Super Bowl Ads

Every year the folks at APR play “Super Bowl Bingo” in attempt to outdo each other in spotting ad trends in real time. As self-proclaimed ad production nerds, I must admit that we take more joy in this than in the big game itself.

So, what did we find in 2018?

Brands Are Not Holding Back on Celebrities
We viewed over 70 spots and 58% of them used celebrities. We already know the price point for a Super Bowl ad, so adding a celebrity of any stature will add considerably to the overall budget. While the celeb buzz can result in a big short-term splash, it is worth seeing if the results persist far enough on the long-tail (or in sales) to justify the budget.

Humor is King
49% (Almost half) of this year’s ads could be categorized as humorous. And, Tide makes up for a solid portion of that figure with their attempt to make every Super Bowl commercial a Tide commercial. Brilliant and fun!

We Saw a Lot of Teasers
35% of the ads were released before the Super Bowl as teasers which may have compelled some people to watch the commercials instead of refilling their snack bowls.

We Did See Diversity
Over 50% of the ads demonstrated diversity on some level, including representation of gender and people of color on camera. However, there were only four female directors (9%) vs. 42 male directors (91%) of the commercials; seems imbalanced. Our very favorite, Alma Har’el, founder of directed the Coca-Cola anthemic spot. Yay, Alma!


Infographic provided by The Cortez Brothers

Puppy Monkey Baby

We know that babies and animals are always popular in commercials. However, there seemed to be a significant lack of puppies or monkeys (unless you want to count three spots with horses, a muskox, a peacock, a kangaroo, and a dinosaur). We did get a couple of spots with babies, though! 

Some Other Noteworthy Observations

  • Leading consumer category: Automotive, 20%

  • Live action production: 92%

  • Commercial length: 60-seconds or more per spot, 34%

  • Commercials with a licensed track or popular song: 32%

Until next year! And let’s hope 2019 doesn’t lose 30-seconds of quality airtime again.

Jillian Gibbs

Founder, Global CEO, Advertising Production Resources (APR)

From the CEOumbrla-creative