Good afternoon Super Bowl junkies,
I'm Jeanine Poggi, Ad Age's senior editor, here with the latest edition of our Super Bowl Alert. In the weeks leading up to the game, Ad Age will bring 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 it in your inbox.
Doesn't get sexier than expense reports
It's just what you want to hear about during the Super Bowl – the tedious task of filing your work expenses. Expense management company Expensify promises to put "an entertaining and elaborate twist on one of the most tedious financial management tasks in the workplace and beyond: filing expense reports." The 30-second spot marks Expensify's first Super Bowl ad and its first-ever TV commercial.
Alexa, order Pringles
Pringles released three teasers for its Super Bowl ad on Thursday featuring a smart speaker similar to an Amazon Echo or Google Home, Jessica Wohl reports. The ads come as food marketers try to figure out the best ways to cash in on the growing use of smart speakers in homes, especially as they're typically found in the kitchen. In one of the teasers, the speaker's voice says, "I cannot taste Pringles, only order them."
Pringles won't be including a celebrity this time around the way it did last year, when it made its Super Bowl debut with a spot starring actor Bill Hader and others stacking different flavors of Pringles chips to create new tastes.
There are the stars
I said earlier this week it seemed quiet on the celebrity front, but at least three more stars have been confirmed to appear in Super Bowl commercials. Canadian crooner Michael Bublé will star in his first Super Bowl spot for PepsiCo's Bubly, E.J. Schultz reports. A teaser video released on Thursday shows the singer on a supermarket floor, permanent marker in hand, changing the 'y' in Bubly to é. The ad will also feature comedienne Aparna Nancherla.
And another PepsiCo brand, Doritos, released a teaser of its spot on Thursday featuring Chance the Rapper alongside boy band Backstreet Boys. Try getting "I Want It That Way" out of your head after watching this one.
Ludacris will also appear in Mercedes-Benz's Super Bowl spot, the company confirmed.
Speaking of celebrities: Gladys Knight will sing the National Anthem during Super Bowl LIII, the NFL announced on Thursday.
This brings the celebrity tally to at least seven. But despite these additions, there's still a long way to go to match the 53 celebrities that appeared in Super Bowl LII.
Aside from the star power that will appear in Super Bowl LIII, here at Ad Age we will also be paying attention to how women are portrayed in this year's game and are expecting most ads to steer clear of politics in favor of a more light-hearted, humorous tone. Here's a rundown of what to watch for in the commercials this year.
Anheuser-Busch InBev has tacked on another 15 seconds to its Super Bowl ad buy, bringing the brewer's total time to five-minutes, 45 seconds, across eight ads, Schultz reports. AB InBev—which has long held exclusive alcohol ad rights for the game as a result of network negotiations—has not approached this level of saturation since 2010, when nine ads spanned five minutes, 30 seconds, according to Ad Age's Super Bowl archive. (We also included a tenth ad, for Budweiser, called "Payments," but the brewer informs us that one actually ran in pre-game, and we'll trust them on that.)
Bookmark our Super Bowl ad chart, which is the most current look at all the marketers confirmed to air national spots in Super Bowl LIII.