It’s that time of year again and football fever is in full swing. For Super Bowl LI, brands are gearing up for their debut in the grand tradition of high-cost, high-impact TV commercials.
Last year’s Super Bowl ads were a big hit from Arnold Schwarzenegger battling it out for Mobile Strike and a motivational celebration for Pokémon’s 20th anniversary to Kia’s “Walken Closet” and Campbell’s tribute to Mom.
The TV won’t be the only screen consumers turn to during the big game, however. A survey by Influence Central found that 78 percent of consumers engage on social media platforms (led by Facebook and Twitter) while watching the Super Bowl, either to comment on the commercials (38 percent), to react to the game (32 percent) or to post pictures of their own Super Bowl parties (18 percent).
The Pennsylvania-based lumber company has invested in this pricey, but coveted spot to tell America that they’re in a position to hire upward of 400 hard workers.
Avocados From Mexico
Avocados From Mexico makes a tasty return for its third year at the Super Bowl with a spot during the first commercial break of the game. Avocados From Mexico will focus on a “health and wellness” message that includes statements like, “avocados have good fats and may help consumers who are looking for a healthier diet.”
Justin Timberlake, investor and “chief flavor officer” of the health drink brand, will appear in its second-consecutive Super Bowl ad.
Although the company denies any deliberate correlation between its new commercial and current events, Budweiser is telling the story of Adolphus Busch and his perilous journey to America in 1857, where he would go on to co-found Budweiser.
The company’s first-ever Busch ad takes a much lighter tone, although it remains true to the beer’s advertising roots. A flannel-wearing mountain man demonstrates the beer can’s “Buschhhhh” sound that echoes through the mountains, reminiscent of ads that go back to the 1970s. Even Spuds MacKenzie makes a comeback.
The car manufacturer will return for its second Super Bowl with a 30-second ad starring Miranda Kerr and Cam Newton.
Proctor & Gamble brand, Febreze will make its Super Bowl debut with a 30-second spot airing in the second quarter that celebrates “America’s Halftime Bathroom Break.”
This third-quarter ad will be Fiji Water’s first foray into the Super Bowl scene, although it will feature a previously-aired campaign.
At 133 years old, Ford is the second-oldest car manufacturer advertising at the Super Bowl, but its ad doesn’t focus on the latest model. Instead, the company will share a message of mobility from bicycles to ride sharing and of course, self-driving cars of the future.
After sitting out last year’s game, GoDaddy is back to promote its new website-building tool.
Honda returns with a bit of help from Steve Carell and some inspirational advice.
— Honda (@Honda) January 31, 2017
Continuing its tax day push, John Hamm will appear in an unreleased spot for the franchise.
Rather than show off the latest model, Hyundai is celebrating everyday people who make the world a better place.
To show off the 360-degree replay technology that will be used for the Super Bowl, Intel made Tom Brady’s daily routine a bit more epic.
It’s A 10 Haircare
The first Super Bowl ad by an independently-owned hair care brand will air in the third quarter. It’s A 10 Haircare has purchased a 30-second spot that will be directed by the Oscar-nominated Bryan Buckley.
Jack In the Box
Jack in the Box heard you liked bacon, so they made the Triple Bacon Buttery Jack—a new burger that will get its own commercial during the Super Bowl this year. To kick off its new campaign, the restaurant chain took advantage of recent email hack issues to do a bit of “hacking” of their own—exposing Jack’s secrets online, which are, not surprisingly, burger-related.
— Jack Box (@JackBox) February 1, 2017
Billy Zane stars as a new, very golden Colonel in this year’s spot.
It’s hard to top finding Christopher Walken in your closet with socks on his hands, but Kia is back for its eighth Super Bowl campaign. This year, they’ve enlisted the help of Melissa McCarthy, who stars as an “eco-warrior” trying to do the right thing for Mother Nature. The spot, highlighting the all-new Niro cross-over debuted February 1 through Kia’s Neobot for Facebook Messenger—the first brand to debut a Super Bowl ad in this manner.
Appearing in the fourth quarter is Super Bowl newcomer, King’s Hawaiian with a message about dinner rolls and a new line of BBQ sauces.
Returning for its third year, Lexus will show off a vibrant, dance-themed ad starring street dancer Charles “Lil Buck” Riley and narrated by Minnie Driver. The spot will air in the second quarter of the Super Bowl to promote its 2018 LC 500 performance coupe.
The luxury car brand has aired three commercials in the past, although not in sequential years. After sitting 2016 out, Mercedes-Benz will return to the Super Bowl show off its new GT Roadster with a little help from Peter Fonda.
Arnold is back, and this time he has a score to settle.
Making its first-ever Super Bowl debut is Mr. Clean with a humorous spot that makes cleaning sexy.
Getting its new console in front of as many eyes as it can before the March launch, Nintendo will air its first-ever Super Bowl this year, highlighting the Switch.
A TV spot will air for Ghost In The Shell—a sci-fi action film starring Scarlett Johansson and based on the popular manga and anime series.
Everything they told her was a lie.
— Ghost In The Shell (@GhostInShell) February 2, 2017
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco sends an important message to viewers about not being a party pooper. On a more serious note, Tostitos is introducing a bag of chips that can detect alcohol on a user’s breath. If it does, a red steering wheel icon appears with a message not to drink and drive, along with a $10 Uber discount code. Mountain Dew is introducing two new flavors—Raspberry Citrus and Mango Lime—which come paired with an AR “Kickstart ” Super Bowl experience that lets fans create their own mascots using virtual props. Fifteen-second videos featuring personalized mascots can then be shared on social media using the hashtag #KICKSTART. Pepsi-Co.’s Frito-Lay branch will sit out the big game this year, leaving a crunchy, Dorito-shaped hole in our hearts.
LifeWTR will make its first appearance during the game with a colorful spot accompanied by a song from John Legend.
The detergent brand returns for its second-consecutive year with another ad themed around “The Professional.”
Back for its third year, football fans (and everyone else) have been feeling the love with Skittles’ “Romance” spot, set to air in the first quarter.
Fun fact—the Snickers candy bar was named after the Mars family’s favorite horse. The company’s live commercial airing during Super Bowl LI also has a horse. And Adam Driver. And a dead cowboy, apparently.
The brand promises a “real cliffhanger” for this year’s spot.
— MarceloClaure (@marceloclaure) January 27, 2017
John Malkovich illustrates the struggles of waiting too long to secure a domain name in this new 30-second spot. In reality, the actor does own the site, and he hired SquareSpace to help design the web page.
The New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski stars in this spot about a dry cleaner who takes the liberty of “improving” customer garments. Actor Jeffrey Tambor also makes an appearance in the campaign.
Tiffany & Co.
Just before Lady Gaga takes the stage at halftime, she will grace the screen for Tiffany’s first-ever Super Bowl ad entitled, “Legendary Style.” This is also the first TV ad from the company in 20 years, despite designing the Super Bowl winner’s trophy since 1967.
Justin Bieber explores the history of touchdown dances in this new spot by T-Mobile.
Top Games USA, Inc.
Mobile game developer Top Games joins the Super Bowl for the first time with an ad promoting its game Evony: The King’s Return.
Returning for a fourth year is the tax preparation software company with a 45-second spot featuring DJ Khaled. Focused on the product’s live video component, the “Relax It’s TurboTax” campaign aims to inject a bit of humor into the dreaded task of filing taxes.
Appearing for the first time, the restaurant chain will make a statement about its fresh, never-frozen hamburger patties.
Although a preview hasn’t been released, WeatherTech will return with its fourth-consecutive Super Bowl ad.
Returning for its third Super Bowl spot is custom website builder, Wix, who aims to highlight the company’s “creative capabilities.” Last year, the brand teamed up with DreamWorks for a cross-promotion of Kung Fu Panda 3, but this time it’s all about Wix, itself. The new ad has already amassed nearly four million views on YouTube alone, a good sign for the brand leading up to the Big Game.
“For the first Super Bowl we were new and not very well known, for the second Super Bowl we chose to work with a big brand partner, and now we are really excited about telling the story ourselves,” Wix CEO, Omer Shai said in a statement.
Returning after a two-year hiatus is an ad for Wonderful Pistachios narrated by pro-wrestler John Cena.
In Other News . . .
- GNC’s Super Bowl ad was approved, then denied because certain products included two of the 162 substances banned by the league.
- When Yellow Tail wine decided to purchase a Super Bowl ad, they found that Budweiser holds the exclusive alcohol rights. The work around? Local ad buys across 70 TV markets will ensure that a majority of viewers still get a visual taste.
- Pedigree’s Puppy Bowl XIII will return to Animal Planet, but this time with a twist. During the game, Pedigree will sponsor a “Puppy Bowl Virtual Reality” experience offering viewers a chance to check out the action on the field through the eyes of Buttons, one of this year’s star puppy players.