Ad Age is counting down to Super Bowl LVII. In the weeks leading up to the game, which will air on Fox on Feb. 12, Ad Age will bring you breaking news, analysis and first looks at the high-stakes, Big Game commercials—all in our Super Bowl newsletter. Sign up right here to get them via email.
Crown Royal is the latest brand to confirm an ad buy with a spot from Anomaly directed by Jake Scott. The Diageo-owned whisky is seizing on an opening created last year when Anheuser-Busch InBev gave up its alcohol ad exclusivity in the game. Molson Coors also plans to run an ad.
It remains to be seen how many more alcohol brands will show up—if any—but it does not appear that Corona and Modelo marketer Constellation Brands has bought commercial time. The company recently told Ad Age it has no plans for the game. Neither does Absolut Vodka owner Pernod Ricard, a representative recently told Ad Age. AB InBev will still make an appearance, although it has yet to detail its plans. The game could serve as a launch pad for Anomaly’s first work on Bud Light since winning the account last year.
Other brands that have confirmed ad buys include Avocados from Mexico, Downy, DraftKings, FanDuel, Google, Hellmann’s, Kia, M&M’s, Frito-Lay’s Doritos and PopCorners, Kellogg's Pringles, Rakuten, TurboTax, Warner Bros. Discovery and The Servant Christian Foundation, which will continue its Jesus-focused ”Het Gets Us” campaign for its Big Game debut with two ads.
Crash the Super Bowl—TikTok-style
Doritos’ return to the game will feature a celebrity it has yet to reveal, along with a fan who’ll be selected through a TikTok dance contest. The tactic might remind some Super Bowl savants of the brand’s long-running “Crash the Super Bowl” contest that ran for 10 years ending in 2015. That push relied on user-generated content that was often low-brow but netted plenty of love from USA Today’s Ad Meter. This year’s effort also puts a premium on user participation, this time through TikTok.
Another brand seeking new ways to get fans involved is FanDuel, which will run a live ad showing Rob Gronkowski attempting a 25-yard field goal. The sports betting marketer is trying to lure subscriptions by giving away $10 million that it will spread to anyone who places a bet Super Bowl bet on its platform—if Gronk makes the kick.
To keep track of all the advertisers running national spots in the game, bookmark Ad Age’s regularly updated Super Bowl ad chart.
Coca-Cola, once a regular Super Bowl advertiser, will stay on the sidelines for the third straight year, the brand confirmed. Up until 2021, when Coke also bypassed advertising during both the game and pregame, Coca-Cola Co. had run an ad in the game every year since 2006 except for 2019, when it opted to run only a pregame spot. The decision shows the shifting priorities for the brand, which lately has put more emphasis on digital marketing rather than TV.
Also, at least two automakers that ran ads in last year’s game are not coming back—BMW and Nissan representatives have confirmed to Ad Age that they are sitting on the sidelines this year. Kia remains the lone automaker to confirm a buy so far. Online used-vehicle retailer Vroom is also not coming back, nor is Carvana. Automotive News has more on why the brands are sitting it out.
Other brands sitting out include Meta. The Facebook owner ran a spot last year but confirmed it will not return in 2023.
Influencers are pretty much everywhere these days—except in Super Bowl ads. As Ad Age recently reported, brands will again likely bypass putting them in ads this year, as they rely on tried-and-true tactics, like big-name celebs. That is especially true in the down economy. “I think the Super Bowl is no different than marketing as a whole—the industry is extremely scared of risk and taking chances,” said Kaylen McNamara, senior VP of new business operations at VaynerX. Of course, brands will likely use influencers for digital promotions around the game.
For a behind-the-scenes look at Super Bowl ad planning, check out Ad Age’s Super Bowl Playbook event on Feb. 7. It will feature brand leaders and agency execs behind the ads. Register here for the virtual event.
This day in Super Bowl history
Super Bowl XI was played on this day in 1977 when the Raiders crushed the Vikings at the Rose Bowl. NBC carried the game, which drew about 44 million viewers, according to Sportsmediawatch.com. That is less than half the viewership number that Super Bowl games typically draw now. The halftime show—which included a 250‐piece band from the Los Angeles Unified School District—cost a mere $50,000 to produce, according to coverage from the New York Times at the time.
This year’s show, which stars Rihanna and marks the halftime sponsorship debut for Apple Music, is likely to be a pricey affair. Apple paid an estimated $50 million a year for the rights.