Who Were The Biggest Ad Winners Of Super Bowl LIV
Another great football season in the books. Another great Super Bowl? Well, that depends on your snack spreads dip selection, deals at the bar where you watched, your favorite players’ luck that night, and of course, the commercials! Let’s see if the companies featured during Super Bowl LIV commercial breaks had a worthwhile investment.
The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs were gearing up to battle out being named champions of the 2019 NFL season. However, those teams weren’t the only ones with a lot on the line during Sunday’s game. The Super Bowl is an even bigger competition in the advertising world. Multiple companies across various industries try to one-up the other with the use of humor, celebrities, animals, and other emotionally appealing strategies. Some brands have their own reputation that viewers anticipate seeing, like Bud Light’s Bud Knight having an appearance. Other brands like Kellogg’s and Facebook surprised us all with their Super Bowl debut. In addition, we saw longtime advertisers like Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch, blasts from the pasts like Tide, and our favorite tech giants like Google and Amazon, just to name a few.
Who Spent What?
Despite recent slippage in ratings and fandom decline, the Super Bowl remains to be the most predominant advertising showcase, and this year Fox helped it bounce back. In-game inventory for Super Bowl 2020 sold out in November at the highest rate in the last decade! It was reported by Bloomberg that every :30 seconds of an in-game ad sold for more than $5 million and the only discounts offered were to those who bought more. This is the costliest advertising time on television throughout the year, next to the Academy Awards, and no surprise why big-time brands invest millions. Fox announced in May 2019 that one commercial break per quarter would be eliminated from 5 to 4 breaks and although they were for longer amounts of time, that still meant less A and Z spots that hold more value. Seth Winter, VP of Sports Sales at Fox, was also extremely transparent from the beginning and told clients that they were not going to be lowering rates as the game got closer which put a sense of stress and urgency to get a prime spot. Because of this, marketers were quick to jump on the commercial real estate.
Reported by Kantar, Anheuser-Busch spent the most at $41 million, followed by Pepsi with $31 million, Procter & Gamble coming in third with $30 million, and Amazon right behind at $26 million. Looking at spend by industry, auto manufacturers took home the gold medal for #1 spend, accounting for $77 million and 7.5 minutes of commercial time.
But, who did best?
KC Wasn’t the Only Winner
Lucky for us, Business Insider compiled a list of what was perceived to be the top 5 best ads shown during Super Bowl LIV as per number of viewings and conversations on social media. In no particular order, Amazon was amongst the winners with their commercial featuring America’s all-time favorite Ellen DeGeneres and wife, Portia, imagining life without Alexa. With its humoristic approach, it became the most-watched ad as of 10 p.m. Sunday and had more than 39,000 mentions on social media. Are we surprised though? Ellen always gets the people talking!
Google took a different approach and put us all in our feels with their virtual assistant ad that helped a man remember his late wife, Loretta, by reminiscing on past memories. After wiping away the tears, people took to social with an estimated 121,000 mentions.
A bit less sad but still on the emotional bandwagon was Microsoft and Olay also ranking in the top 5 favorites for their commercials leaning heavy on females in the workspace and gender neutrality. The percentage of spots including women was up 90% from 74% last year, according to Business Insider and Hive Media. Microsoft collaborated with Katie Sowers, the first female coach to ever be in the Super Bowl, to share her ambitions of not just being the best “female coach” but being the best coach. And even though her team didn’t win, she’s still a winner in our book.
Olay had a refreshingly funny, all-female commercial promoting operation #MakeSpaceforWomen and incentivizing viewers to tweet it by donating $1 for every tweet directed @OlaySkin with that hashtag. Pretty genius way to send a valuable message while getting people to talk about your brand on social media, huh?
Last, but certainly not least, we have Jeep and their Groundhog Day commercial highlighting Bill Murray. A funny and memorable commercial revisiting the film Groundhog Day as the CMO of Jeep, Oliver Francois, realized that Super Bowl would fall on this cute holiday for only the second time in 54 years and felt the need to take advantage of the moment. Congrats Francois, your sneaky find paid off!
Was It Worth the Investment?
According to the viewership numbers, it would appear advertisers got tremendous reach. Just two days later on February 4th Nielsen reported Super Bowl LIV to have drawn 102 million multi-platform viewers. Last year’s game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams on CBS averaged around only 98 million viewers. However, it is possible that most were just over watching the Patriots win again and decided on a family favorite Netflix show to watch that night instead. Additionally, Super Bowl LIV generated an estimated $435 million in in-game advertising revenue alone for host network Fox. To put those earnings into perspective, we’ve only been seeing revenue numbers over $400 million since 2016 but that was for both in-game and pre/post-game ads.
Talk about a successful Super Bowl. Brands across the nation should start drafting Super Bowl campaign ideas for 2021 now before their competitors beat them to it.
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