Out of Scope Issue 99: Big Brands Build Buzz Before the Bowl
Plus: A brand synonymous with print is sold into the digital age, the AI battle between Microsoft and Google heats up, and more.
It's the biggest week of the year for football fans and brands with the budget to produce commercials broadcasted nationwide during breaks in Super Bowl play. While speculation about the future of M&M spokescandies persists, we’ve already seen some premium sneak peeks of ads across industries and with prominent faces. The Super Bowl brings a busy but rewarding work weekend for some of us in the brand marketing and corporate comms world. For others, it provides an annual moment to appreciate the immense impact of the thoughtful delivery of a brand message.
💡ON OUR MINDS: Super Bowl Sunday Will Be One for the Books
With brands battling to hawk their products in front of more than 100 million people, The Super Bowl is always a reflection of the zeitgeist. And with a 30-second ad spot costing nearly $7 million this year, advertisers are as incentivized as ever to bring their A-game.
Celebrity cameos are a staple of Super Bowl ads, and with appearances from VIPs like tennis superstar Serena Williams and NFL legend Peyton Manning to Succession's patriarch Brian Cox, this year will be no exception.
Crypto flooded last year's Super Bowl commercial breaks with splashy promises and sketchy QR codes. But in a sign of the times, there will be no commercials from any crypto or crypto-related companies this year. This follows a stark "crypto winter" set off by FTX and intensified regulatory scrutiny from the SEC and other government agencies with a stake in the future of finance and the internet.
Another notable change will be the diversity of libations. After nearly three decades, beer giant Anheuser-Busch gave up its deal to be the exclusive alcohol advertiser this year.) The brand remains one of the game's most significant ad spenders, but Anheuser-Busch will no longer hold exclusive rights to advertising alcohol. So prepare to have your spirits lifted by the likes of Heineken, Miller Lite, Diageo, and others who've long awaited this moment.
Hitting home for HL: The Mets will debut their first Super Bowl ad in the New York metro area on Sunday. If you're in the area, look out for the spot on Sunday evening!
📡 ON OUR RADAR
CEOs are people, too. Two recent stories have caught our attention, showcasing chief executives bringing their whole selves to work. Whether you take your cues from Goldman Sachs’ David Solomon and his burgeoning side hustle as a DJ or Barclay's C. S. Venkatakrishnan's vulnerability in sharing his experience with cancer, the lesson stays the same, just because you have your name on the door, it doesn't mean you need to be putting up walls.
This week, the never-ending yet short-lived AI-generated Seinfeld livestream “Nothing, Forever” was suspended. The Twitch stream used AI to generate a nonstop Seinfeld episode, using the vast canon of Seinfeld characters and premises to create new content constantly, reminding us AI will creep into everything, even sitcoms. The stream, however, was suspended after the AI messed up and generated a transphobic joke. What’s the deal with all this artificial intelligence anyways? I mean, if it’s so intelligent…
Microsoft and Google unleash Bard vs. Bing. The two tech giants have competed for years, but this latest battle for search engine dominance is an excellent case of how brands communicate when the pressure's on. Google chose the time-tested approach: preempting Microsoft's ChatGPT news by a day with a splashy unveiling of their AI tool Bard. Despite a factual stumble at the rollout, they recovered and promised more details to come. Microsoft has seemingly owned the overall narrative with its announcement, public waitlist, and previews. We'll see how tactics play out in the coming months for two brands trying to revolutionize the search experience.
In case you missed these stories this week.
Celebrity tabloid behemoth, The National Enquirer has been sold with the new owners intending to expand the brand into the digital world.
The pandemic confirmed a stark reality: people waste time commuting. But, according to a new study, the time spent in trains, buses, cars, and ferries may have mental health and stress-reducing benefits.
Thanks for reading,
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