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It’s nearly February, which for movie aficionados means one thing: Award season. The Golden Globes aired a few weeks ago and the Oscars are slated for the end of the month, which makes this a perfect time to catch up on all of the hit movies you might have missed in the last 12 months.
While I don’t usually have the chance to check out every movie nominated in every category, I try to prioritize movies nominated for best picture, as they tend to be the most heavily discussed throughout the year.
This year’s list includes nine spectacular films, ranging from the musical hit La La Land to Hidden Figures – a film based on a team of African American women who played a significant role in providing mathematical data for NASA’s first successful space mission.
In the spirit of awards, it got me thinking about another event this time of year that gets brand and agencies jacked up about new advertising concepts: The Super Bowl. While advertising has a slew of different award shows (Cannes Lions, CMAs, Cilos, etc), The Super Bowl offers the biggest stage for advertisers to show off what they can do, similar to the Oscars, where lesser known films have been known to garner more attention than ever before.

Do people really love the Super Bowl?

The real reason brands focus on Super Bowl time as the biggest opportunity to show off their brand, is because of the audience it receives. Last year, roughly 112 million people tuned in to one of the most popular sporting events of the year, which is astronomical. By comparison, an average of 40 million viewers tuned in to each game of the 2016 World Series, which featured the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. So yes, people really do love the Super Bowl.

Why the Super Bowl?

It’s a fair question. What makes the Super Bowl so special? The NHL, NBA, and MLB are all performing quite well ratings wise, and some would argue that the NFL has seen the biggest ratings dip in the last few years, so why do brands pay money for Super Bowl ads?
The primary differentiator is the amount of games played. The NHL, NBA, and MLB are all based on a best-of-seven series, while the NFL is the only final (outside of MLS, which uses a home-and-away format earlier on in its playoffs) that comes down to one game. There’s no do-over or second shot, it’s all-or-nothing on a Sunday night in early February.
This mentality has fixated itself to advertisers as well, who feel that the Super Bowl is one big event featuring the best of the best – from teams, to half time performances, to commercials. For some, the ads are more interesting than the actual game. While the Super Bowl might bring in the biggest audience in professional sports, it’s a fair guess that most viewers aren’t serious football fans, but are interested in other elements of the show, such as this year’s halftime show featuring Lady Gaga, which should draw an audience that differs from the traditional football fan.

Is it really worth the cheddar?

This ‘all on the line’ mentality might be why brands are willing to pay so much more, as 30-second spots at this this year’s Super Bowl LI are reportedly selling for over $5 million each – a pretty penny for any brand. By comparison, 30-second spots during Game 7 of the 2016 MLB World Series came in at roughly $674k, for just over a third of the viewers.
Another reason brands might be willing to pay is because of the media. Undoubtedly, the Super Bowl will be the hottest media topic on the morning of February 6 (the day following the game). The ‘best and worst’ ads of the Super Bowl has been an increasingly interesting storyline, with many news outlets offering their own take on what the space in between the big had to offer.

What can we expect this year?

While this year’s list of Super Bowl ads might not include Heinz wiener dogs, or Mountain Dew’s ridiculously confusing #puppymonkeybaby spot, it’s sure to be filled with a few laughs and a mountain of creativity. To view a full list of this year’s anticipated Super Bowl ads before kickoff, click here.
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Chris Stasiuk

Author Chris Stasiuk

Chris is commercial director and founder of SVG, a Toronto based video content agency.

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