This Sunday evening (at night in France), at least 100 million people will have their eyes glued to the Superbowl, the final of the American football championship. For comparison, 100 million is more than the whole of France, which has nearly 68 million inhabitants.
That’s a hell of a lot of eyes glued to the competition and the ads that are broadcast there. “No other platform can bring together 100 million people at the same time,” said Charles Taylor, professor of marketing at Villanova University. Better still, while the era is one of passive viewing, “they will watch the ads attentively and they are ready to talk about them with others”.
7 million dollars per 30 seconds of advertising
The last Super Bowl was the most-watched event in American television history, with 115 million viewers.
The broadcaster CBS understood this well and was able to charge, on average, 7 million dollars per 30-second spot. In 2023, 59 advertisements were broadcast during the match, i.e. more than half an hour of program over approximately 3.5 hours of broadcast.
The icing on this already enormous cake this year is the expected presence of the singer Taylor Swift, in a relationship with the Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce.
Morgan Stanley analysts are counting on a 10% jump in audience numbers thanks to the most popular artist in the world.
Another trump card massively played this year, humor, even if it means going far like these two grannies ready to do anything to collect a packet of chips (Doritos) or Anthony Hopkins in the mascot costume of an English football team (SToK).
Even more than in the two previous editions, brands are seeking to stay “on point” and stay away from any controversy, according to Larry Chiagouris.
The strategy of more aggressive, even political, communication, attempted by many at the end of the 2010s, did not pay off. “Studies show that, during the Super Bowl, people want to be entertained with advertising, they expect humor, they like to see celebrities, a slightly emotional spot, why not, but nothing political,” according to Charles Taylor.
Some have ignored it, wealthy individuals who do not have a commercial objective. Businessman Robert Kraft thus bought space for his spot against anti-Semitism and David Green on Christian values.
The role of social networks
The choice of a star can also give more impact to a marketing campaign around the spot, with the support of social networks.
The colorful candy Nerds have thus set their sights on Addison Rae, TikTok superstar with more than 88 million subscribers, who has already posted the ad on her account, with 300,000 “likes” to boot. Stronger, the Dunkin’ coffee chain, stages actor Ben Affleck decided to get into music and took dance lessons with the number one TikToker, Charli D’Amelio, with 152 million subscribers, many of them young, a popular target for advertisers.
In 2011, only four commercials shown during the match featured at least two celebrities. Last year, the figure rose to 22.