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Industry Trends

February 17, 2022

9

min read

Super Bowl commercials that scored touchdowns

And just like that, Super Bowl 2022 is behind us. Here’s a little recap: Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Snoop Dog performed at the halftime show, the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals (spoiler alert), and let’s not forget, a handful of brands paid a whopping $7 million for a 30-second ad spot. 


It’s safe to say that the Super Bowl broadcast isn’t just about football anymore - reports claim that advertisers expect 100 million Americans to watch one of the biggest events of the year. So, brands far and wide do not hold back - aside from shelling out huge sums of money just to appear in the Super Bowl, they also don’t let money stand in the way of standing out in a very crowded field. 


Now that the hot wings have been digested and the beer bottles have been recycled, it’s time to take a closer look at the ads that appeared in the Super Bowl, more specifically the ads that scored a touchdown. We will be breaking down the most talked about Super Bowl 2022 ads, analyzing these brands, and looking at some of our favorite metrics: 


  • Measure: What is the digital presence of the ad and the brand? How does this compare to its competitors?  

  • Partner: Has the brand had previously successful integrations? What channels could the brand partner with?

 

  • Target: What keywords should the brand use to put together a YouTube campaign? 


Amazon

The Super Bowl is a national holiday for Amazon - the world’s largest online retailer - as it covers all the bases, everything except for actually helping the teams score touchdowns. From decorations and dips to “Alexa, who’s going to win the Big Game?” and “Alexa, play the Big Game” - Amazon wants to make sure they are top-of-mind when you think about the Super Bowl. 


During the 90-second ad, Amazon highlighted Alexa’s capabilities in a humorous way. The ad featured Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost at home on game-day. The Saturday Night Live writer asks Alexa to play the big game, which leads the real-life couple to imagine a life in which Alexa was able to read their mind - wouldn’t it be amazing? Not really. 


You don’t need Alexa to read your mind to know that this ad was a huge success. According to YouTube, it was the most-watched ad spot on game day.  It clearly resonated with audiences - the ad received millions of views, with many viewers taking to social media to praise the brand and actors. 


Let’s take a closer look:

Measure: It comes as no surprise that Amazon has a strong digital presence. Since October 2021, the largest online retailer was mentioned over 550K times by 43K thought leaders. It is also clear to see that there was an obvious increase in interest in January-February 2022.  


Mentions of Amazon since October 2021
Since October 2021, the largest online retailer was mentioned over 550K times by 43K thought leaders

Taking a look at mentions of Amazon and Alexa mentions on YouTube, podcasts, and newsletters, there was a clear increase in interest over the last two months. Since October 2021, Amazon and Alexa were mentioned 7,200 times by 2,838 thought leaders. 

Mentions of Amazon and Alexa October 2021
Since October 2021, Amazon and Alexa were mentioned 7,200 times by 2,838 thought leaders

How does this compare to Amazon’s competitors: 

Walmart

According to reports, Walmart generates a whopping $500 billion in net sales per year, which is more than double Amazon. However, since a large percentage of its sales comes from in-store purchases, Walmart still stands as the second most popular online store in the United States (right behind Amazon). 


Walmart mentions since October 2021
Since October 2021, Walmart was mentioned 55K by 19K publishers (YouTube, podcasts, and newsletters). 


Rakuten

Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce company, also aired an advertisement during the 2022 Super Bowl for the first time ever. Over the last few years, the shopping platform has worked overtime in attempts to expand its presence internationally (in an attempt to keep up with Amazon). 



Rakuten mentions since October 2021
Since October 2021, Rakuten was only mentioned 900 times across YouTube, podcasts and newsletters. 

Although Rakuten is attempting to keep pace with Amazon, it looks like they have a lot of work to do in regard to its digital presence.

Partner: Amazon isn’t well-known for its creator sponsorships, but if they were to sponsor publishers that could help them reach their audience, we would recommend:

  • Linus Tech Tips: This passionate team of “professionally curious” experts in consumer technology is the ideal YouTube channel for Amazon to sponsor - especially when it comes to promoting Alexa. With over 14M subscribers and 1.3M projected views, it’s clear that many people turn to this channel for honest reviews about all things technology. 
  • All Things Covered with Patrick Peterson & Bryant McFadden:  Peterson and McFadden are well-known for their coverage skills on (and off) the football field. If Amazon was hoping to get the attention of NFL fans, this is the ideal podcast to sponsor. To make this integration even more seamless,  All Things Covered occasionally could add in: “Simply say “Alexa, play the latest episode of All Things Covered podcast”. 


Target: If Amazon was interested in nailing their YouTube ads and ensuring their Alexa ads reach the right audience at the right time, they may want to focus on these keywords:

  • “Amazon home gadgets”
  • “Home gadgets”

Coinbase 

It’s safe to say that Coinbase - the secure online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing cryptocurrency - had the most highly anticipated and ultimately the most buzzed about Super Bowl ad of this year’s game. 


The full 60-second ad consisted entirely of a colorful bouncing QR code, much like the ionic DVD logo once did. However, when the QR code was scanned, it took viewers to Coinbase’s website - offering a limited-time promotion of $15 worth of free Bitcoin and a $3 million giveaway that viewers can enter. 


The best way to summarize this campaign - curiosity killed the cat. Due to the massive influx of traffic (20 million website visitors in a single minute) from this seemingly simple but effective ad, the Coinbase app crashed and shut down. According to Coinbase’s Chief Marketing Officer, the ad focuses on “the curiosity and intimidation we know many people have about crypto…we wanted to pique their interest by doing something that’s never been down in the history of Super Bowl advertising…it invites action and discussion both in the living room and on social media”. 


Coinbase can give itself a pat on the back because the low-production advertisement catapulted the brand's app from #186 on the US App Store to #2. 


Let’s take a closer look:

Measure: Over the last year, there was an increase in interest in Coinbase, strengthening its digital presence. Since January 2021, Coinbase was mentioned 66K times on YouTube, podcasts, and newsletters by over 4,500 thought leaders.  

Coinbase mentions since January 2021
Since January 2021, Coinbase was mentioned 66K times on YouTube, podcasts, and newsletters by over 4,500 thought leaders.  


What’s for sure - Coinbase has a stronger digital presence than its direct competitor - Crypto.com. Over the last year, Crypto.com was mentioned 20K times on YouTube, podcasts and newsletters by 1,600 thought leaders. There was a significant increase in interest in early-2022. 



Crypto.com mentions since January 2021
Crypto.com was mentioned 20K times on YouTube, podcasts and newsletters by 1,600 thought leaders

Partner: Coinbase launched as a way for the average person to make transactions in a variety of cryptocurrencies. So, when it started dabbling into creator partnerships, it wanted to emphasize that just about anyone could use Coinbase (and be their target audience). 


Back in 2021, Coinbase went all-in with influencer marketing by kicking things off by sponsoring MrBeast. During, Last to Leave Circle Wins $500,000, the YouTuber (who has over 90M subscribers) told his viewers: “Coinbase is the best place to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dodgecoin”. 


Target: Although Coinbase hopes to get the attention of even the most average viewer, it's still critical for the brand to ensure their YouTube ads reach the most optimal audience at the right time. They may want to focus on these keywords:

  • “Cryptocurrency” (can get more specific - adding specific cryptocurrencies)
  • “How to buy bitcoin”/”Bitcoin for beginners”
  • “Bitcoin”
  • “Invest”
  • “Binance”


Squarespace

Super Bowl, Squarespace, and Sally Sells Seashells - try to say that three times fast. The website building platform decided to bring the classic tongue twister - Sally Sells Seashells - to life and add an entrepreneurial spin to it. 


Here’s a recap of the 37-second ad: Zendaya portrays Sally, a seashell seller who struggles to sell her seashells. She decides to start selling her seashells online - with Squarespace and quickly sees success.  


Squarespace is no stranger to creator-brand sponsorships and obviously knows a thing or two about the importance of ad placements - the ad aired during the first quarter of the game. 


Let's take a closer look: 

Measure: Since February 2021, Squarespace was mentioned 12K times on YouTube, podcasts, and newsletters by 3,000 thought leaders. Interestingly, the website building platform is mentioned the most by lifestyle creators (with technology in a close second). However, the graph clearly highlights that there was a decrease in Squarespace mentions over the last few months. 


Squarespace mentions since February 2021
Since February 2021, Squarespace was mentioned 12K times on YouTube, podcasts, and newsletters by 3,000 thought leaders

Partner: Whether you are an avid YouTube watcher or not, you’ve most likely come across Squarespace’s YouTube ads and sponsorships. Over the last year, the website building platform has sponsored a total of 960 YouTubers. 


Which channels did they partner with the most over the last 12 months? 


What are Squarespace’s most successful integrations over the last 12 months?

 

Target: As mentioned above, Squarespace is no stranger to YouTube ads. However, if they target their programmatic ads and ensure the ads reach the right audience, at the right time, they can see even more success. They may want to focus on these keywords:

  • “Small business”
  • “Business strategy”
  • “Design tips” 


Planet Fitness

The underlying theme across the Super Bowl 2022 ads - keep it light and have a laugh (even if it means laughing at yourself). Planet Fitness decided to focus their entire 30-second ad on Lindsay Lohan, more specifically highlighting the question on everybody’s mind - what’s gotten into Lindsay? The commercial pokes fun at Lindsay Lohan’s past - “she’s sleeping better than ever, which the paparazzi aren’t thrilled about. She’s even more productive, trading DUI’s for DIY’s”. 


Planet Fitness, which is a fitness club franchise that promises a judgment-free zone so anyone can be comfortable, highlights that it isn’t about “what’s gotten into Lindsay” but “what Lindsay’s gotten in”. Honestly, this was a great integration. 


Let's take a closer look: 

Measure: Over the last year, Planet Fitness was mentioned 3,000 times on YouTube, podcasts, and newsletters by 1,600 thought leaders. It is clear to see that since the release of the Planet Fitness Super Bowl ad, the brand’s digital presence increased slightly. 




Since February 2021, Planet Fitness was mentioned 3,000 times on YouTube, podcasts, and newsletters by 1,600 thought leaders

Partner: Planet Fitness’s main objective is to get people working out and feeling good (with zero judgment). Due to this, they should ideally partner with non-fitness-focused YouTubers that still highlight the importance of working on themselves. For example:


Target: If Planet Fitness was interested in nailing their YouTube ads, they may want to focus on these keywords:

  • “Healthy routine”
  • “Start working out”
  • “Guide to the gym”


Booking.com

Booking.com made sure to make their first-ever Super Bowl ad memorable - they not only blessed us with Idris Elba for 30 (too short) seconds but offered viewers a chance to win a free vacation via its Super Bowl sweepstakes (more on that in a bit). 


With the pandemic hopefully behind us, the online travel agency hoped to remind viewers about travel. Just like many of the other Super Bowl ads, Booking.com promoted their offering - planning your travels simply - in a lighthearted, humorous way. Unfortunately, it was quite a letdown. Instead of highlighting the beautiful destinations around the world, the ad focused entirely on Booking.com’s literal brand name. 


However, it's Super Bowl 2022 commercial sweepstake definitely helped the brand ensure viewers were highly engaged with its ads. According to Booking.com, in order to enter the sweepstakes, viewers needed to keep an eye out for a dream destination to show up in any of the ads throughout the game. Then, “To enter, once you spot a potential vacay location, tag @bookingcom on Twitter (in a tweet or comment), Instagram (in a comment or post) or Facebook (in a comment or post), along with the hashtags #SendMeThere and #Sweepstakes for an entry into the giveaway”. This is a great way to move viewers from the big screen to Booking.com’s various social channels. 


Let's take a closer look: 

Measure: Since October 2020, Booking.com’s digital presence has increased. The online booking website was mentioned 9,000 times on YouTube, podcasts and newsletters by 2,100 thought leaders.  


Booking.com mentions since October 2020
Since October 2020, Booking.com was mentioned 9,000 times on YouTube, podcasts and newsletters by 2,100 thought leaders

How does this compare to Booking.com’s competitor - Expedia? 


Expedia also landed a Super Bowl ad this year. However, unlike Booking.com, they didn’t offer any type of promotion or giveaway. According to our graphs, it looks like Expedia’s ad was quite underwhelming - Since October 2020, Expedia was mentioned 4,500 times by 1,900 thought leaders, with an obvious decrease in interest in 2022. 

Expedia mentions since 2020

Partner: Booking.com isn’t big on creator sponsorships, but if they were to up their sponsorship game, we would recommend focusing on travel enthusiasts:

  • Kara and Nate: With over 2.5M subscribers and 980K projected views, people around the world turn to them for travel recommendations, as well as travel tips and tricks 
  • Haley Takes on the World: This travel enthusiast shares all her tips, tricks and experiences from traveling around the world. 


Target: If Booking.com was interested in nailing their YouTube ads, they may want to focus on these keywords:

  • “Travel hacks”
  • “Travel essentials”
  • “Travel vlog”
  • “Travel day”

Your brand might not be ready to run an ad in the Super Bowl, but we can show you how to use content to measure yourself against your competitors, partner with the right creators and target the most relevant content to find new audiences and grow your business. Interested? Don't hesitate to reach out!

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