Every year, Super Bowl ads exhibit new trends based on social trends and current events. So, it’s no surprise that this year’s batch would be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have already seen some big name brands pull out altogether, but what about the others? Here are a few ads that nod to the events of 2020.
This is Indeed’s first ever Super Bowl spot. Throughout the past year I have noticed them advertising a lot more and addressing problems few people talk about that are present in the job search market such as name and age discrimination. The Super Bowl spot highlights various people in various settings; all job searching, whatever their reason may be. Whether it’s switching fields, searching for their first job or looking to gain experience. I think this was well done and great platform for Indeed to air for millions of Americans sitting on their couch who may very well be any one of the people depicted in the commercial.
Another newcomer to the Super Bowl ad game is Scott’s Miracle Gro. All the extra time at home provided by the lockdown led to a huge surge of interest in home care. In this case – gardening. The spot opens with the lines, “Ah the backyard, it’s had quite a year…” The ad has a few celeb cameos; Martha Stewart tending to tomatoes as well as John Travolta and his daughter making a Tik Tok video in the yard. This video brings together a few elements – family bonding time during lockdown, Tik Tok dance video trends as well as the time to enjoy recreational activities.
Squarespace reimagined what the 9-5 looks like with their “5 to 9” commercial. This spot starts of with a woman sitting bored at her desk looking at the clock, then it turns 5:00. Then, she opens her laptop to Squarespace to hop on her “5 to 9” job. The commercial reimagines what the normal 9-5 can be for many people who have an online business – and you can use Squarespace to do just that. The ad closes with the copy, “Make Your 5-9 Full Time.” The idea is clever since many people are switching careers, furthering their side hustle or even starting their own business.
It’s interesting that these spots that don’t contain the usual comedy, food/alcohol and stunts seen in popular ads ( i.e. Bud Light, Doritos )all have much lesser views than those that contain that material. Advertisers that are successful receive high views on sites like Facebook and Youtube because they know their audience and know that their content is not only like-able but shareable amongst their target demographic.
Overall, things have been much slower this year, including NFL ratings which were down in comparison to last year. The article noted that “Fox, which broadcast the 2020 contest, sold all of its Super Bowl ad space before the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday and generated $448.7 million in game-time ad revenue — a record, according to the research firm Kantar. Sales were slower this year, and CBS did not fill its roughly 70 slots until last week.” I think much of the delay could do with the fact brands weren’t sure if they should participate in advertising if ratings were any indication. They also might have wanted to save their ad budget like Budweiser and donate to other causes.
“5 to 9 by Dolly Parton – Extended | Big Game Commercial 2021 | Squarespace.” Youtube, uploaded by Squarespace, 2 Feb. 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4FYL8twE6Q. Accessed 8 Feb. 2021.
Hsu, Tiffany. “Super Bowl Commercials: To Address or Avoid the Pandemic?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 3 Feb. 2021, www.nytimes.com/2021/02/03/business/media/super-bowl-commercials.html. Accessed 8 Feb. 2021.
Jeff Kerr Feb 7. “What Time Is 2021 Super Bowl? Live Stream, Halftime Show 2021, Watch Online as Chiefs Face Buccaneers.” CBSSports.com, 8 Feb. 2021, www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/what-time-is-the-super-bowl-live-stream-halftime-show-2021-watch-online-as-chiefs-face-buccaneers/. Accessed 8 Feb. 2021.
“Scotts & Miracle-Gro Big Game Commercial | Keep Growing :45.” Youtube, uploaded by Scotts Lawn, 2 Feb. 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QKt8GtRUOA. Accessed 8 Feb. 2021.
“The Rising – 2021 Big Game Commercial | Indeed.” Youtube, uploaded by Indeed, 3 Feb. 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZodu9AgwZE. Accessed 8 Feb. 2021.