The Super Bowl isn’t just the championship of American football — it’s the championship of marketing. Sure, most brands can’t pay $5 million for a 30-second ad. But the ones who do will find an audience that’s not only massive but massively engaged. In fact, 75% of people say they look forward to watching Super Bowl commercials — a stat showing the uniqueness of the Super Bowl in an era where DVRs, on-demand programming and fast-forwarding through commercials has become the norm.
Food-and-beverage brands are uniquely positioned to take full advantage. Think about it, most people watch the Super Bowl at their house, a party or a bar. That means they’re eating food and probably drinking beer or soda — so food-and-drink will already be top-of-mind.
A successful commercial means it’ll be watched repeatedly on YouTube and talked about incessantly (and instantly) on social media. A dud could be disastrous.
A relatively new tactic is releasing Super Bowl commercials online early to drum up some buzz. Here are three commercials from food-and-beverage brands that we found particularly effective. What’s the common thread in all three? They humanize the brands.
Heinz wants Super Bowl Monday to be a holiday
Heinz argues that the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday is nothing but a waste of bloated, hungover effort — so why not make it a national holiday? The company went all-in. It created an official Change.org petition, promised to send the petition to Congress if they get more than 10,000 signatures and even gave all Heinz employees the day off on “Smunday.”
Why It Works: First of all, the commercial is hilarious. Secondly, the company is putting its money where its mouth is. Giving all Heinz workers an off day helps to further humanize the brand and shows that the company isn’t treating “Smunday” like a gimmick. Plus, having consumers sign a petition builds community on social media and encourages feedback and share-ability.
Tostitos turns its bags into breathalyzers
Tostitos is going big — not only doing a Super Bowl commercial but manufacturing “party safe bags” that double as a breathalyzer. If you’re over the limit, the sensor turns red and gives you an Uber code offering a $10 discount.
Why It Works: It’s a toy that everybody will want to play with — whether they plan on driving or not. More importantly, it allows the company to attach itself to a meaningful movement — the fight against drunk driving. In fact, Tostitos is partnering with Mothers Against Drunk Driving for the program. It also tapped NFL player Delanie Walker to discuss the tragic story of how his aunt and uncle were killed by a drunk driver following the 2013 Super Bowl, in which Walker played as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
Bud Light pulls at your heart strings, bro
Bud Light has been known for some pretty outrageous Super Bowl ads over the years — from Spuds Mackenzie to a real-life game of Pac-Man. This year, they’re going more low-key in an attempt convince the audience that: “You’re not just drinking beers, you’re building friendships.”
Why It Works: Instead of talking about its product, Bud Light shows its product in action. The ad uses clever storytelling to evoke real emotions appealing to a group of people (men) who’ll be either watching the game together or chatting about it afterwards.
Another food brand doing big things? Chobani. Download our free case study to learn how Chobani uses Curalate to discover social media influencers and authentic content.