At the end of an NFL season marked by controversy over some players' national-anthem protests over racial injustice, the rapper Pras will air a Super Bowl ad to promote black culture and his new digital platform for black culture, Blacture. The goal of the platform, a release says, is to "promote black excellence and increase awareness and understanding of the tremendous influence the black artistic community has on American culture." Pras was a founding member of the Fugees.
The auto game is starting to take shape.
Fiat Chrysler said on Friday it made a large Super Bowl buy, with plans to air five spots in the game, E.J. Schultz reports. In true Chrysler fashion, the automaker didn't reveal any other details about which of its labels it will promote. It has made big impressions in the game over the years with spots including "Born of Fire," starring Eminem for Chrysler, and "Halftime in America," starring Clint Eastwood, also for Chrysler.
Toyota also upped its ad buy to three spots from two as it looks to push its Olympics and Paralympics sponsorships, according to Shultz. The automaker released two of its ads on Friday, one 60-second spot tear-jerker called "Good Odds," which portrays the journey of Canadian Paralympic skier Lauren Woolstencroft from infant to gold medalist. The other, a 30-second spot, is a cut-down of an ad that first aired in October, squeezing 100 people of all ages into a 120-second video combining scenes of athletic training with Toyota's mobility technologies. Toyota sat out of the game last year.
The overall presence of autos in the Super Bowl is down a bit from last year. While there will be 11 spots from autmakers, up one from 2017, there will be fewer auto brands appearing in the game so far.
Wix.com is returning to the Super Bowl after initially saying it would not only sit out this year's game but TV altogether in 2018. The reason? NBC gave the company a deal it just couldn't refuse. Here's how it all came together in the last 24 hours.
Time to rate the ads on what matters
This year for the first time, Ad Age will rank every Super Bowl ad from best to worst based on scores provided by our audience of marketing professionals—that's you—and captured by Morning Consult. Instead of only focusing on entertainment value, we want your scores for brand effectiveness as well. You can start making your picks here.
He is the Super Bowl
Bryan Buckley has nearly 60 Super Bowl credits to his name. He's directed spots for underdogs like Monster.com and It's A 10 Haircare, and for some of the biggest marketers out there like Coca-Cola and Bud Light. It's not unusual for Buckley to juggle several Super Bowl spots in any given year. But this year a foot injury side-lined him. While he directed some very clean toilet humor for Febreze this year, his injury meant he had to give up two additional directing gigs.
"It was like an injury in the middle of your season… I live for the Super Bowl, it was so depressing. But it put a lot of stuff into perspective pretty quickly," Buckley says.
In the latest edition of Ad Age's Ad Lib podcast, Buckley discuss the Super Bowl ads he wished he made and the nearly six dozen he did.
In other Super Bowl news, T-Mobile is back in the big game, with "Scandal" star Kerry Washington set to feature in some way. But it will keep the spot under wraps until game time. Last year, T-Mobile ran four spots during the game starring Justin Bieber, Kristen Schaal and Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg.
HBO will air its first Super Bowl ad in 20 years to promote the second season of "Westworld," a network spokesperson confirmed.
And you can see all of the advertisers confirmed to air spots in the game on Sunday in our continuously updated Super Bowl ad chart.
This writer is predicting a #BoringBowl. From predictable jokes to playing it safe, here's a look at some of the trends you will see in advertising during the big game.
CollegeHumor names the 10 funniest Super Bowl ads.
Elsewhere around the web, the Wall Street Journal's Suzanne Vranica breaks down the Super Bowl ads from a recliner in this video.
Have Super Bowl commercials lost their creative edge? Adweek spoke to top industry executives on the state of big-game creative.
Digiday takes a look at the day in the life of M&M's brand director in the days before the Super Bowl.
Justin Timberlake will perform his Oscar nominated hit "Can't Stop the Feeling" during the Super Bowl halftime show, People reported. But he says he won't be joined by any special guests.