The Super Bowl is the time of year when brands get to put their best “foot” forward as millions of people across the U.S. tune in. The private sector must decide between being serious or having fun, getting across a point or simply selling a product, all while casting wide nets to a diverse demographic like no other. Last year, we felt like they fumbled on Purpose and understanding stakeholder expectations. But this year, we got a glimpse into what our “new normal” could look and feel like. Today, we dive into the Purposeful trends that broke through during Super Bowl LVI and gave a glimpse into our “new normal.“
- Machines going green. While there is always a plethora of car commercials during the Super Bowl, never has there been such a focus on electric vehicles with so much variety. From GM’s ad where Dr. EV-il must save the world before he takes it over to Polestar’s pointed “no-nonsense” placement, electric cars took center stage. But it wasn’t just the vehicles that got airtime; Wallbox, an electric vehicle charging technology company, debuted its latest green product by utilizing #SuperchargedSeth as its spokesperson. As demand for electric vehicles continues to grow, these adverts will be more common.
- A continued focus on inclusion. Toyota released another powerful commercial featuring a Paralympian. This year, the automotive manufacturer spotlighted the story of brothers Brian and Robin McKeever, Canadian cross-country skiers who became teammates when Brian began to lose his eyesight. After Robin became his guide, the two went on to win 14 Paralympic medals. Google Pixel’s “Seen on Pixel” commercial also focused on telling an important story – how “camera technology, including [its] own, has failed people of color by either making them look washed out or too unnaturally bright or dark.” Google tapped music superstar, Lizzo, to help share its effort to fix this issue and ensure its imaging products correctly depict all skin tones. Brands must continue to use moments like the Super Bowl to spotlight traditionally untold stories to help catalyst more inclusion overall.
- A new focus on health. Though masks were few and far between at the game, and in the ads, there was still a new shift in airtime focusing on health. Mary J. Blige starred in Hologic’s 30-second spot that took the time to remind women of the importance of scheduling annual breast cancer screenings. And Cue Health enrolled Wonder Woman actress, Gal Gadot, to voice its latest in-home COVID-19 testing technology and hinted at more to come. The pandemic has certainly had us all thinking more about our well-being, so ads centered on health will start being a standard.
At the beginning of the pandemic, people quickly grew tired of advertisements telling us, “We are all in this together.” Since then, companies have struggled with how best to communicate with their consumers. But, if the Super Bowl was a peek at our “new normal,” many of the topics – from social justice to climate change – emphasized in the past two years, will continue to be front and center.