Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl Ads: The Coming Storm

22 Jan , 2016  

People in Washington, Philadelphia and New York are waiting for what might be a historic storm. A few flakes are falling at the moment but not much. This will soon change.

It is the same story for Super Bowl advertising. Just over two weeks to go and all is calm. Things are rather quiet on the marketing front.

A number of brands have announced that they will be advertising–Butterfinger had someone jump out of a plane back in December to build anticipation–and BMW released a teaser campaign on Monday. You can watch the video below.



AB InBev’s Shock Top and Bud Light both released teaser spots this morning. Still, overall there isn’t much happening. We’ve heard nothing of note from most of the advertisers.


Why have things been so quiet? Two reasons:

First, it is too early. People have a short attention span, and the Super Bowl is over two weeks away. People aren’t focused on the advertising yet, or the game.

Second, secrecy is critical. One of the ways that brands generate excitement is by doing something unexpected and surprising. Companies are working very hard to keep things under wraps. There are many non-disclosure agreements in place.

Rest assured, Super Bowl advertisers have elaborate plans for the weeks leading up to the big event. The storm is coming. On Sunday, we will learn which teams will be playing in the Super Bowl, and people will start thinking about the game and the advertising. This will trigger a historic marketing blitz, as advertisers fight to win the pre-game weeks.


Look for a few things:

Teaser spots

A majority of advertisers will release teaser spots to generate views. Some, like BMW, will have a series of teaser ads and release them over time.


It should be a huge year for celebrities. When you are spending $5 million for a spot, it is easy to justify some of the funds to get a known spokesperson. Look for the usual big names, but also anticipate some surprise appearances. Skittles will apparently be using Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.

Digital games and activities

Brands will work hard to engage with consumers through on-line activities. Look for a number of different efforts to bring in people, and more hashtags than you can imagine.

Early releases

Most brands will release their spots a few days before the Super Bowl. Only a few will protect the surprise until the game. My advice? Enjoy these last moments of relative quiet.

Join me in New York City the evening of February 2 to learn more about Super Bowl advertising and trends this year. I will be speaking at an event with the Kellogg Alumni Club of New York. It is open to the public; you can sign up here.

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  1. Check out our staff’s top picks for #SB50 ads – the good, the bad & the ugly. Join the conversation at #CRSuperBowl.

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