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Anticipating Super Bowl LVII

Super Bowl 57 is set to kick off on February 12 in Arizona’s State Farm Stadium, and both brands and fans are already gearing up for the big day. A poll from The Marketing Arm (TMA) found that the overall experience of watching a game—going to a party or treating it like a holiday with friends and family—is why 52% of viewers tune in, while a quarter of respondents watch mainly for the ads themselves. While one-third of people surveyed said they want commercials to be funny, 5% prefer messages of optimism and 4% like to be surprised. Importantly for marketers, 81% of viewers report watching every Big Game ad. We knew it! At ER we’re a bit biased on this topic, given our passion for the creativity of advertising. We love seeing data confirming that the Super Bowl is a day when it’s totally cool for viewers to admit they love ads. Here’s a look at what else the TMA poll reveals. 

Celebrities Sell
When in doubt, opt to include a celebrity in a Big Game spot. TMA’s poll found that 64% of viewers are more likely to buy a product when it’s endorsed by an A-list name. Among Gen Z respondents, that number skyrockets to 70%. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson topped the list of celebs most viewers wish to see, while additional famous faces including Beyonce, Kevin Hart, Cardi B, Tom Cruise, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga also made the cut. Social media influencers are coveted too, mainly among younger demographics. Sixty-seven percent of respondents under age 25 reported wanting to see a social media influencer in a Big Game ad, like the 2020 spot for Sabra hummus that featured TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, along with 18 other celebrities.  “It’s that instant recognizability,” Megan McMahon, SVP of celebrity and influencer at TMA, told Adweek. “A lot of times you have 30 seconds, 45 seconds and you have to make sure multiple celebrities get into an ad. The recognizability with traditional celebrities is still far and above what people are looking for.”

Brands Buy In
As host of this year’s game, Fox is charging upwards of $7 million per 30-second spot, marking a new high for Super Bowl ads. The network had already sold 95% of its inventory by early September, despite current economic uncertainties. Last year’s Super Bowl was jokingly called the “Crypto Bowl,” notable for its record number of ads created by cryptocurrency brands, but that won’t be the case in 2023 given the collapse of FTX and other crypto exchanges. Fox has noted extra enthusiasm from alcohol brands. AB InBev’s decision to give up the exclusive ad rights it has negotiated for the past 33 years has opened the door to other beer brands, like Molson Coors, which announced in mid-July that it will feature its own 30-second spot. Other beer brands are likely to do the same. 

The Halftime Show
All eyes were on Apple Music in mid-September, when the company inked a $250 million deal with the NFL to sponsor Super Bowl halftime shows for the next five years. Apple replaced Pepsi, which had sponsored the star-studded event for a decade but decided not to renew its contract earlier this year. “We are proud to welcome Apple Music to the NFL family as our new partner for the iconic Super Bowl Halftime Show,” said Nana-Yaw Asamoah, senior VP of partner strategy for the NFL. “We couldn’t think of a more appropriate partner for the world’s most-watched musical performance than Apple Music, a service that entertains, inspires and motivates millions of people around the world through the intersection of music and technology.”

The halftime show is among the most-watched segments of the game. In 2022, headliners Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar put on a dazzling performance that captivated an audience of over 120 million viewers and won three Grammy awards. This year’s star musical guest will be Rihanna, who made the announcement by posting a photo on her social channels of herself holding an NFL football. It’s still unclear whether the nine-time Grammy winner will perform solo or team with a fellow A-listers in the style of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira (2020); Coldplay, Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson (2016); and Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott (2015), among others. 

At ER, celebrating ad creative is in our DNA. We’re proud of the role we play in ensuring that the majority of ads in the Super Bowl get to screens flawlessly, just like every other day.