2021: Super Bowl 55 Advertisements

Winter is cold, but the Super Bowl always pumps up the heat! The Super Bowl has become one of the premier venues for marketers. The thrills, the chills, the excitement and surprises – and that’s just the advertisements! At a cost of $5.6 million for 30 seconds of air time, the Super Bowl is also the most expensive advertising placement of any event or show. Add to the air time the costs of designing and producing ads, plus the integration into other marketing tactics, and a company can easily spend upwards of $6 million on a single day.

Love them or hate them, Super Bowl advertisements have become a talking point before, during, and after the game. It’s a big stage, and can also be a big risk. This year, a Jeep advertisement featuring Bruce Springsteen backfired when news surfaced that Springsteen had received a DWI citation in November. Other criticism was about the lack of inclusion and diversity. Of the 67 public figures who appeared in the ads, only 18 were Black, 14 were women, one was Indian American, one was Asian American, and five were of multiple ethnicities.

This year an audience of 92 million adults in the U.S. tuned in to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominate the Kansas City Chiefs. The game had a 38.2 U.S. household rating and was viewed in an average of 46.2 million homes, far lower than previous years. Roughly 68% of U.S. homes in use were tuned to the Super Bowl.

The average amount spent per person was $74.55, a decrease from last year’s $88.65. Most is spent on food and drinks at 77%. As to who watches the big game, only 35% of Gen Z watch, compared to 54% of Millennials, 51% of Gen X, and 52% of Baby Boomers.

Which ad is your favorite?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show the Nielsen data: https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-releases/2021/super-bowl-lv-draws-nearly-92-million-tv-viewers/?utm_campaign=Corporate%20Marketing&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=SFMC&utm_content=Newswire%20Newsletter&utm_id=02_10_2021
  2. Bring up one of the Web sites that have all the Super Bowl ads: https://www.ispot.tv/events/2021-super-bowl-commercials
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a Super Bowl ad to analyze and present in class.
  4. What is the target market, key message, and offer from the ad?
  5. How does the ad integrate with a company’s other advertisements?
  6. Are the messages integrated with a company’s Web site and social media?
  7. As a class, after each commercial have students assign one to five stars for the advertisements. Which advertisement won the class vote?

Source:  Ad Week; CBS; iSpot.tv; Nielsen Research; other news sources

 

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Google Acquires Fitbit

Acquisitions can be tricky. Companies need to assess what markets to enter, and which products and services are needed for those markets. While it is common for food and beverage companies to use acquisitions to gain market share, it can be a tad trickier when combining technology companies. A key consideration is that companies find synergies that can be capitalized on when combining organizations.

A recent acquisition of interest is the purchase of fitness tracker pioneer Fitbit by search engine giant Google for an estimated $2.1 billion. The acquisition moves Google into a better position in the wearable technology market and gives Fitbit access to more resources, technology, and marketing. (However, there are still some outstanding issues with government regulators; use by Google of Fitbit data for advertising purposes is a concerns to regulators.)

Fitbit is a familiar company to most college students. Founded in 2007, the company makes watches and bracelets to track health information; it has an estimated 20 million active users. New Fitbit products include Fitbit Stress, featuring stress management tools and an ECG app to assess heart rhythm. Fitbit’s products are carried in 39,000 retail stores in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2009 was $1.4 billion.

Fitbit’s overall market share has decreased dramatically since the introduction of Apple Smartwatch. Its market share of 4.7% is significantly lower than the market leader Apple at 31.7%, followed by Xiaomi and Huawei.

How do you track your fitness?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four key marketing strategies: product development, market development, market penetration, and diversification.
  2. Discuss diversifications/acquisitions as a marketing strategy. When is this effective? When is it not effective?
  3. Show Fitbit’s Web site and products: https://www.fitbit.com/global/us/home
  4. Show Google’s products’ Web site: https://about.google/intl/en_us/products/
  5. Do these two companies complement each other? If so, now?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a promotional plan that the companies can use to promote their combined value to customers.

Source: Associated Press; CNN News; Wall Street Journal; other sources

 

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CES and New Products to Fight COVID-19

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest and most influential showcases in the United States for introducing innovative products from around the globe. This year’s CES show looked a little different though. Due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, CES was held virtually in an all-digital format. Still, it included more than 300 speakers, 150 countries, 700 start-ups, and thousands of new products from around the globe. A diverse group of companies included the latest innovations in manufacturing, transportation, entertainment, robotics, automotive, consumer goods, and more.

This year CES hosted 150,000 digital attendees who viewed products from thousands of different exhibitors in categories such as 3D printing, gaming, robotics, sports, drones, fitness, health and wellness, retailing, wearables, and a variety of other product groupings. CES regularly helps to launch thousands of new products, including many that we all know and use today.

Of course, given the times we live in, a big draw this year was for products and services that could help us cope with COVID-19. The show also provided looks at products in the marketplace as well as products-yet-to-be-launched in categories including:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • 5G and mobile connectivity
  • Food and CPG companies
  • Health care technology
  • Smart cities
  • Home sensors and technology
  • Travel and tourism
  • Transportation and vehicle technology
  • And of course, lots of robots!

What’s your favorite innovation from CES?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the purpose of CES show and how innovation fits into it.
  2. Also discuss the use of trade shows and exhibits as part of a marketing plan.
  3. Show a summary video about COVID-19 products at CES from the Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/video/series/joanna-stern-personal-technology/ces-2021-smart-masks-smart-air-purifiers-and-more-covid-fighting-gadgets/5BED1C45-A45E-4CDA-9E4B-DC1195F807ED?mod=djem10point
  4. Additional summary videos can be found on YouTube, such as: https://youtu.be/ouiPPIH1uXc
  5. View the CES Web site: https://digital.ces.tech/home
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product featured at CES.
  7. Instruct students to research the products online, and define a target market for the product?
  8. Which ones do they think will be winners in the marketplace? What products miss the mark?

Source:  C/NET; TechRadar.com; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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