More Super Bowl ad rookies will try to score a touchdown this Sunday.
The Super Bowl has 15 new advertisers, the most since 2000, before the economy fell into the first of two recessions. Advertising experts say the rookie interest in Super Bowl ads is a positive sign that companies feel good in the most recent economic recovery.
New advertisers like Carnival Cruise Lines and Skittles candy hope to capitalize on the massive Super Bowl audience: The game is advertising’s greatest showcase, with more than 110 million people expected to watch the Seattle Seahawks play the New England Patriots. And more than the sheer size of the audience, ad experts say, new advertisers want to draw on the goodwill that people feel toward Super Bowl ads.
But at about $4.5 million for a 30-second spot, the ads are also a huge gamble. Some first-time advertisers succeed in becoming a household name: GoDaddy.com established itself with a racy Super Bowl spot 11 years ago. But others misfire: Groupon’s only Super Bowl effort, in 2011, aimed to be a tongue-in-cheek take on public service announcements but was criticized for being insensitive
“If you need to go get a huge audience, you can get it here,” said Kelly O’Keefe, a professor at VCU Brandcenter in Richmond, Va. “There will be more losers than winners, as there are every year. But for the brands who manage it well, it can be a great place to reach consumers.”
Here are some Super Bowl rookies you’ll see Sunday:
A sweet deal
Skittles has had a major presence at NFL games thanks to Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s professed love of the candy. Lynch has been a fan of the chewy candies since he was a kid playing sports, and fans throw Skittles on the field when Lynch makes a big touchdown run. Skittles became an official NFL sponsor this season and decided to advertise during the big game for the first time — even before it knew the Seahawks would be playing, said Matt Montei, senior marketing director for confections at Wrigley. The 30-second ad focuses on how the candy settles differences.
Teaser ad: youtu.be/tqvSTAZRbCk
Carnival, the world’s largest cruise company, is trying to burnish the image of cruises with its first-ever Super Bowl ad after years of bad publicity from illnesses on ships and the wreck of the Costa Concordia in 2012.
“We want to start a new conversation about cruising,” said Ken Jones, vice president of corporate marketing for Carnival.
The company created six ads and let people vote on them online. One shows the fairy-tale moments that happen during a cruise and features “cruise virgins” talking about their first time on a cruise. Only one will air on Super Bowl Sunday, but the company isn’t saying which.
Ad contest: www.carnivalmarketingchallenge.com
Sticking like glue
Chances are, the name Loctite doesn’t spring to mind when you think of glue. Loctite, part of the consumer products group Henkel, will try to change that in its Super Bowl spot.
Henkel started a campaign for Loctite in May with the theme, “Win at Glue,” including an ad featuring people dancing around in Loctite-branded fanny packs.
The 30-second Super Bowl ad could expand on that theme. Pierre Tannoux, Loctite’s director of marketing, said the company wanted to break out of the way that the category is normally advertised — “in a very expected, boring way, in expected places.”
Bringing life to batteries
Mophie, which makes phone cases that hold extra batteries, says its 30-second Super Bowl ad — rather than beating the brand into people’s heads — focuses on raising awareness that everyone faces the same issue with too-short battery life on smartphones.
Ross Howe, Mophie’s vice president of marketing, said that while the company is the dominant battery case player, it has hit a plateau after years of growth and wants to expand brand awareness.
Wix.com, which hosts customizable websites, said its 30-second ad is ideal for the company right now: It went public in 2013 and has been expanding its user base. Now it’s ready to reach a broader audience. The ad shows retired NFL players like Terrell Owens and Brett Favre starting humorous fictional businesses. The former Cowboy Owens, for example, starts a pie company.