Super Bowl Alert: Auto bowl looks grim, plus the focus on joblessness
Hello Super Bowl junkies,
I’m Jeanine Poggi, Ad Age’s senior editor, continuing our countdown to Super Bowl LV. In the days leading up to the game, which will air on CBS on Feb. 7, Ad Age brings you breaking news, analysis and first looks at the high-stakes, Big Game commercials—all in our Super Bowl Alerts newsletter. Sign up right here to get them in your email.
ViacomCBS announced it is “virtually” sold out of commercial inventory in Super Bowl LV. Despite concerns around COVID-19, CBS was still able to offload its last few units at the same pace of prior years.
The automotive category and movie studios will, unsurprisingly, air fewer spots in the game, according to a person familiar with the situation. This come as studios, in particular, have been hit especially hard amid the pandemic, with theaters in some major cities still closed and the debut of blockbuster films repeatedly delayed. While movie studios may be a lighter category, the streaming video space is still strong, though none have confirmed an appearance in the game thus far.
The financial sector is another category expected to have a bigger showing, with brands ranging from insurance to mortgage lenders and credit card companies.
General Motors makes it official
Speaking of the lull in the auto category, General Motors today became only the second automaker to confirm that it will air commercials in the game. GM will push its electric vehicle ambition with an ad for Cadillac and a corporate spot, Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz reports. Toyota is the only other automaker to confirm its presence in the game, while Hyundai and Audi, which have been regular Super Bowl advertisers in recent years, are sitting on the sidelines. Online auto retailer Vroom is also running an ad, which it released on Jan. 12. Kia and Jeep owner Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) have not yet commented on their plans.
To keep track of all the advertisers running national spots in the game, bookmark Ad Age’s regularly updated Super Bowl ad chart.
Joblessness gets a spotlight
Indeed is looking to bring hope to millions of Americans who have lost their jobs amid the pandemic in its first Super Bowl commercial. The online job site will use the Big Game to showcase the emotional journey of job seekers. The 60-second spot will feature real people looking for a job, and their challenges and wins along the way. Given the seriousness and sensitivity around the subject, Indeed’s commercial could stand out for striking a more serious tone amid a larger batch of light-hearted and humorous ads.
Indeed is certainly not the first online job site that’s aired commercials in the Big Game. Both Monster.com and CareerBuilder were regular Super Bowl advertisers in the 2000s. CareerBuilder was best known for featuring monkeys in its commercials.
Re-watch those ads and more in Ad Age’s extensive Super Bowl ad archive.
Rocket Mortgage hints at Tracy Morgan Super Bowl spot
Mortgage brokers received an email from Rocket Mortgage, which is owned by Quicken Loans, that said it will be promoting brokers during America’s largest event. The email was accompanied by a video featuring Tracey Morgan.
In the 40-second clip, the comedian touts the new product as something that will help brokers get more prominence. At the end, he adds, “Come see me really soon, in a big way, hyping this news.”
A press release hints at a similarly large event, noting the company “will soon be broadcasting a very special advertisement exclusively dedicated to brokers during America’s largest broadcast event.”
Representatives from Quicken Loans did not return requests for comment.
The lender is no stranger to the Super Bowl and has made a habit of featuring celebrities in its commercials. Last year, Quicken aired a Super Bowl spot starring Jason Momoa, of “Aquaman” fame, as someone getting truly comfortable at home. Before that, Quicken Loans aired a spot in 2018’s game that had Keegan-Michael Key highlighting the Rocket Mortgage product.
In your dreams
Coors is looking to crash the Super Bowl, and your dreams, with a new film. The brand has partnered with psychologist and dream expert Deirdre Barrett to make use of so-called “targeted dream incubation” in an attempt to induce people into dreaming about imagery associated with the brand, like mountain streams, snow and refreshment, Schultz writes. It involves showing people a stimulating film before they go to sleep and then using an eight-hour soundscape during the night. The video will drop on Feb. 3, so go take a nap and let us know if you woke up and bought a six-pack.
M&M’s revealed very little in its teaser that dropped today, which leads us to think—what’s the point of Super Bowl teasers these days? The 15-second clip, which is titled “Reveal gone wrong,” sums up the premise, Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl writes. A countdown at an outdoor gender-reveal party is shown, and soon after a countdown begins, there’s a boom, smoke and coughing. Then, words appear on the screen to explain what’s going on: M&M’s will make it better on Feb. 7. Watch the teaser here.
Fans who don’t want to wait until the Super Bowl to watch M&M’s full commercial are invited to a virtual preview at 9 a.m. EST on Feb. 3, via Zoom.
Super Bowl gets poetic
Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman will be taking part in the Super Bowl pregame show, ABC’s “Good Morning America” announced. Gorman quickly gained attention last week after reciting her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” during President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
In the stands
Sad you can’t attend the Super Bowl in person this year due to COVID restrictions? Well you can always send a cardboard cutout in your place. The NFL is allowing people to buy cardboard cutouts of themselves that will be placed in Raymond James Stadium to fill the empty seats, Tampa Bay Business Journal reports.
Join Michelob Ultra, Kimberly-Clark and M&M’s, among other Super Bowl advertisers and creatives, on Feb. 2 for a look at how brands are navigating the pandemic and addressing diversity in their ads for the 2021 game. Register here.
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