Thoughts on the 53rd NFL Super Bowl

Since last year’s Super Bowl was an offence spectacle, this time the defenses of both teams were in the focus. The New England Patriots defeated the Rams from Los Angeles with 13:3. The lowest scoring Super Bowl in history. The veterans Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as Head Coach now own six Super Bowl rings. An incredible achievement.

Numerous celebrities did not want to miss the game. And like every year, brands were omnipresent during the game. For advertisers, especially in the American market, the Super Bowl is the highlight of the year. With regularly over 100 million viewers, the event has been the most watched event in the USA for years. The top 10 TV broadcasts in the USA include nine Super Bowl games.

What makes the commercials so special?

TV viewers actually watch the commercials! The horrendous prices for a commercial – a 30-second commercial in the halftime break of the game costed 5.3 million dollars this year – forces the marketers to consider short and creative spots. Brands advertise with star power in the most creative way possible. Last year, for example, Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart appeared together in one spot. This year, there were commercials with stars like Serena Williams, the Backstreet Boys, 2 Chainz, Jason Bateman, Ludacris, Steve Carell, Charlie Sheen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jeff Bridges, Lebron James, Karlie Kloss and Harrison Ford. In addition, the NFL itself celebrated its 100th anniversary and showed spots with numerous current and former football stars. There was also a noticeable amount of advertising for movies. The expensive advertising time caused some unusual collaborations: Thus, a BudLight advertisement suddenly became a Game of Thrones advertisement. Walmart relied on numerous cult movie cars. It was also interesting to see that robots were used in numerous commercials. This shows how important robotics has become.

Generally speaking, marketers have to use the short time to activate viewers beyond 30 or 60 seconds. A spot should only be part of a longer campaign with associated landing pages, competitions or partnerships.

This year, Burger King showed how a longer campaign attracts viewers with the so-called mystery boxes. These were available from a minimum order value of ten dollars when ordering from home. The boxes had to be stored and during the game there were further instructions in a commercial.

A case of Mercedes last year shows that many things have to be taken into account, when extending campaigns further. In the run-up to last year’s Super Bowl, the automobile manufacturer had generated so many users for a mobile game that the servers failed and the game was cancelled without further ado. Initiatives have to be scalable due to the size of the event, especially for campaigns with second screen participation. The spots have to be embedded in a more comprehensive campaign. This provides more interaction, more contacts and ultimately more attention beyond the game.

Conclusion on the Super Bowl 2019

The Super Bowl 2019 was also a generational duel: The Patriots with quarterback Brady (41) and coach Bill Belichick (66) against the LA Rams with QB Jared Goff (24) and coach Sean McVay (33). These differences also exist in PR: The veterans, who have invaluable experience in dealing with customers and have sent out press releases by mail in the past against the younger generations, who like to work with new ideas and channels, such as Instagram and TikTok.

In the end, experience clearly prevailed in the Super Bowl. In our everyday PR work, we notice again and again how important a good mix of well-tried and new thinking is.

About the author

Simon Herrmann
Account Director at HBI Helga Bailey GmbH – International PR & MarCom

Simon is working as a PR consultant for HBI since 2015. He mainly serves clients from the B2B and public sector. In addition to his PR work, Simon posts daily news from the tech world under the hashtag #TechNews.





3D illustration by Quince Media

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