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The Game is Changing: Beyond the Commercial

Super Bowl ads have always been an integral part of the American sporting spectacle. While some come for the game and relentlessly cheer on their home team, others are waiting for the commercials to come on in between popping pigs in a blanket. According to, approximately two-thirds of the United States population watched Super Bowl LVI last year, an estimated 208 million-plus viewers. This high viewership continues to make it one of the most sought-after opportunities for advertisers to showcase their products and services and the cost of a Super Bowl commercial has reached a record-high average this year hitting $7 million per 30-second spot according to Forbes. Not to mention, consumer expectations are through the roof, so the strategy and creative need to be as epic as the placement.

In recent years, there has been a shift in the way these ads are being released, with many releasing their Super Bowl ads online in the days leading up to the event, hoping to generate buzz and attract more views. Gone are the days of the built anticipation leading to the first laugh-out-loud moment at the E*Trade baby or shedding an emotional tear at the Budweiser Clydesdales in Puppy Love. So, does this mean the Super Bowl has become just another (...$7 million) platform to consider in a broader marketing strategy? Are “Super Bowl Ads” now just…ads?

Maybe this new strategy isn’t so wrong after all. The price point certainly gets people talking but, by releasing their ads early, the conversation between the nachos and wings switches from the first-time critique to “I saw that one on TikTok last week, mom, wasn’t it funny?” generating buzz and creating dialogue around content. And, with so much competition for customer attention, it’s critical that brands get in front of their audiences as often as possible—no matter the platform.

If you’re considering budgeting for a $7 million spot next year, yes, we’d definitely recommend you should start looking for your celebrity spokesperson soon but you should also consider your entire marketing strategy and how you are going to get in front of the masses outside of just that one 30-second spot in February.

Oh, wait… this wouldn’t be a Super Bowl post if I didn’t share my favorites!

  • Dunkin’s ‘Drive-Thru’: I’m a sucker for the Bennifer romance reboot and the surprise Jennifer Lopez appearance at the end was brilliant.
  • Bud Light’s ‘Hold’: I loved how they took such a simple, relatable, (but often frustrating) situation everyone experiences and made it enjoyable.
  • Jeep’s ‘Electric Boogie’: This one admittedly had me boppin' to the beat with their remake of “Electric Boogie” making this one memorable.