NEW YORK (AP) — The Super Bowl battle between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles has begun — and off the field, 50-plus marketers are having a battle of their own. They’re trying to reach the more than 100 million people tuning into the Super Bowl broadcast on Fox. It’s a pricey proposition: ads can cost as much as $7 million for 30 seconds.
Many of the ads were released early but there were still some surprises in store for viewers. In its first Super Bowl ad, Dunkin’ Donuts enlisted superfan Ben Affleck and wife Jennifer Lopez.
In the ad, Affleck mans the drive-through booth at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Medford, Massachusetts and shocks customers. Lopez comes through the drive-through and asks him what he’s doing. “You’re embarrassing me in front of my friends,” he says. “Grab me a glazed,” she demands. Affleck has a long association with the brand, and is often spotted carrying Dunkin’ Donuts drinks in paparazzi photos. He directed the ad, too.
Experts say that marketers are using celebrities, light humor and lots of cute animals to help get their messages across. Last year, marketers tried to bring fun back to the game after two years of COVID, said Kim Whitler, a professor at the Darden School of Business. This year is the same. “Lots of humor and commercials that make you smile (if not laugh),” she said.
One of her favorites: The Bud Light ad featuring Miles Teller and his wife Keleigh and dog Bugsy, who all dance to hold music.
“I dare you to watch the commercial and not smile,” she said.
Many ads were celebrity-heavy: Melissa McCarthy sings a jingle for Booking.com, and Adam Driver makes multiples of himself for Squarespace. Pepsi Zero Sugar hired Ben Stiller and Steve Martin. Avocados From Mexico enlists Anna Faris for one of the few slightly risque ads this year that envisions a present where everyone is naked — including the Statue of Liberty. Tennis star Serena Williams stars in two ads: one for Michelob Ultra and one for Remy Martin.
Those not using celebrities opted for humor. Ram poked fun at erectile dysfunction ads by having couples talk about “premature electrification.” Kia showed a dad on an epic quest to pick up his child’s forgotten “binky.” And E(asterisk)Trade brought back its famous talking babies: this time, as they attend a wedding.