February is coming up and you know what that means…Super Bowl 50! It’s the only time when people look forward to commercials. This year, it’s predicted that advertisers are going to stay neutral with their ads.
Last year there was plenty of controversy over the heart-wrenching commercials during the Super Bowl. Two ads specifically got plenty of complaints. There was the Budweiser ad that showed a Golden Retriever puppy having been saved by wolves. Then, there was the Nationwide Insurance company that was narrated by the ghost of a young boy who died in a freak accident.
Peter Daboll is the CEO of Ace Metrix, an ad analytics firm. He commented on the Super Bowl 49 commercial advertisements and said:
“Last year (was) much more emotional … compared to funny. It almost got to a point where people were like, enough, already. There was a fair amount of consumer backlash.”
University of Detroit Mercy marketing professor, Michael Bernacchi, said that this year’s Super Bowl wants to stay as far away as possible from last years ads. He said:
“I think, really, this particular Super Bowl in its ads wants to separate from that as much as they possibly can. Even the movies (ads) that are likely to be shown fit into that glove of positivism, of optimism. (…) I expect joviality, optimism — I expect comedic ads, I expect lightheartedness.”
Industry observers have made a point of saying consumers don’t want the emotional gut punch this year and the safest bet for ads is to be funny, positive and uplifting.
Screwing up a Super Bowl ad means more than just a few unhappy customers talking about the commercial. If the ad doesn’t garner business for the company, they lose a great deal of money.
Kantar Media reports that the cost of Super Bowl ads has steadily increased over the last ten years. In 2015, a 30-second commercial would put you $4.4 million out of pocket. This year that cost is closer to $5 million.
Due to the high price tag, there’s a lot on the line for advertisers. Tim Calkins is a clinical professor of marketing from the Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He said:
“There’s so much scrutiny. You want to stand out, but at the same time, you have to be safe. It’s partly financial risk. It’s also creative risk. Advertisers are very nervous about offending people. There are a lot of topics advertisers will work very hard to stay away from (because) there’s a lot of tough stuff going on in the world right now.”
Emotional or funny…either way Super Bowl commercials will always be talked about. But I’m sure people will be glad to have a bit of humor during the breaks from the game.