Super Bowl Snapshot: Update on the Big Game

By Kevin Crummy  | 

Before the NFL season even kicked off this year, NBCUniversal announced that it had only “a few” ad slots left to offload for Super Bowl LVI. To be precise, 85 percent of inventory had sold out by July, which is a feat not typically seen until January. The Big Game will air February 13 on NBC, and though competing teams have yet to be determined, several brands already revealed their advertising plans. The price tag for a 30-second spot maxes out at $6.5 million, up from $5.6 million charged by CBS last year. NBC offered those slots as part of a larger Once in a Lifetime package, which included commercial time for the summer Tokyo Olympics, the winter Beijing Olympic games, the Super Bowl and the 2022 World Cup set to air next November on NBCUniversal’s Telemundo. Here’s a look at some of the upcoming spots, plus a peek at plans for the halftime show.

Returning Favorites
TurboTax is no stranger to the Big Game spotlight. The online tax-prep company was the first brand to confirm its ad commitment, marking its ninth consecutive Super Bowl return. This year, the TurboTax commercial featured desks rolling down streets, through homes, into a Hawaiian forest and past a pair of aliens on their ship in the middle of a field, to emphasize the point that no matter where—or who—you are, TurboTax experts can reach you with their pro advice. Chief marketing office Laura Balazs said the company feels a continued attraction to sports advertising because it’s a place where people are engaged and watching live. While details of the 2022 campaign remain under wraps, Balazs disclosed that platforms like TikTok will be used before, during and after the game to promote the ad.

After skipping last year, Avocados from Mexico (AFM) will be back in 2022 with a 30-second spot. This will be their sixth Super Bowl appearance, following consecutive commercials from 2015 to 2020. The decision to return comes on the heels of newly announced “big, bold brand updates” that include a revamped logo plus the fresh “Always Good” tagline. “The Big Game has always been an effective way for us to connect with avocado obsessed consumers,” said CEO Alvaro Luque. “Not only did we first introduce our brand seven years ago at the Big Game, but we’ve innovated year after year to continue to engage and excite avocado fans.” Since AFM commenced their efforts, the volume of Mexican avocados imported to the US has doubled, while previous spots featuring actors like Kristin Chenoweth (2019) and Molly Ringwald (2020) have received recognition in the digital world.

Welcoming First-Timers
Cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX will run its first-ever Super Bowl spot next year, according to CEO Sam Bankman. The announcement was timely, as the crypto market is currently heating up around the globe. “We actually wanted to buy the Super Bowl itself, but they don’t yet accept cryptocurrency,” said Bankman. “So we’re settling for buying ad time.” FTX is no stranger to the NFL, having recently worked with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, on a $20 million campaign. In one of those spots, NFL teams get excited when Brady mentions the “possibility of a trade,” only to learn that he’s referring to crypto trading. Additional cryptocurrency brands are expected to take part in next year’s football festivities, and we’ll be on the lookout for more newcomers as they’re revealed.

Spotlight on the Halftime Show
The Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show promises to be five times the fun, as a handful of multi-award-winning hip-hop artists will be sharing the stage at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Sponsors Pepsi, the NFL and Roc Nation announced that Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will perform together for the first time ever. Because Dre, Snoop and Lamar are originally from Los Angeles, which is also hosting the Super Bowl for the first time in 30 years, this event holds special meaning for native Angelenos and members of that larger community. “Artists like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were at the forefront of the West Coast hip-hop revolution, so to be able to bring them back to LA, where it all began alongside Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will prove to be an epic, unforgettable celebration of the impact hip-hop has today,” said Todd Kaplan, Pepsi VP of marketing. Previous collaborations from these three sponsors yielded Super Bowl performances by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira in 2020 plus The Weeknd in 2021. Looking forward, Rapper Jay-Z has referred to next year’s event as “…history in the making.” Stay with us for more Super Bowl updates as they develop!

Kevin Crummy
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