Marketing & Advertising

Super Bowl LV: Marketing’s Big Night

Overview The Super Bowl is more than a highly anticipated sports contest. The annual game is also one of the biggest marketing and advertising opportunities for brands, with Super Bowl commercials generating buzz all on their own. This year’s Super Bowl ads underscored some key pillars of marketing.

Super Bowl Sunday is a night where, on top of all the action of the game, marketing takes center stage. One of the biggest nights for advertising in the year, the Super Bowl provides global brands with the opportunity to leverage the attention of millions of football fans, reviving TV advertising as King for one night.

For mega-brands like General Motors or Procter & Gamble, both of whom joined us at CES® 2021, the coveted ad spots during the game are likely about more than just product awareness. It’s a chance to be part of the long-term conversation and to build customer loyalty to the brand — not just the product.

At Super Bowl LV, the commercials from worldwide brands, some of which have seen growing popularity in the past year, shone a light on some of marketing’s tried and true tricks.


Send a Message, Stay Relevant

Like one company said in one commercial this year, 2020 was “a lemon of a year.” From the pandemic to racial inequality to social unrest, the challenges of the year were many — advertising was a place for marketers to speak to that and a space for them to take a stance this year.

Many of the Super Bowl ads this year alluded to the difficulties of the year, connecting with audiences through empathy and catering to new stay-at-home messaging. Miracle-Gro, for example, mentioned the increased popularity of backyard gardening this past year, and Ford highlighted the ongoing efforts to fight the pandemic in its commercial.

From championing small businesses to showcasing diverse talent to promoting sustainability, mega brands used their ad slots this year to be part of ongoing conversations and promote positive change.


Say It in the Right Voice

Hand-in-hand with sending a relevant message, many brands also made sure to be tone sensitive and many pulled on audience heartstrings with their Super Bowl ads this year.

Reminding viewers of times spent with friends — or fellow industry legends — sharing drinks, promoting the journey of happiness, encouraging viewers to finish strong and more, brands reiterated a tone of hope and forward-looking optimism.

The tone of a commercial — whether it is inspirational or humorous — paired with the right message can help viewers better connect to the brand, building an emotional loyalty to the brand and not just the product based on the feel-good factor they associated with the brand. For multi-brand corporations such as P&G or Unilever, consumer reactions to one brand or the overall company could influence decisions on other related brands under the company.


It’s About the Audience Too

From entertaining viewers with unexpected storylines to connecting with the viewers through their favorite influencers, companies didn’t just sell a product or service. They understood their consumers and made sure the talent and stories being told were relatable to the consumers tuning into the Super Bowl.

Nostalgia, music, celebrities, always-loved puppies and babies, and more are all tactics for a brand to achieve a connection with the audience that simply speaking about the great qualities of a product would not accomplish.


This year’s Super Bowl ads highlighted the audience-first aspects of marketing, and many leaned into issues and challenges from the year, a marketing strategy that may not have been the most effective way for brands to stay relevant in years past. Viewers tune into the Super Bowl for a good time — but this year, with more fans forced to watch from afar and hoping for change soon, it was an opportunity for companies to show viewers we are in this together.

Learn more about some of the technology at play at Super Bowl LV.

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