How a world stage set new standards for creativity.
Whether you're making it for Mountain Dew or Tide, producing a Super Bowl spot is a dream brief for creatives around the world, and brands are looking for ways to push their messages further, and louder, than ever before.
We've drafted the top 5 trends from Super Bowl 55 – uncovering how creatives made these spots even bigger than the big game.
1. Make a splash early, and make it count
Chipotle: Can a Burrito Change the World? by Venables Bell & Partners
While every year's Super Bowl ads range from laugh-out-loud to action-packed, with the challenges the world is facing right now, pushing a message of sustainability can have even more impact. Chipotle launched its spot early on YouTube, ensuring everything released afterward was being held up in comparison against a worthy brand promise.
2. Tease the best bits, but never show them
Frito-Lay: Flat Matthew by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
It’s always the brands with a memorable Super Bowl spot which stand out – but a lack of prelude can take an idea from being outrageously entertaining, to downright odd. Doritos teased its campaign with short, sharp TrueView spots alluding to something being amiss with Matthew McConaughey. Featuring the likes of talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, the content felt right at home on YouTube and paved the way for our entertainingly challenged star.
3. Play out a rivalry beyond the game
General Motors: No Way, Norway by McCann Detroit & Audi Norway: Don't Hate. Imitate. by POL Oslo
Everyone loves the drama of competition — it's the reason the Super Bowl is one of the biggest games on the planet. With so much happening on game day, taking a rivalry beyond the event is a great way to grab attention. GM launched its YouTube spot staking a claim on EV's, and in turn, took aim at an entire country. Then, taking advantage of YouTube, Audi responded on Norway's behalf – creating an entirely new competition beyond the competition.
4. Take advantage of the big idea, and extend it
Uber Eats: Eat Local by Special Group
When you've created a big idea, it needs room to live and breathe beyond the Super Bowl – and with almost 90,000 local restaurants to thank, Uber Eats needed a lot of room, extending its 60-second Wayne's World spot on YouTube into an epic feature-length piece – complete with scrolling interactivity.
5. Airtime doesn't always mean impact
Budweiser: Bigger Picture by David Miami
Sometimes not running a Super Bowl spot can garner just as much attention for brands, if not more. For the first time in 37 years, Budweiser didn't run a Super Bowl ad and instead ran an adjacent YouTube spot about how they re-directed their media spend towards COVID-19 awareness. You can read more about the spot, and the Ad Council x Budweiser partnership at their campaign page.
At this year's Super Bowl, brands made it clear they knew that a big game strategy meant looking beyond the spectacle. The precedent has been set for creatives to uncover opportunities that surround the action – not just within the ad break.