It’s the Super Bowl weekend. For marketing geeks around the world, it’s Christmas. Forget the game, forget the players, forget the half-time performers. Let’s focus on the real stars of the show – the ads.

Super Bowl ads are nothing short of legendary. The biggest agencies are hired, the biggest budgets are flaunted, the biggest Hollywood stars are displayed, TV ratings average 100 million views. So, everyone wants to be part of the action, right? Wrong. The numbers just do not add up anymore. The price tag for the 30 seconds slot has increased from $4.2 million in 2014 to $5.5 million in 2017. Meanwhile, viewership has taken a tumble. After a constant increase of nearly 3 million viewers from previous years, the Super Bowl is once again showing signs of declining TV ratings. In 2015, there were more than 114 million viewers. This reduced to 111.9 million in 2016.

While some brands will make a Super Bowl debut in 2017, the longest tenants are vacating. Here are the top 5 brands who won’t be showing up for the Super Bowl 2017:

  • Toyota
  • Visa
  • Doritos
  • Mini USA
  • Heinz

Dorito does not seem to be the only brand which parent company Frito-Lays is pulling out of the Super Bowl. It’s Crash the Super Bowl contest was aimed to democratise ad selection process: instead of boring old ad executives, general masses were given the power to choose works from independent filmmakers. Would a pull-out mean Frito-Lays has fully democratised the process?

While American and German automobile brands will be revving up their engines for the Super Bowl 2017, Japanese favourite Toyota will be ending their 5-year annual attendance. Lack of product launch around this time for this year has been cited as the main reason. For strategic purposes, all new product launches are to take place during late spring or early summer.

Visa has rolled back its association with The Big Game. You won’t be seeing any more cute little children asking cute little questions to NFL legend Ray Lewis as seen in the brand’s 2016 ad campaign. All you will see now is the payment option on the online checkout page for the NFL Shop.

Perhaps the general trend of reducing expenditures on traditional advertising mediums has finally caught up with the Super Bowl. Unless a brand is mentioned in listings of top Super Bowl ads on various platforms, the results of advertising on the Super Bowl are dismissive and definitely not worth the few million dollars per 30 seconds slot. Irrespective of this, there are still brands out there which have yet to experience airing their ads to more than 100 million viewers at one go. As long as there is demand, the $5 million price tag will always be around the Big Game.

 

Susanna Mamen

Brand Strategist

Building Brands People Love.