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Super Bowl of Brands, Bands and Influencers

The Super Bowl is not only the most important event for the NFL, but also for the world of brands. It is a billion dollar extravaganza that separates the winners from the losers. The Super Bowl, aka ‘The Battle of the Brands’, is talked about for weeks before and weeks after Sunday’s game. With the influence of social media, the spend on advertising goes beyond the big game. Brands have started to release teaser content to get consumers excited for the big event.

Take the Mr. Peanut commercial that was directed by Taillight/Porchlight director, Timothy Kendall, as an example. For this comical commercial, Timothy worked with Vayner Media and it features Charlie Sheen and Alex Rodriguez. It was released yesterday to further expand its viewer reach before the big event. And when we say big event, we are not talking about the game. We are talking about the official unveiling of their multi-million dollar commercial. According to HuffPost, more and more people are specifically watching for the commercials rather than the game.

You may be asking yourself, how do you stand out from the rest of the million dollar commercials?

You add music and star power in the mix.

The most talked about commercial from the 2018 Super Bowl was Amazon’s spot for Alexa in which Alexa loses her voice. Not only did the commercial have a celebrity, but it included a whopping 4 celebrities, which almost guaranteed it’s insurmountable success. Amazon’s campaign success wasn’t just it’s commercial star power, but its successful execution of creating buzz before and after the game with influencer marketing. Powerhouse pop star Cardi B, posted two, sponsored Super Bowl posts for Amazon which generated nearly 1 million engagements. By using her large sphere of influence, partnered with the buzz of the Super Bowl, that ad was viewed by 103.4 million viewers and generated a much larger wave of impressions and engagements. Amazon is known for capitalizing on celebrities' influence to generate brand affinity.

The fact is that we live in a celebrity driven world where consumer decisions are shaped by social opinions and fame. The best way to connect to a demographic is through music and music influencers. Whether it is music to liven up a commercial, a music artist influencer included in a commercial and promotional post, the iconic NFL intro melody, or the widely talked about half time show, there is no denying that music plays a big role in each and every Super Bowl. The Super Bowl world has played into this idea which can be seen in the strategic presence of music throughout the event. This was confirmed by David Allan, Ph.D., professor of marketing at Saint Joseph’s University, “I conducted a content analysis with a colleague for my book, and we found that over 10 years, there was a significantly dramatic increase in commercials including popular music during the big game.”

If brands combine the power of music with celebrity star power, the reach is endless.

Key Takeaways:

1. The Super Bowl is becoming more about branding than it is about football with 77.1% of viewers see Super Bowl commercials as entertainment.

2. Offense might win games, but celebrities win championships: Influencer marketing for the win! Celebrity influencers are becoming the norm for Super Bowl advertisements. Last year there were over 20 celebrities used in the 40ish Super Bowl commercials, which means that more than half of the commercials included star power.

3. Music brings branded content to the next level.

From its genesis the Super Bowl world and music world have always lived in beautiful harmony. This is true today more than ever, which can be seen in Expensify’s 2019 Super Bowl ad that was revealed last week. In the commercial, 2 Chainz is shooting his music video when actor Adam Scott, (for this commercial’s purposes, the record label’s head of finance) knocks on the window to talk to him about the importance of paper receipts. He dismisses him by saying he has Expensify for that. This is a perfect merriment of music, music artist influencer, celebrity star power, and brand alignment.

4. Multi-million dollar commercials aren’t enough: Brands need to create buzz through social media content: According to the Burston-Marstellar Super Bowl Survey, 60% of viewers say that in addition to the Super Bowl commercials, they are interested in finding all the extra Super Bowl content brands create and put on social.

Whether you are playing with the big boy brands or in the minor leagues, every brand can learn a thing or two from past and present Super Bowl advertisements. Celebrities are the key to making your content relevant, music is how you can connect with your audience and additional promotions via social media are not just a bonus, but a must.

Congratulation’s to Timothy Kendall for his Super Bowl commercials with Mr. Peanut that can be viewed here and with Sketchers that can be viewed here.


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