Five Super Bowl ad trends to watch
Spots are being rolled out online well before the game
January 23, 2013
Years ago Super Bowl advertisements were shrouded in secrecy in the weeks leading up to the big game.
Many advertisers didn’t even reveal that they had a spot in the game, much less drop any hints about what would be in the spot, in the hopes of wowing their captive audience.
But with the number of commercials in the big game growing, from 76 in 2005 to a peak of 104 in 2010, it’s become a lot more difficult to stand out.
And so, in a trend that’s built the past three years, many advertisers are now debuting their spots online days or even weeks before kickoff, hoping to get an early start on building buzz for their advertisements.
The benefits can be tremendous.
A new study by Unruly Media, a video tracking and promotion company, found that three-quarters of last year’s most-shared ads online were released before the game.
The reason for the change is that an early release offers a longer window of engagement. Though people often share their favorite Super Bowl ads a day or two after the game, the hype usually dies down quickly after that.
But in the two weeks leading up to the game, there’s all sorts of speculation over who is advertising and what they will air, which means much more time for an ad to go viral.
Last year Honda released its “Ferris Bueller”-themed ad with Matthew Broderick a week in advance, building hype for it by posting a 10-second teaser of Broderick that had many people wondering if a sequel to the hit 1980s movie was in the works.
It became one of the most popular ads in the game.
Last week Taco Bell released a teaser for its game ad that has drawn almost a quarter of a million views on YouTube.
And Doritos has unveiled the five finalists for its annual contest inviting fans to create ads for the game. People can vote on which ones they’d like to see air.
Besides the early introduction of ads, here are four other advertising trends to watch for in the big game, which airs Feb. 3 on CBS.
1. Automakers advertising
Last year a record seven auto manufacturers aired commercials for 12 different brands, for a total of 13 minutes and 30 seconds.
This year will see at least nine brands advertising, based on the latest reports, including returning advertisers Hyundai, Fiat and Volkswagen. That would tie for second-most auto brands ever after last year.
2. Longer advertisements
The success of Chrysler’s “Halftime in America” ad last year, which ran 2 minutes, appears to have inspired other advertisers to try similarly lengthy ads this year.
More than a half-dozen advertisers, including Chrysler, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola and Volkswagen, all have ads running more than 60 seconds on tap this year.
3. Fan involvement
Some advertisers believe that appealing directly to fans is the best way to draw their attention at halftime. Lincoln, which is making a big ad push to start the year, invited Twitter users to reminisce about their craziest road trips. Some of those tweets will be included in a Super Bowl ad.
And Pizza Hut asked fans to submit videos of themselves saying the words “hut, hut, hut,” a phrase uttered by Super Bowl quarterbacks, for inclusion in a commercial.
4. New advertisers
Last year 30 percent of all Super Bowl advertisements were by first-time participants. That could hit a new record this year, with companies including SodaStream, Milk Processor Education Program and Gildan USA all buying spots for the first time.
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