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A behavioural breakdown of 8 Super Bowl campaigns

Key consumer trends and insights behind 8 of the 2018 Super Bowl campaigns.

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A behavioural breakdown of 8 Super Bowl campaigns

  1. 1. BY A BEHAVIORAL BREAKDOWN OF 8 SUPER BOWL CAMPAIGNS
  2. 2. THE INSIGHTS BEHIND THE ADS Every year, The Super Bowl showcases big-name spots to millions of viewers. But what about the behaviours and trends that underpin America’s biggest campaigns? At Canvas8, we always want to know why. Why did Alexa lose her voice? Why did Australia create a fake movie trailer? And why did every ad become a tide ad? Discover the human insights that underpin eight notable campaigns from the 2018 Super Bowl.
  3. 3. AI ANGUISH AMAZON ALEXA SHOWS PEOPLE LOVE INHUMAN AI NAME OF THE CAMPAIGN: ALEXA LOSES HER VOICE AGENCY BEHIND THE AD: LUCKY GENERALS
  4. 4. WHAT THEY DID In Lucky Generals’ Super Bowl spot for Amazon Alexa, celebrities including Anthony Hopkins and Rebel Wilson fill in for the virtual assistant, who’s lost her voice. Rather than providing accurate instructions or the services requested, they make very human gaffes and quips. When an older man asks Alexa to play country music, Cardi B puts on ‘Bodak Yellow’, and when another man asks how to make a grilled cheese, Gordon Ramsay berates him from the device. 65% OF AMERICANS WHO HAVE A VOICE ASSISTANT SAY THEY WOULDN’T GO BACK TO LIFE WITHOUT THEIRS NPM, 2017
  5. 5. WHY IT RESONATES NOW The spot wryly hints at the world’s increasing dependence on voice assistants; according to a report from NPM, 65% of Americans who have one say they wouldn’t go back to life without theirs. But while the conversation has circled around people ultimately wanting the tech to be more human, with 41% saying they speak to their device like a friend, Lucky Generals’ ad reminds people that they love Alexa – at least in part – because she’s not susceptible to human biases and inaccuracies. Research suggests voice assistants have been welcomed largely because they assist without taking control – a deciding factor between people adopting a technology or fearing it.
  6. 6. COMMITMENT ISSUES AMAZON PRIME ORIGINALS SEDUCE SHOW-SATURATED SUBSCRIBERS NAME OF THE CAMPAIGN: TOM CLANCY’S JACK RYAN AGENCY BEHIND THE AD: AMAZON
  7. 7. People are aware of Prime video but they’re not always aware that they get this award-winning programming as part of the membership. Mike Benson, head of marketing for Amazon Studios “ WHAT THEY DID Amazon is set to launch Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan – a reimagining of the iconic character that’s grossed over $786.5 million across four Hollywood movies – in August 2018, and it will be available to stream free for anyone with a Prime membership. Despite Prime’s sizable and varied offerings, the service chose to make its advertising debut at the SuperBowl (a 60-second spot worth around $10 million) with a cinematic trailer for the show, highlighting the fact that video is a part of the membership. “People are aware of Prime video,” says Mike Benson, head of marketing for Amazon Studios, “but they’re not always aware that they get this award-winning programming as part of the membership.”
  8. 8. WHY IT RESONATES NOW Amazon Prime may already be a household name in the US – it’s estimated that 64% of US households already hold a membership – but with the ease and convenience of the membership now considered a norm, it’s elevating itself in the entertainment space. The 2017 SuperBowl similarly saw streaming services highlight single shows over whole offerings – Hulu and Netflix bought spots for The Handmaid’s Tale and the second season of Stranger Things, respectively. And with subscribers dipping in and out of services depending on the show they’re watching and original content proven to seduce prospective users, Amazon is highlighting original, blockbuster content as a way to differentiate in an already overcrowded market, while keeping its messaging streamlined and simple.
  9. 9. SHARED VALUES RAM AD CRITICISED FOR MISUSING MEANINGFUL VOICES NAME OF THE CAMPAIGN: RAM ‘BUILT TO SERVE’ AGENCY BEHIND THE AD: HIGHDIVE
  10. 10. During his sermon of 50 years ago today, Martin Luther King also advised people not to spend too much money on their cars. Michael Beschloss, American historian WHAT THEY DID Ram’s 2018 Super Bowl advert consists of a montage of images showing people, often working collaboratively, in roles such as chopping wood, marching in-line and fire- fighting, interspersed with clips of the Ram truck transporting heavy loads and battling the elements. But the choice of voice-over, an excerpt from Dr. King’s 1968 ‘Drum Major Instinct’ sermon, drew online criticism for co-opting MLK’s integrity for commercial gain. Historian Michael Beschloss highlighted the irony, tweeting: “During his sermon of 50 years ago today, Martin Luther King also advised people not to spend too much money on their cars.” “
  11. 11. WHY IT RESONATES NOW The ad, with its tagline ‘Built to Serve’, was intended to draw attention to Ram Nation – a volunteering venture by the company and its drivers – which could certainly chime well with the 85% of people who believe brands should play a larger role in society. But the use of MLK to promote a vehicle “strikes many people as crass and inappropriate,” says Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University. While people are increasingly responsive to celebrity endorsements – especially those that position the celeb as an ambassador or collaborator – the impossibility of MLK giving his blessing leads the pairing to come across as inauthentic. The backlash has been particularly strong because it is seen to be co-opting a powerful, political voice that people feel a deep attachment to – its the same instinct that had people balking at the insincerity of Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad in 2017.
  12. 12. GREAT EXPECTATIONS CLOVERFIELD ‘DROP’ CATERS TO IMPATIENT MOVIE BUFFS NAME OF THE CAMPAIGN: THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX AGENCY BEHIND THE AD: NETFLIX
  13. 13. SUSPENSE AND SURPRISE HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BOOST EMOTIONAL RESPONSES BY ABOUT 400% Surprise Industries, 2015 WHAT THEY DID Super Bowl Sunday was prime ad space for widely anticipated movies from Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom to Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Making sure its trailer for The Cloverfield Paradox would be remembered, Netflix ended its 30-second spot with the news that the movie would be released on the platform that very evening. Despite speculation that Paramount had sold the thriller to Netflix, the film’s unconventional arrival took social media by storm and, although reviews of the movie are mostly poor, the release is further enhancing Netflix’s reputations an industry disruptor.
  14. 14. WHY IT RESONATES NOW Beyoncé’s unexpected album Lemonade similarly released without any forewarning, and the entertainment industry has been toying with the element of suspense and surprise, which has been proven to boost emotional responses by about 400%. In 2015, Paramount shortened the gap between theatrical releases and on-demand availability from 90 days to just two weeks, and some studios – Fox and Warner Bros. – are talking about charging viewers a $30 premium for early, on-demand access to films. But with Netflix now challenging these traditional distributors, studios are having to take note of the growing impatience among movie fans to keep up with increasing popular streaming services.
  15. 15. BLURRED LINES AUSTR ALIA LURES TOURISTS WITH FAKE CROCODILE DUNDEE REBOOT NAME OF THE CAMPAIGN: DUNDEE: THE SON OF A LEGEND RETURNS HOME AGENCY BEHIND THE AD: DROGA5
  16. 16. OVER 8 MILLION BRITONS EACH YEAR PICK THEIR HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS BASED ON FILM OR TV LOCATIONS LV, 2016 WHAT THEY DID After a fortnight of build-up online, including trailers, behind-the-scenes production photos, and tweets from actors including Chris Hemsworth, Danny McBride and Margot Robbie, Tourism Australia used a spot at the 2018 Super Bowl to reveal that the upcoming Crocodile Dundee reboot – Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home – was a hoax. Halfway through the ad, which was created by Droga5, Hemsworth – the supposed star of the film and Australia’s global tourism ambassador – revealed that the campaign was actually a showcase for Australia’s beaches, wines, and restaurants, aimed at increasing tourism from the US.
  17. 17. WHY IT RESONATES NOW Cinematic showcases have a precedent for attracting global visitors; 18% of holiday-makers claim that the Hobbit trilogy drove their initial interest in visiting New Zealand, while over eight million Britons each year pick their holiday destinations based on film or TV locations. Additionally, various countries are using famous faces as global tourism ambassadors. “Besides the celebrity side of who he is, what he brings to us is a really authentic Australian story of someone who grew up in Victoria learning to surf but also spent a lot of time in the Northern Territory with indigenous populations,” says John O’Sullivan, Tourism Australia’s managing director, on Hemsworth’s involvement. The fact that Hemsworth and the tourist board teamed up on such a high-profile stunt serves to compound that authentic, collaborative relationship.
  18. 18. MEME MOGULS TIDE PLAYFULLY HIJACKS OTHER BR ANDS’ AD CAMPAIGNS NAME OF THE CAMPAIGN: EVERY AD IS A TIDE AD AGENCY BEHIND THE AD: BBDO
  19. 19. WHAT THEY DID In BBDO’s ‘Every Ad is a Tide Ad’ Super Bowl campaign – which aired a different spot each quarter break – the brand hijacks other brands’ advertising tropes for its own gains. In each one, actor David Harbour appears as an interloper in another brand’s ad – from the macho absurdity of an Old Spice spot to the sombre tone of a health insurance company – just to point out the actors’ clothes are all perfectly spotless thanks to Tide detergent. Because of its wry self-awareness, the ad won the Super Clio award and went viral across social media, with the first spot being viewed more than 3,800,000 times in just two days of being posted on YouTube. 61% OF AMERICAN ADULTS ARE MORE LIKELY TO DISLIKE ADVERTISING THAN LIKE IT Marketing charts, 2016
  20. 20. WHY IT RESONATES NOW People are experiencing ad fatigue, partly because advertising has become so predictable. Research from YouGov says 61% of American adults are more likely to dislike advertising than like it, while 76% of people block ads online and skip them on the TV. As a result, brands from Gucci to Denny’s have been leveraging internet memes to reconnect with viewers. But as Hudson Hongo writes in New York Magazine, rather than force itself into the content cycle, brands that channel how internet humour “is often incomprehensibly self-referential” and takes joy in reappropriating existing content in new forms, are often a hit with viewers. By tapping into the viewers’ sense of humour – instead of just pandering to it as other meme- making brands have – Tide has successfully found a way to create resonance with an audience in a very noisy media landscape.
  21. 21. NICHE FOLLOWING SKITTLES TAKES EXCLUSIVITY TO THE EXTREME NAME OF THE CAMPAIGN: SKITTLES AGENCY BEHIND THE AD: DDB
  22. 22. WHAT THEY DID At first glance, DDB’s Super Bowl ad for Skittles seems like any other big game campaign – a healthy dose of weirdness endorsed by a celebrity, at the cost of millions of dollars. But it wasn’t broadcast to millions of viewers on Super Bowl Sunday. Instead, while teasers were aired in the build-up, it was shown to only one person – a teenaged boy named Marcos Mendez, who revealed via Facebook Live that the ad was ‘weird’, ‘full of lasers’, and somehow featured his own mother. “We want to be the brand who has the most exclusive ad in Super Bowl history,” says Matt Montei, VP of Fruit Confections at Mars. “That’s the focus of the campaign. That’s why there’s a lot of content beyond just the ad itself, which is meant to start a dialogue, to speculate and to be highly entertaining.” USER-GENERATED PHOTOS ARE SEVEN TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE TRUSTED THAN COMPANY-MADE ADS Olapic
  23. 23. WHY IT RESONATES NOW In an effort to cut through the noise, many brands have toyed with exclusivity. In recent years, engagement with ’micro-influencers’ has picked up as brands look to connect with audiences more organically. In fact, Instagram users with fewer than 1,000 followers have a like rate of around 8%, compared to 1.7% for those with over a million, and user-generated photos are seven times more likely to be trusted than company-made ads. With its extra-exclusive broadcast, Skittles takes this idea to an extreme, drumming up interest off the back of viewer speculation, demonstrating how people are happier engaging with content when it feels like they have control over the discussion.
  24. 24. DIRTY DINING PEPSICO’S AD TAPS AMERICA’S LOVE OF SNACK PAIRINGS NAME OF THE CAMPAIGN: DORITOS BLAZE VS. MTN DEW ICE AGENCY BEHIND THE AD: GOODBY SILVERSTEIN & PARTNERS
  25. 25. WHAT THEY DID Created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, PepsiCo’s Super Bowl ad sees actors Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman engage in a lip- sync battle with support from hip hop artists Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott. During the 60-second spot, Dinklage brings the fire by rapping to Rhymes’ ‘Look At Me Now’, while Freeman’s performance of ‘Get Your Freak On’ freezes over the scene. As the duo battle it out in a war over two new PepsiCo products, Doritos Blaze and Mountain Dew Ice, viewers could keep up with the face-off via a sponsored Snapchat lens, allowing them to side with either #doritosblaze (Dinklage and Busta Rhymes) or #mtndewice (Freeman and Elliott). The campaign proved a success even before the big game aired, racking up 28.9 million YouTube views by the Thursday prior to the Super Bowl. [When it comes to snacking,] studies show that brand preference trumps taste every time. Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University “
  26. 26. WHY IT RESONATES NOW When it comes to snacking, Super Bowl Sunday is a major occasion; it’s the second largest food consumption day in the US, with 82% of people stocking up on food and drinks for the game. While Mountain Dew and Doritos may already be a classic food combination (particularly within the gaming community), recent years have seen ‘frankenfoods’ become a source of perverse pleasure; Mac ‘n’ Cheetos were placed back on the Burger King menu due to high demand, while Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries look set to roll out nationwide thanks to their widespread popularity. By pitting both sides its established snack combination against each other, PepsiCo highlights why the pairing has been enduringly perfect. The contrast between salt and sweet satisfies every aspect of the impulse to snack, while the brand-forward marketing plays to how, when it comes to junk food, “brand preference trumps taste every time.”
  27. 27. Canvas8 Inc. WeWork Dumbo Heights 81 Prospect St Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT BEHAVIOURAL INSIGHTS WWW.CANVAS8.COM CONTACT US Kishan Joshi Strategic Partnerships Manager kishan@canvas8.com (+1) 347 991-8882 Sam Shaw Strategy Director sam@canvas8.com (+1) 347 991-8887 FIND US

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Key consumer trends and insights behind 8 of the 2018 Super Bowl campaigns.

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