbase’s CMO said the purpose of the ad was to get as many people to try crypto for the first time. This commercial would have been more successful if the website didn’t crash. Many visitors may not have been interested in crypto, but of the 20 million, some were going to stay and be interested.

There were only four crypto ads in total, but this is a sign that cryptocurrency is going to be more mainstream and have a bigger audience of more ordinary people, not just people in the business world. This is not a guarantee that crypto is here to stay because in 2000 there were many “dotcom” commercials for websites and companies that no longer exist today.

4. Sustainability

A popular trend in marketing in the past few years overall has been sustainability in businesses. The Super Bowl was no exception to this. Many car commercials this year highlighted their new electric vehicles instead of promoting gas cars like usual.

Matthew McConaughey starred in a commercial for Salesforce which poked at “the new frontier” of people going to space. Instead of promoting space travel, he and Salesforce are promoting saving the earth by planting more trees through their #teamearth campaign.

5. Nostalgia

Nostalgia is always a popular trend in ads. It is a way to make people think of positive memories that can be connected to your brand. There were a few commercials relating back to the 80s and 90s, one example being GM’s Austin Powers commercial. T-Mobile’s commercial reunited scrubs actors in a musical number. Any attempts to advertise a new TV show were drowned out by revivals because, in this era, we want reboots. Playing with nostalgia is a great way to make your audience smile and associate your brand with their memories.

How We Can Help

At Auburn Advertising, we offer custom advertisements for your business. Although we do not do commercials, we keep up with the trends of advertising in the media. Our goal is to help you grow your business. If you are looking to take steps towards better advertisement methods for your business, contact us at Auburn Advertising and see how we can help you!

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Inner Spark Creative is a full service digital marketing agency. We would love to help with your marketing and advertising needs. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation.