Two out of Three 2022 Super Bowl Ads Score Just Average

A-List Celebrities Driving Impact for Multi-million Ad Investment, But Only if Integrated Into the Brand Story

The most expensive advertising tactic that exists – the Super Bowl ad – may not be fully effective for many marketers, according to new analysis from market research firm Kantar. Kantar ran all pre-released Super Bowl 2022 ads through Link AI, which predicts the creative effectiveness of TV ads in 15 minutes. Kantar measured each ad on its potential to breakthrough, drive brand equity, and boost sales, and categorized the ads against their creative database into “Strong” (top 30%), “Average”, and “Poor” (bottom 30%).

The analysis found that 66% of the ads released to date scored just “Average”. Creative quality matters when it comes to Super Bowl ads as highly effective ads can drive advertising ROI significantly. Last year, Kantar found the advertising ROI of a “Strong” Super Bowl ad to be 3X that of an “Average” Super Bowl ad.

“With the airtime for a :30 second ad reaching $6.5 million, and A-list celebrity fees also breaking seven figures, Super Bowl ads in 2022 are an expensive proposition,” says Kerry Benson, Kantar’s North American Content Analytics Practice Lead. “They may not be achieving what the companies running them intend. The data also highlights how in such an extraordinarily competitive environment, even with high production values and celebrity cache, it’s very difficult to achieve breakthrough.”

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“With the airtime for a :30 second ad reaching $6.5 million, and A-list celebrity fees also breaking seven figures, Super Bowl ads in 2022 are an expensive proposition”

The Super Bowl of A-List Celebrities

Seventy percent of all pre-released ads include celebrities this year (compared to 60% of total ads in 2021). Advertisers paid for A-list talent: This Super Bowl will see ads featuring 13 Academy Award-nominated or winning actors and 15 Emmy Award-nominated or winning actors. Last year, Super Bowl ads featuring celebrities lifted brand equity 20% higher than ads without celebrities.

This year, advertisers are often using more than one celebrity hoping to increase the ad’s impact. They are also often paired in surprising ways. This “celebrity mash up” can be seen in creative for Amazon where both Scarlett Johansson and her husband Colin Jost come to believe that Alexa is reading their minds. Ashton Kutcher’s former and present wives (Mila Kunis and Demi Moore) appear for AT&T; Selma Hayak and Arnold Schwarzenegger are Zeus and Hera for BMW;, and Lindsay Lohan and William Shatner take on self-improvement with Planet Fitness. Michelob Ultra employs seven celebrities, including Serena Williams and Peyton Manning in a contest to be the GOAT of bowling.

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But Celebrities Do Not Always Translate into Impact

When so many ads feature celebrities, what makes the difference? Tying the celebrity into the brand story in a compelling way. Four “Strong” performing ads illustrate this:

● Thrill Driver from Nissan: Eugene Levy, America’s favorite dad, is transformed into an action movie hero with Brie Larson and the help of a Nissan Ariya 2023.

● Mayo Tackles Food Waste from Hellmann’s: Football coach Jerod Mayo tackles people who waste food, including Pete Davidson who says he deserves it. The ad presents different ways to use mayonnaise.

● Push It from Flamin’ Hot Doritos and Cheetos: Megan Thee Stallion and Charlie Puth are the voices of creatures in the jungle who discover and dance to the spicy delights of the product.

● Sam’s Club VIP from Sam’s Club: Kevin Hart thinks that using the Sam’s Club app to buy products gives him VIP treatment. Other customers prove him wrong.

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