This year, lighter buzz for the Super Bowl ads, too
February 2, 2017
Usually at this time of year, people are talking about Super Bowl ads and little else. But this year, that’s not the case. Blame it on our new president and all the attention he’s getting. Blame it on the NFL’s ratings declines this year. Blame it on a lackluster big-game matchup or a decision by many advertisers not to release their ads online in advance, breaking with several years of tradition. Whatever the reason, this may be the most buzzless Super Bowl in terms of advertising in years. Michael Pavone, president and chief executive officer at Pavone Marketing Group and the founder of ad rating site Spotbowl, talks to Media Life about this year’s lack of attention, which advertisers are getting the biggest buzz, and whether politics will be a theme in any ads.
What are the big trends in advertising for this year’s Super Bowl?
Interestingly, we’re seeing fewer pre-game releases this year than we have in the past. Last year’s game saw roughly 75 percent of the ads released before the game, but this year’s advertisers are keeping things a little more under wraps.
Which advertisers are getting the biggest buzz? Why?
We’re seeing a lot of buzz around Snickers and their plans to create the first live Super Bowl commercial. That’s a bold move considering how many people are watching and how much money is on the line, but it’s paying off so far in how much attention they’re getting.
How does buzz for this year’s game and ads compare to last year?
The amount of attention and pre-game hype surrounding the commercials changes from year to year, and this year’s buzz hasn’t quite lived up to previous years. It would be easy to pin that lack of media coverage on the election — and that might be one reason.
Are you seeing more or less new advertisers than last year?
Last year’s game saw 13 rookies in our Spotbowl poll, but this year’s lineup includes fewer first-timers. There are only seven rookies in the game as of now according to our lineup card, which could mean potential newcomers are a little more nervous about making a big investment like the Super Bowl and are putting those marketing dollars to work in other places.
Do you think the current political environment will influence the tone of ads?
Outside of 84 Lumber’s first-draft spot showing the construction of a border wall–an ad Fox shot down for being “too political”–we’re not seeing the election and current political landscape having too much impact on the ads. And that’s a good thing.
Who’s going to win?
It’s anyone’s game at this point, but Anheuser-Busch is always the one to beat. They’ve won six of the past 13 Spotbowl titles, but we expect to see some strong competition from the car ads.
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