Forget slapstick or racy: Super Bowl 50 ads aim for optimism

NEW YORK -- Game on. On advertising's biggest night, Super Bowl ads are aiming for optimism.

An Audi ad will show an aging astronaut getting reinvigorated by driving an Audi to the tune of David Bowie's "Starman.

See Full Article

" Amy Schumer and Seth Rogan will try to unit Americans with the "Bud Light Party." And Axe will tell teenagers to embrace their unique qualities and "Find Your Magic."

The stakes are high, with more than 114 million people expected to tune into CBS as the Carolina Panthers duke it out with the Denver Broncos in Santa Clara, California. Forty-plus advertisers - including newcomers like Amazon and stalwarts like Anheuser-Busch - have taken a $5 million gamble for a 30-second chance to wow viewers.

Instead of slapstick-focused ads or racy messages this year, advertisers are trying to break out with empowering and even heartfelt messages. Pokemon urges kids to "Train on," Michelob Ultra tells exercisers to "Breathe" and SunTrust urges people to let go of financial stress.

"The Super Bowl ad party is growing up," said Kelly O'Keefe, a Virginia Commonwealth University marketing professor. "We're telling stories in different ways. The storytelling is better than ever."

In an effort to grab early buzz, almost three dozen advertisers released their ads online ahead of the game this year. YouTube says brands that release their ads on YouTube before the game receive an average of 2.2 times more views than those that wait until game day to post an ad.

Pokémon released its first ever Big Game ad a full two weeks ago, and amassed more 15.8 million views ahead of the game. Hyundai's "The Chase" ad, which shows people escaping grizzly bears by using Hyundai's remote start feature, was released Monday and surpassed 17 million views by game time.

There are still some surprises in store on Game Day. Coke stayed mum on its Avengers-themed ad until game time. Amazon, Chrysler and Taco Bell were also early-buzz holdouts.

Ads have a decidedly lighter tone than last year, when a Nationwide ad about preventable household accidents struck many as too dark for the Super Bowl.

Celebrities are helping ads go for laughs. Steven Tyler will sing "Dream On" with a portrait of Steven Tyler - one made of Skittles. Willem Dafoe channels a hungry Marilyn Monroe for Snickers and Drake faces telecom executives trying to make his "Hotline Bling" song sound more like a cell phone contract.

Other themes this year include cute animals - Heinz shows wiener dogs frolicking in its ads - and anthemic rock songs, with Acura showcasing its NSX sports car to the tune of Van Halen's "Runnin' With the Devil."

For the most part, advertisers have been playing it extra safe, going for crowd pleasers instead of shock tactics. That has led some to find the Super Bowl ads released so far lacking.

"Where's the spice? We're missing a little bit of Tabasco this year," said VCU's O'Keefe.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Google's YouTube losing major advertisers upset with videos

    Economic CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- AT&T, Verizon and several other major advertisers are suspending their marketing campaigns on Google's YouTube site after discovering their brands have been appearing alongside videos promoting terrorism and other unsavoury subjects. The spreading boycott confronts Google with a challenge that threatens to cost it hundreds of millions of dollars. Source
  • Husky spill in southwest Alberta estimated at 25,000 litres; cleanup going well

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Husky Energy says about 25,000 litres of crude oil leaked from one of its pipelines in southwestern Alberta last week. Spokesman Mel Duvall said in an email to The Canadian Press that cleanup at the site at Cox Hill Creek west of Bragg Creek is progressing well. Source
  • Budget 2017: Hello Uber tax, goodbye Canada Savings Bonds

    Economic CBC News
    Consumer tax changes in Wednesday's federal budget will add to the cost of Uber rides while ending a public-transit credit. Those are just two of several Liberal government moves that will hit pocketbooks directly, though modestly. Source
  • Trump's SEC pick, a lawyer for Goldman, to face skepticism

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Goldman Sachs may be about to get another friend in Washington. Jay Clayton, a well-connected Wall Street lawyer who is President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, is sure to face sharp questions from Democrats at his confirmation hearing Thursday over his years of work for Goldman and other financial giants. Source
  • Budget 2017: Liberals spend on training and innovation while holding line on most taxes

    Economic CBC News
    The Liberal government has delivered a budget designed to brace Canadians for a fast-changing global economy and empower women in the workforce, while taking a wait-and-see approach to sweeping changes south of the border. Budget 2017, titled Building a Strong Middle Class, offers targeted investments to tackle what it calls the "challenge of change. Source
  • Bell and Rogers to ask bars to pay more for sports packages

    Economic CBC News
    Bell and Rogers will soon ask sports bars to pay more for the right to broadcast big games, on top of what they pay for their existing television service. As first reported by Postmedia, the two media conglomerates are asking business subscribers across Canada to pay an additional levy of roughly $120 a month — depending on the size of the bar — on top of their existing cable bill for the rights to air sports channels that broadcast live sporting events such as the TSN, RDS and Sportsnet…
  • B.C. shellfish industry reels as norovirus sickens hundreds, forces closures

    Economic CTV News
    VICTORIA - The head of British Columbia's shellfish growers says the industry has been stunned by a mysterious norovirus that has forced the closure of seven coastal oyster farms and made hundreds of Canadians ill. Source
  • Starbucks Canada vows to hire at least 1,000 refugees

    Economic CBC News
    Starbucks Canada says it will hire at least 1,000 refugees over the next five years. The announcement Wednesday follows a statement in January by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz that the company would hire 10,000 refugees around the world in the next half-decade. Source
  • Starbucks Canada sets goal to hire 1,000 refugees over five years

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Starbucks Canada has committed to hiring at least 1,000 refugees over the next five years, the coffee giant said Wednesday. The company said it will actively begin recruiting job candidates through the national organization, Hire Immigrants, which works with a network of municipal and provincial resettlement agencies. Source
  • Activists seek to intervene in Nebraska Keystone XL review

    Economic CTV News
    LINCOLN, Neb. -- Activists who want to derail the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska are again mobilizing to try to make their case to a small state commission that will decide the project's fate. Opponents on Wednesday will ask the Nebraska Public Service Commission to let them intervene in the case, allowing them to file legal briefs, cross-examine witnesses and present formal arguments alongside attorneys for pipeline developer TransCanada. Source