[Header image credit: Canva]
By Lori Golden
A version of this piece was originally published by The Drum.
The Big Game is about entertainment for Americans as much as sport, and we count on commercials to deliver it. The TMA Super Poll affirms that viewers watch as much for the commercials as for the action. Above all, they want these ads to be entertaining, funny, and full of familiar faces.
This year, we’re seeing a lot of shuffling in the advertiser mix. Here’s what we expect, based on the poll and TMA’s activity in the talent market:
Expect celebrities to remain a large focus of the Big Game ads in 2023. They’re a tried-and-true way to break through in a crowded landscape.
Nearly two out of three viewers (64%) believe people are more likely to buy a product when it’s endorsed by a celebrity. This belief is even stronger among Black, Hispanic and especially younger viewers. These same segments said they would welcome seeing social media influencers in Big Game ads. After all, top creators are celebrities to their fans. While this is not the dominant opinion, it’s something to notice as advertisers increasingly hone in on gen Z.
THROWBACKS AND NOSTALGIA
Nineties and aughts music and iconic characters have been trending in recent years and popular among a large demographic, including gen Z. Last year, Chevy brought back characters from The Sopranos and GM brought back Austin Powers. In 2020, Tide utilized Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander and Uber Eats revived ‘Wayne’s World.’
At this year’s Big Game, this trend is likely to gain steam, thanks to the nostalgia of millennials and gen Z. It has wide reach because the cohort who grew up in that time period is so large, and the youth like to feel a part of this influential generation that is also hot on TikTok. This takes consumers on a journey that triggers memory and emotion – which can be hugely impactful in advertising.
Disruptive technology was a key trend from last year’s Big Game. This included electric vehicles, cryptocurrency and online sports betting.
In 2023, we can anticipate electric vehicles and online sports betting being a large part of the lineup again, especially given the NFL’s partnerships with sportsbook companies. However, the cryptocurrency trend in Big Game advertising is likely to be scrutinized and slimmed down given FTX’s recent collapse and the economic downturn in the crypto market. We anticipate that the Big Game will see an influx of advertising related to consumer empowerment through web3.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Wellness is relatively new to Big Game advertising. Last year, Planet Fitness advertised with Lindsay Lohan and Hologic women’s health featured Mary J. Blige.
Viewers of this year’s Big Game can expect to see more wellness category advertisers as the pandemic-fueled enthusiasm for wellness is still growing. Cost is an issue for many consumers due to the current economy, but there’s still hunger for figuring out the right wellness mix for individuals. Wellness brands buying Big Game spots are likely to promote a variety of services and products related to mental health, exercise, nutrition and both natural and pharmaceutical medicines.
Lori Golden is senior vice president of celebrity and influencer at TMA.