With most of the Super Bowl ads hype in the rear-view mirror, we decided to take a dive into what made this year’s marketing push different. Even if you didn’t find the ads themselves to be creatively unique or powerful, there are trends and tactics in here that have something to say about how our culture and our marketing landscape is changing.
#1 The appearance of Jesus:
This year, the sea of alcohol and crass consumerism parted to make way for a brand re-fresh of Christianity. What does is say about our culture? The post-game banter says that we are as curious and skeptical as ever because we immediately wanted to know WHO was behind it. According to Christianity Today, the ads are partly funded by the family that owns Hobby Lobby, plus other evangelical groups.
#2 The end of Anheuser-Bush InBev’s 33-year+ alcohol exclusive:
While we may miss the Clydesdales and the likes of Spuds McKenzie, we have a whole new world of booze-powered marketing dollars competing for our attention – including our favorite from a Canadian product featuring a very homegrown rock star.
#3 The ubiquitous QR code:
While 2022 had the boldest use of the QR code on television thanks to Coinbase, it was adopted by more commercials for ’23. In a smart pairing of brands, Michelob Ultra featured a QR code on their beer cans that can be scanned to watch the first episode of the Netflix series Full Swing.
#4 App engagement goes off the charts:
Like the boost in QR codes/shoppable ads, this trend is linked directly to that human appendage we call the smart phone. During the Super Bowl, app engagement increased between 10% and 15% across the U.S. compared with a typical Sunday.
Local fun fact: Philadelphians were more active on apps during the game than KC. Congrats, we’ve mastered the art of browsing, posting, drinking, eating and yelling at the TV better than anyone.
#5 The biggest upset was purple Gatorade:
Andy Reid enjoyed a purple Gatorade bath while gamblers cashed in on odds of up to +1,000 (only the third time in Super Bowl history for purple). If only this had also taken place while he was coaching the Eagles, we’d be a little less bitter. (Photo credit: Associated Press)