4 Advertising Trends to Expect From Super Bowl LII


Last year’s Super Bowl saw advertisers get political, with brands tackling issues such as immigration, pay inequality and climate change.

That’s one trend viewers can expect to see continue in 2018, according to video ad tech company Unruly, which measured last year’s most “effective” ads.

“Last year was an interesting year, as we came out of a politically charged environment, and that definitely came through as you look at the landscape of Super Bowl commercials,” Unruly North America president Steven Sottile told Adweek, with brands such as Budweiser and 84 Lumber tackling the issue of immigration and Audi exploring female empowerment.

“In years past, it was a race to see who could create the most humorous creative around the Super Bowl,” Sottile said. “That still existed, but [last year] you had creative teams and brands sit down and find elements of which they wanted to align their product and their brand with and going all-in on statements.”

He added, “If you are going to make a statement and you are going to stand for something, it’s got to be authentic.”

Last year, Audi was criticized for its “Daughter” Super Bowl spot addressing equal pay when viewers pointed out that Audi’s own executive team included only two women. State Street, whose “Fearless Girl” statue by McCann New York was one of the most celebrated ads of 2017, faced similar backlash when news broke that the company agreed to a $5 million settlement payment in response to charges it underpaid female and minority employees.

“What we’ve seen in our research is that around 76 percent of consumers are actually turned off by brands whose creative does not appear to be authentic,” Sottile explained.

Despite the risks involved—a 4A’s survey last May found “more risk than benefit” for brands tackling social and political issues—brands continued to get political throughout 2017.

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