Sunday is not just the Super Bowl, it’s a chance for Americans to forget about supply chain shortages, blockades and pandemic woes and focus on things that are hopeful and amusing.
Acutely aware of this fact this year’s advertisers came up with commercials that cover everything from General Motors’ launch of electric cars and KIA’s electric dog to mind-reading Alexa virtual technology assistants, cryptocurrency and a blast from the past.
“People just want to be entertained during the Super Bowl,” said Daniel Cobb, founder of Daniel Brian Advertising (DBA), an advertising agency based in Detroit, which services clients nationwide including Papa John’s, Chick-Fil-A, Disney, Hungry Howie’s, University of Michigan Health and UC Health among others.
The Los Angeles Rams are taking on the Cincinnati Bengals during Super Bowl 56 at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California but for many fans who gather for the game, part of the show will be the commercials.
Cobb has been working in advertising for more than 30 years and has created more than his share of Super Bowl spots, some that have aired nationally and others locally. This year’s ads on NBC sold out briskly with some of the 30-second spots going for as high as $7 million, a jump from the $6.5 price tag last year.
Is it really worth it?
Cobb believes so, as do many others who have been around since 2000 when advertisers realized the captivated audience they had and ads jumped from about $40,000 for a 30-second spot to $2.2 million.
“It’s always been a thing but it has become even more important because of the Netflix generation. Now there’s a million channels to surf and the Super Bowl is where everyone aggregates for a single community event,” said Cobb, whose agency will be debuting a Super Bowl commercial for the University of Cincinnati Health, which of course will have Bengals bouncing about.
“In Cincinnati, they’re going to be crazy,” Cobb said, “so we’re doing a local spot for a hospital there and kind of riding on that energy.”
Nationally, Cobb recommends watching for the GM commercial, which Detroiters will enjoy since any automotive commercial resonates in the Motor City.
GM enlisted Mike Meyers for an “Austin Powers-” themed ad that features a reprise of his role as Austin Powers’ nemesis, Dr. Evil. Sidekicks will be played by Rob Lowe, Seth Green and Mindy Sterling.
The future of electric cars’ ads will include BMW, who enlisted Arnold Schwarzenegger, as Zeus, the god of the sky (or in this commercial, the god lightning) whose wife, Salma Hayek Pinault, gives him the EV BMW iX to spice up his retirement.
This year’s crop of Super Bowl ads will also include several cryptocurrency exchanges. Advocates of the blockchain-based digital currency that has already won over fans in Europe are moving into the U.S. market, hope to lure the interest of American investors and financial firms alike.
Exchanges Crypto.com, FTX and eToro have all announced Super Bowl ad plans.
Funny ads will include Uber Eats.
They’re looking to get across the message that you can order household items and other sundries from its delivery service, and not just food. Who knew, right? It stars several celebrities including Jennifer Coolidge, Gwyneth Paltrow and Trevor Noah, who all try to eat something other than food.
Every commercial will be pushing a different brand but all of them will work to achieve three goals.
“It’s got to make you feel something,” Cobb said, citing last year’s commercial for Jeep as a wonderful example. “It was very emotional because it tugged at your roots, your country, your values and your faith.”
Secondly, it has put the brand first, so that people will remember it. Again, Jeep is one people remember.
“The biggest winner is one that consumers share on social media,” Cobb said. It doesn’t matter what the creative world or advertisers think. “If consumers decide to share it with their friends it’s a winner.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.