Firm News

Superbowl LI: Trends & Takeaways

February 9, 2017

There were lots of firsts in Super Bowl LI.

The first Super Bowl overtime game in NFL history, the first QB to make an appearance in seven Super Bowls (and now the winningest QB in Super Bowl history), the first livestreamed ad of this century, and not to mention the first Super Bowl halftime show to feature 300 dancing drones.

While brands went gaga and spent $5 million for a 30-second coveted Super Bowl ad spot, only 10 percent of consumers say Super Bowl commercials actually influence them to purchase products. Meanwhile, American consumers spent an average of $75 in preparation for the big game for a total of $14.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Super Bowl Spending Survey.

What can brands learn from Super Bowl LI? It’s debatable whether or not any of this year’s ads earned the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) status. Some took the opportunity to get political while others steered clear. Here’s a look at the top trends and trending ads:Super Bowl is for the Socially Conscious

  • Hyundai’s “Better Super Bowl” takes place at a US military base in Poland to unite soldiers with loved ones during the game. [LINK]
  • Audi’s #DriveProgress ad drives home the message that progress is for everyone. A little girl competes in a soapbox car race as her father narrates his struggle to discuss gender equality with her. [LINK]

The Game of Celebrity Sightings

  • Honda gathered big names into a quirky yearbook-themed commercial as a gentle reminder to viewers to chase after their dreams. Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Viola Davis and Jimmy Kimmel are among the celebrated stars in the “Believe in Yourself” campaign. [LINK]
  • Bai had all 90s kids rejoicing in their clever delivery of N*Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye” anthem featuring Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken. [LINK]

Acceptance (going beyond Falcons fans having to accept their fate)

  • Executed in as little as three days, Airbnb’s #WeAccept campaign is simple in nature but sends a powerful message, “the world is more beautiful the more you accept.” [LINK]
  • Coca Cola’s reprised ad from 2014, “It’s Beautiful,” made a strong statement of inclusion with lyrics sung in different languages because Coca Cola is for everyone. [LINK]

Perhaps these trends will set the tone for brand campaigns in 2017 and beyond. We’ll keep an eye out until Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis! 

Kelsey Hyde is a Senior Account Executive at Bond Moroch.