This year’s Super Bowl broadcast won’t have much of a Minnesota feel, aside from some regional ads and a Bob Dylan song featured in a national beer commercial.
A year after the National Football League’s main act turned downtown Minneapolis on its head with everything from branded warming houses with DJs to a tower of food-delivery trucks, the Big Game isn’t feeling like a terribly big deal to Twin Cities marketers.
“It was busy. It was really busy,” said Mike Caguin, chief creative officer at Minneapolis advertising agency Colle McVoy, about last year when the sporting event was played in Minneapolis. “This year I almost forgot about the Super Bowl.”
Despite the noticeable lack of local buzz, Colle McVoy leaders were excited to create several regional commercials that will play in different areas during Sunday’s game but not nationwide.
Twin Cities marketers have helped with national ad spots in the past and some local companies like Best Buy have paid for the coveted national ads. This Sunday, as the game is broadcast from Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, don’t expect much Minnesota charm to be felt on the national stage. As of Thursday, there weren’t any local agencies or local companies who were announced with national Super Bowl campaigns.
The often over-the-top, celebrity-filled commercials are a main attraction for the Super Bowl. Costs for a time slot for a national Super Bowl ad continue to spike with this year hitting a record $5.25 million for a 30-second spot.
Based on teasers, national ads will be full of celebrity mashups with lighthearted messaging with fewer discussions on more polarizing causes from past years when ads focused on gender equality, immigration and other culturally relevant topics.
“It has been lighter in tone for sure,” Caguin said. “Part of me thinks people are exhausted. There’s just an exhaustion for politics.”
Some of the national advertisers include: beer maker Stella Artois with cameos from Sarah Jessica Parker and Jeff Bridges; expense management platform Expensify featuring rapper 2 Chainz expensing his music video; a Pepsi ad with Steve Carell, Cardi B and Lil Jon; and an Avocados From Mexico spot with humans paraded around in a dog show.
But not all the ads are about laughs. Some spots will feature more thought-provoking messages like Microsoft’s 60-second ad on an Xbox adaptive controller for children with physical disabilities with the tagline “when everybody plays, we all win”; a commercial for dating app Bumble featuring tennis star Serena Williams who encourages women to “make the first move”; and a Budweiser commercial showcasing the brewer’s use of wind power to brew beer with Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” playing prominently in the background.
Colle McVoy created two 15-second ads for petroleum brand Cenex that will run during halftime in nine states, including Minnesota and the Twin Cities market. One spot features a packed RV during a gas station pit stop and another a father showing his daughter what a dipstick is as he checks his vehicle’s oil. Colle McVoy has helped Cenex with regional ads in the past.
“For regional, it’s a fraction of the cost so you can feel like you are on the big stage as a brand,” he said.
Colle McVoy also created an ad spot for Children’s Health in Texas that will run in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
While many companies can’t shell out the serious dollars it takes to broadcast a commercial during the Super Bowl, many brands take advantage of social media during the game to promote themselves.
Pizza Hut announced it would give a year of free pizza and tickets to next year’s Super Bowl to the parents of the first baby born after the kickoff of the game if they tweet a photo of their baby and time of birth to the pizza company. Frank’s RedHot sauce is telling people to tweet a chili pepper emoji and hashtag for a chance to win prizes.
Caguin will help host the American Marketing Association Minnesota’s “Ad Bowl” on Monday where industry experts will review the best and worst ad spots from the game.