Ladies and Gentlemen this is the greatest show…

Mercedes Benz Arena Atlanta

Well according to Americans it is. No top hat or tails here, just two teams vying for the Vince Lombardi trophy surrounded by quite a few ad breaks.

To put this into context a game of American Football is split into 4 x 15 minute quarters, total playing time is 60 minutes. However, when you factor in the switching out of teams (offence, defence and special teams), timeouts, half time and the ad breaks, total viewing time is around 4 hours. This year the New England Patriots beat the LA Rams at the Mercedes Benz stadium in Atlanta. Celebrating their sixth Superbowl victory by winning 13-3, with all the points being scored in the second half.

The Superbowl has become a focal point for US advertisers, with viewing figures around 100 million, the TV audience may have been the lowest in 10 years but mobile streaming was up year on year by 20%. The reason it is such a focal point is simply that sports are one of the last things we actually watch live, making it hard for people to avoid the ad breaks. Some have even taken to teasing their campaigns much like a movie release (last year’s Australian Tourist Board ad took this one step further by teasing a trailer for a fake film that was, in fact, an ad!). That audience size alone is why ad spots average $5.2 million for a 30-second slot (the most expensive they have ever been) helping broadcaster CBS generate over $350 million in ad revenue. To give you a sense of context a 30-second slot in the opening weekend of the six nations was around £30k. The Guinness Clear advert is probably the closest we will get to a Superbowl style advert.

Last year Tide stole the show, turning every ad into a tide ad (watch the case study here). This year, like the game, the ads were a bit lacklustre. With over 53 ads I have picked some that stood out for both good and bad reasons. The key to a good Superbowl ad is to get people talking about it. Because if they are talking about your ad they are talking about your brand. Unless of course you are Pepsi, but that’s more than ok or is it?

Staying on a drinking theme Mint, a mobile phone brand I have never heard of made me feel a little bit sick. In spite of that, it was memorable and made me chuckle.

It’s not right

Moving from milk to beer now. In a world of being taken over by AI and robots, who may be faster and smarter Michelob reminds us of the simple fact that they will never know the joy of an ice cold beer.

Staying on a beer theme, the Bud Light Knight got the Game of Thrones treatment in an unexpected collaboration.

Now an ad from a company with real tech credentials. Here, Amazon talks us through some of their failed Alexa integrations.

The Superbowl wouldn’t be right without a car ad. This year Hyundai showed us how they take the pain out of car shopping, comparing it to some pretty painful alternatives with Jason Bateman as your guide.

Finally, this last one was my son’s favourite, here is Microsoft making gaming accessible to everyone.

There are plenty more out there, immortalised on YouTube, brand channels and there are hundreds of articles on the subject. One thing is certain, the big game ad is not going anywhere if anything it is going everywhere. See you in 2020.

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