The Core - A Blog by DMA Solutions
Megan Zweig
Posted by Megan ZweigFebruary 3, 2021 6:00 AM

This year’s rival between NFL veteran and six-time Super Bowl champ Tom Brady and NFL star and Texas Tech University alumnus Patrick Mahomes, is anticipated to bring BIG excitement to this weekend’s football championship game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs. Usually the big game is dusted with exciting moments both on and off the field, but this year, things may be slightly different.

While fans of pop-star The Weeknd will be happy about this year’s half-time performance, fans of the commercials may be left feeling disappointed.

Last year’s advertisers spent $12 million and were sold out in November 2019, nearly three months prior to the game. This year, advertising spots were available until January 27 and sold for a mere $5.6 million (yes, that’s sarcasm).

So why are so many brands opting out of participating in one of the most-watched events of the year? Turns out their parent companies report they are changing their advertising strategy for 2021 for many reasons, one being to reallocate advertising dollars toward supporting relief programs for COVID-19 or considering a better way of using those millions of dollars as the pandemic continues.

Last week the loyal advertiser of the Super Bowl, Anheuser-Busch announced that the company would forgo its traditional, 37-year commitment to the big game. 

Longtime advertiser, PepsiCo decided to go all in on the Super Bowl Halftime Show featuring The Weeknd, eliminating advertising for the Pepsi brand in ads. After announcing job cuts, Coca-Cola responsibly eliminated their advertising commitment as well.

As marketers, we will be looking for the fun whether on the field or off throughout the game. We will have our eye on the new advertisers and creativity that will undoubtedly surface from eager newcomers to the Super Bowl mix. We also look forward to seeing how brands adapt to addressing cultural calls-to-action that involve untraditional Super Bowl advertising topics like inclusivity, politics, general company values and less product positioning.

What can we learn from this? I think the approach that we’ll see big brands broaching may pave the way for a new era of advertising in the USA. As fresh food marketers, we should take note for now and consider ways to integrate some of the trends that will surface to our own marketing strategies.

Feeling talkative? We’d love to hear your feedback on this and during the big game. Feel free to connect with us @TheCoreBlog or send an email to info@dma-solutions.com and tell us what’s on your mind.

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