After a year of political and cultural upheaval http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-michael-jordan-jersey , back from themes of unity in favor of in-game stunts and ads that aim for the heart – and in some cases even lower.
The stakes are high since a 30-second spot costs more than $5 million for airtime alone. The goal is to capture the attention of the more than 110 million viewers expected to tune in to the big game on Feb. 4 – ideally by striking an emotional chord with the game audience that will rub off on brands.
Next best: Simply drawing attention, even if an ad offends some people. Worst of all? Being forgotten immediately.
”More people will see me in this than they have in the last three movies I’ve made,” actor and comedian Bill Hader (“Trainwreck”) muses in a teaser for Pringles’ first Super Bowl spot.
MEASURING THE MOOD
Each year, Super Bowl ads offer a snapshot of the national psyche. Last year, just after President Donald Trump took office, ads offered themes of inclusion. Airbnb showed faces of different ethnicities with the copy ”We all belong,” and Coke re-ran an ad featuring ”America the Beautiful” sung in different languages.
This year, following a year of heated debate over immigration, NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem and the #MeToo movement highlighting sexual misconduct, many Super Bowl advertisers are playing it safer by showcasing famous faces, focusing on inoffensive causes and trying to stand out with silly humor and stunts. Of course, a few are going straight for whatever will grab attention.
Most people remember the 2004 Super Bowl for the infamous ”wardrobe malfunction” when Justin Timberlake ripped off part of Janet Jackson’s shirt during the halftime performance. But it also featured an unusually large number of tasteless ads, including crotch and fart jokes by Sierra Mist, Budweiser and Bud Light and the now-famous Cialis ad that warned about erections lasting longer than four hours.
Advertisers largely dialed it back afterward, excepting a 2009 Doritos ad that included a snowglobe-in-the-crotch joke. But this year, Justin Timberlake returns to the Super Bowl … and so does sock-it-to-the-lower-body humor.
Groupon’s ad, for instance, stars Tiffany Haddish asking people to support local businesses – then cuts to a wealthy man who plots to crush small businesses, only to double over after players nail him with a kicked football.
Groupon insists the man isn’t hit in the groin, although the ad video is ambiguous. ”The crotch hit is the lowest thing in the book Greedy Williams Jersey ,” Advertising Age columnist Barbara Lippert said in a phone interview. ”I was hoping it was retired forever.”
The Groupon ad is also notable for its distinctly anti-1 percenter tone. ”We think the vast majority of consumers will appreciate the over-the-top comeuppance our `villain’ receives,” said Jon Wild, Groupon’s head of marketing for North America.
An ad for Febreze air freshener goes all in for toilet humor. It presents a pseudo-documentary about a boy whose ”bleep doesn’t stink,” alluding to a profane phrase that commonly refers to people who are full of … themselves.
THE RICH AND FAMOUS
It wouldn’t be a Super Bowl without celebrities chugging sugary drinks and hawking junk food. Cindy Crawford will reprise an iconic 1992 Super Bowl spot for Pepsi. The beverage maker will also feature Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman in linked ads for new versions of Doritos and Mountain Dew.
In a Pringles ad , Bill Hader has a snack on set and introduces a made-up practice dubbed ”flavor stacking,” in which the actor stacks together different Pringles varieties. M&Ms has released a teaser showing Danny DeVito dressed as an M&M being dunked in chocolate.
For a non-snacking celebrity appearance, Squarespace hired a bearded Keanu Reeves and sat him by a campfire to tout its web hosting services.
AIMING FOR THE HEART
Other advertisers are aiming straight for warm and fuzzy, figuring it’s best to bet on ”things that are universally liked,” said Kelly O’Keefe, managing director of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter.
NBC created five cinematic 60-second ads showcasing Olympic athletes to drum up excitement for the Winter Olympics, which start airing starting four days after the Super Bowl. The ads showcase Americans athletes such as skier Lindsey Vonn and figure skater Nathan Chen.
An Anheuser-Busch ad shows a Budweiser brewery producing cans of water instead of beer, highlighting the brewer’s donation of drinking water to places in need. Its Stella Artois brand also teamed with Matt Damon to sell a limited edition beer glass, with proceeds also targeted at providing access to water.
Lexus is promoting its new LS 500 luxury sedan, which it is aiming at a 45-to-55-year-old demographic, with an action spot starring the Black Panther, a Marvel superhero.
Recent Super Bowl ad stunts have yielded mixed results. Snickers isn’t returning to the game this year after a live spot last year fell flat. But marketers aren’t giving up.
Tide, which last year did a fake-out ad with Terry Bradshaw that appeared to be commentary during the game, will be back with Bradshaw this year.
Colts general manager Chis Ballard showed up for a news conference Wednesday – just not the one he expected.
Instead of introducing Josh McDaniels as the team’s new head coach, Ballard stood in front of reporters trying to explain why New England’s longtime offensive coordinator reneged on a deal he initially accepted.
But if Ballard’s disgust about losing his top choice wasn’t clear from the occasional glare or the strong pitch in his voice, he left no doubt with one parting shot.
”The rivalry is back on http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-sione-takitaki-jersey ,” he said before leaving.
Conducting a coaching search in February isn’t what Ballard or Indy envisioned when Chuck Pagano was fired just hours after Indy completed a 4-12 season on Dec. 31.
Exactly 24 hours after announcing McDaniels’ hiring on the team’s Twitter account and roughly 16 hours after he called back to tell Ballard he was out, the search begins anew for the jilted Colts.
Their other finalist, Mike Vrabel, has already taken the Tennessee job. Another top-tier candidate, Mike Nagy, has already been hired in Chicago. Baylor coach Matt Rhule, who also interviewed for the job, is back on campus getting ready for spring football. And it’s unclear where the Colts may turn next.
”We have a list of candidates, I’ve had them from the get-go,” Ballard said. ”There are other guys we wanted to interview, but because of the playoffs, we weren’t able to.
”We’ll move forward with them and we will get the right leader for the Indianapolis Colts – one that believes what we believe and wants to go where we want to go. I’m very confident in this.”
Ballard didn’t name names, of course, nor did he provide a timetable.
Oddly, the timing could present Indy with a unique opportunity to pick off a candidate who might emerge as a top candidate on next year’s coaching carousel.
Several possibilities exist including Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who was part of a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots with a backup quarterback.
The good news for Indy is that the only coaching vacancy still looks pretty attractive – if Andrew Luck is healthy.
Indy still has Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton, Pro Bowl tight end Jack Doyle, a revamped defense that showed major improvement as last season went along, the No. 3 pick in the draft and about $80 million to spend in free agency.
Luck, meanwhile Sheldrick Redwine Jersey , continues to be the big question as he rehabs from last January’s surgery for a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.
Some believe McDaniels’ sudden change of heart was related to doubts about Luck’s health.
Ballard didn’t bother asking McDaniels why he made the decision.
On Wednesday, though, he attempted to alleviate lingering concerns about Luck while acknowledging the franchise quarterback still hasn’t thrown a football since returning from Europe late last year.
”At this point, we feel very strongly that Andrew is in a good place. He doesn’t need surgery,” Ballard said. ”I have not gotten that from the two doctors that he’s seen here after the season. His strength is good. He’s working on his throwing motion and he’s working on his arm speed right now. He has not picked up a football, but he is throwing balls, working on arm speed.
”He’s going to do everything right to get himself ready to play and I’m very confident, he’s very confident, that he’s going to come back and prove a lot of people wrong,” Ballard added.
McDaniels decision didn’t just leave the Colts in the lurch.
Three assistant coaches – Matt Eberflus, Mike Phair and Dave DeGuglielmo – had already been hired in Indy.
While Ballard said he likes all three and will honor their contracts by keeping them on the next coach’s staff, others strongly criticized McDaniels from walking away from them.
”Haven’t read the article but I can tell you there is NO excuse big enough to justify this,” Dungy wrote on Twitter in response to a story that indicated McDaniels stayed with the Pats because he was more comfortable with the team.
”It’s one thing to go back on your word to an organization. But having assistant coaches leave jobs to go with you then leave them out to dry is indefensible.”
But as the news conference continued, Ballard said people say no to job offers every day, he wished McDaniels well at the end of Tuesday night’s brief call and that his primary concern now is finding someone who wants the job.
”To me, it’s about being right,” Ballard said. ”You’ve got to be right. It doesn’t matter if you’re the first out of the box and everybody praises you or you are the last one to make the hire. We want to be right.”