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Q&A With Adweek’s Sami Main

Sami Main is Adweek’s Social Editor. We asked her a handful of questions about Super Bowl advertising and she gamely agreed to help kick off Extreme Reach’s special 2018 coverage of the day that millions of people celebrate advertising.

What do you look forward to most while watching Super Bowl ads?
When I’m watching Super Bowl ads during the actual game, I’m always excited for the brands that take a comedic turn. Last year, getting to see Melissa McCarthy’s spot with Kia play to her strengths was such a treat! Otherwise, it’s fun to see how whatever group of people I’m with reacts to each spot.

Is there a common theme to the commercials that tend to stand out to you? What creative aspects of a commercial stick out to you the most?
I’m a weird nerd for spots that use music in interesting ways, beyond just catchy beats. That helps them stand out all the more. For example, the Albert Einstein/Lady Gaga ad last year was one of my favorites.

Are you more inclined to pay attention if a celebrity is featured?
I think it doesn’t totally matter to me, personally, if a celebrity is involved. It’s usually fun to watch them get a little more crazy/fun than usual, but typically they’re part of an unnecessary gimmick.

Do you feel more brands will incorporate social media into their campaigns?
Everyone’s doing social media now for promotion and outreach, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be involved in the overall Super Bowl spots. Telling people to use a hashtag or including tweets in ads feels forced and not as fun as it could be without all of that looming over it.

What brand or brand verticals (alcohol, automotives, retail) do you feel almost always dominates during the Super Bowl?
I think snacks and candy do well in my book. I’ve always been a fan of the “old school” Doritos commercials from a few years ago; even though your snacks have already been planned for watching the game, I feel that food and alcohol brands have room to be more creative. I find it hard to cheer for automotive brands, since I’m not the intended audience at all, but those still offer a good chance for entertaining/sticking with Super Bowl viewers.