2017 Super Bowl Marketing Trends

Author: Jack Martin

Every year companies shell out millions for the Super Bowl in attempt to captivate an audience of over 100 million people. Advertising on television’s biggest night is no easy feat as a 30 second commercial spot costs upward of $5 million, excluding production costs.

In attempt to receive the largest return on investment, companies employ advertising tactics that they hope will resonate and engage with the consumers. This year’s Super Bowl on FOX Broadcasting had 66 corporations vying for the attention of critics and viewers, and we’re going to break down the marketing trends they implemented during television’s biggest night of the year.

Decline of the Hashtag

Since the rise of Twitter, companies have implemented hashtags in their Super Bowl advertisements to encourage engagement on social media platforms. This year, however, brands went against the hashtag all together according to research from Marketing Land.

Out of the 66 corporations who participated, only 30% included a hashtag in their commercial spot. This is a decline from 45% just last year, and a significant drop from a high of 57% in 2014.  While there may have been a reduction, brands still benefit from the appliation. Some of the popular hashtags from the Sunday’s big game included:

Skittle’s #TasteTheRainbow
T-Mobile’s #UnlimitedMoves,
Febreze’s #BathroomBreak

The biggest growth trend this year was the use of direct links. 39%, or around 25 companies, used a website address in their spots to promote an action from the consumer. This marks a 4% increase from the year before.

Brands are starting a Conversation

The days of Super Bowl commercials consisting only of beer and fast cars are over. This year brands took the current political environment and used the television platform to start a dialogue with the viewers.

Typically companies have shied away from this approach, as most cannot afford such a costly potential backlash. Super Bowl 51 featured companies such as Airbnb, Budweiser, and 84 Lumber, who created story-telling commercials on the topic of diversity and inclusion. Why? These companies want to appeal to the consumer’s internal emotions in order to evoke certain beliefs about the brand.

Celebrity Appearances

Celebrity cameos in Super Bowl commercials have been a long-standing tradition in attempt to bring publicity to a campaign. This year’s no different, as a handful of brands like T-Mobile and Kia used high profile personalities Justin Bieber and Melissa McCarthy to increase social engagement with their respective products.

Celebrities have the opportunity to influence consumer purchases by associating their personal brand with the company. For example, Justin Timberlake used his likability and humor during a spot for Bai, an antioxidant drink company, which resulted in positive engagement and an increase in brand recognition. Celebrity endorsements of this kind can sometimes be a double edge sword though. If a negative incident occurs with a public figure, it can cause major financial and customer downfall for brands depending on the situation.

Overall, while companies continued typical marketing efforts such as paid celebrity actors, many brands also brought new trends such as storytelling and website links. Out of the 66 advertisement spots, which ones won you over? Which ones fell flat for you? Tweet at us and let us know!