The Biggest Challenge for Super Bowl 2021 Advertisers: Tone

Creating a Super Bowl commercial that 100 million people will both like and want to talk about with friends is difficult. Pulling it off amid high unemployment, intense political division and a pandemic that has taken the lives of 400,000 Americans? Even more so.

“At this very moment, if you’re very quiet and you close your eyes, you can actually hear the sounds of hand-wringing in every single edit bay across the country,” said Don Shelford, executive creative director at Swift, a Wunderman Thompson agency based in Portland, Oregon.

While no year is without hardships and pitfalls, the potential for advertisers to offend viewers by missing the mark during the 2021 Super Bowl is higher than most.

“This is the most challenging year to get it right,” said Derek Rucker, professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. If brands that typically run a spot during the Big Game were ever considering sitting one out, this would probably be the year, he added.

And some are. After six consecutive years of appearing in the Super Bowl, Avocados From Mexico is taking 2021 off. Hyundai is also out. So is Coca-Cola, which has run an in-game ad every year since 2006, with the exception of 2019, when it aired a pre-game spot.

“This difficult choice was made to ensure we are investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times,” reads a statement from the beverage brand.

Setting the tone

handful of brands have already announced plans to participate in the Big Game, scheduled to air Feb. 7 on CBS, and they’re taking precautions to ensure the $5.5 million price tag for a 30-second slot ultimately benefits the business, as opposed to inciting a backlash. A number of these companies are first timers that have never set foot on such a large stage before.

Read More at: Adweek

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