Hello Super Bowl junkies,
I’m Jeanine Poggi, Ad Age’s senior editor, counting down to Super Bowl LIV. In the weeks leading up to the game, which will air on Fox on Feb. 2, 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.
Join Ad Age on Jan. 28 as we bring together some of the top brands, agencies and creatives, including Hyundai, Sabra hummus, Pop-Tarts and WeatherTech, as well as a fireside with Madonna Badger, to discuss diversity in Super Bowl advertising, the role of humor in Big-Game commercials and what it takes to pull off a spot on TV's biggest stage.
Every Super Bowl needs an aging rapper. Cue MC Hammer, who will star in Cheetos’ Big Game commercial, Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl reports. The teaser, which was released on Thursday, plays on Hammer’s infamous song, “U Can’t touch this.” And honestly, isn’t that the way we all feel after eating Cheetos? The idea of a rapper made famous in the '80s playing upon his most iconic song might feel like it comes straight from the Super Bowl playbook, but this one looks like it could work. Watch the teaser here. (Note: Yes, we know the song came out in 1990, but MC Hammer started his career in the mid-80s and the teaser refers to him writing the song in 1989.)
All work and no play …
Makes Jack a dull boy. A reference from the 1980 horror flick “The Shining” isn’t something you’d expect to see in a Super Bowl ad, but Mtn Dew riffs on the classic typewriter scene in a teaser for its Super Bowl commercial. Mtn Dew will air a 30-second spot in the Big Game, Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz reports. As to whether or not Jack Nicholson, who starred in the movie, will reprise his role in the commercial, a Mtn Dew spokesman was tight-lipped: “Stay tuned for more exciting announcements regarding the commercial over the next two weeks.”
‘Queer Eye’ poo-poos pretzels
In a teaser for Pop-Tart’s Super Bowl commercial, “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness doesn’t approve of regular pretzels, declaring them “so dry, so dull, so crusty,” before freaking out in his usual fashion. Pop-Tart’s first Big-Game commercial will promote its new pretzel flavor. Watch the teaser here.
Turkish Airlines is returning for its fifth consecutive Super Bowl ad. The airline did not disclose details on the premise of the 30-second spot, which was created with David Miami and David Madrid. Last year, Turkish Airlines ran a commercial from filmmaker Ridley Scott that celebrates Istanbul and its new airport.
To keep track of all the advertisers running national spots in the game, bookmark Ad Age’s regularly updated Super Bowl ad chart.
Space for women
Olay revealed its all-female Super Bowl cast, which includes YouTuber-creator Lilly Singh, Busy Philipps, Taraji P. Henson and Katie Couric, along with retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Ad Age’s Jack Neff reports. The space-themed spot is inspired by last year’s first all-female spacewalk. Watch the teaser here.
Olay’s Super Bowl campaign includes a Twitter stunt to raise money to support girls getting into science and technology. Olay will donate $1 to Girls Who Code each time someone tags @OlaySkin and uses the #MakeSpaceforWomen hashtag between Jan. 15 and Feb. 3.
Heinz announced its return to the Super Bowl last week. Now, it is back with more Super Bowl-related news—not the spot, yet. Heinz wants to lessen the blow to any fans who booked trips to Miami well in advance of the game, only to see their team eliminated in the conference championships on Sunday, Wohl writes. Heinz plans to offer fans 57-cent change fees so they can reroute their Miami flights to a different destination. The brand effort kicks off Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. ET for fans who booked flights before 12 a.m. ET on Jan. 15. Entrants have the chance to win one of 300 $199.43 Visa prepaid cards, with the premise being that change fees can be about $200, and Heinz is “charging” them the 57 cents by taking it off the value of the card.
Meanwhile, Kraft Heinz confirmed it will not have other brands in the game alongside Heinz and Planters. Kraft Heinz ran its first spot for frozen food brand Devour last year, but it won’t return in 2020.
Collect a Vatom
Avocados From Mexico is offering people money and other prizes for engaging with them on social media as part of its Super Bowl promotion. People who retweet their tweets will be entered to win tiaras valued at $2,745 or the same amount on gift cards, Wohl writes. There’s also a daily $1,000 prize and one $15,000 prize set to be awarded to those who take a deeper dive, collecting digital objects known as Vatoms.
Super Bowl LIV is adding another female performer to its roster of entertainers. Demi Lovato will sing the National Anthem, the pop star announced on Instagram on Thursday. (Fun fact: she’s my girl crush. I admit I was listening to her on my way into the office when Schultz messaged me with the good news.)
And here's something to listen to on your commute home: myself, Schultz and Wohl discuss what we know so far about this year’s Super Bowl commercials in our Marketer’s Brief podcast.
Dive into Big Game ads of yore in Ad Age’s extensive Super Bowl ad archive.