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The Final Score – Game Day 2019

As the social climate changes, so do marketing and advertising. During last weekend’s pro football championship, many brands went head-to-head hoping to tackle the competition. At Brickfish, we gave brands exclusive access to our social listening platform, Nuvi, so they could see the important conversations surrounding the game and advertisements in real-time. Huge changes were evident in this year’s commercial line-up. See how brands adjusted their strategy to reach their audiences.

Sex isn’t selling

For years the standard commercials during the big game were targeted towards the classic stereotypical, hyper-masculine, fans. The strategy behind most ads included barely clothed women to make their products more appealing. Those advertising tactics were successful in the past, but today they just won’t do. Females now account for 45% of the audience on game day, according to the NFL. In wake of the #MeToo movement and the push for gender equality, many brands adjusted their strategy from objectification and sexualization to female empowerment.

This year, many ads catered towards women. Bumble, Stella Artois, Avocados of Mexico,  and other brands starred prominent female roles. The dating app, Bumble, launched a 12-month campaign during their game day ad featuring Serena Williams called, “The Ball is in Her Court.” Bumble brilliantly paired their inspiring message as they showcased their app, where women famously make the first move. From data collected via Nuvi, the ad first received over 45 million viewers. Fans and celebrities like Rita Ora raved about the ad online. Overall the commercial received 35% positive and only 6% negative sentiment.

Social activism

In addition to a more feminist approach to advertising, other social causes were front and center during game day commercials. Verizon’s heart-warming advertisements highlighting first responders were incredibly touching. They positioned themselves as the most reliable wireless network used by those that save lives. Verizon had a 38% positive response to ads, 6% negative.

Audi and Budweiser had environmentally focused advertisements. Budweiser proudly announced their products are brewed with 100% renewable electricity via wind power. Audi announced that 33% of all new Audi vehicles would be electric by 2025. Audi had 35% positive and only 4% negative sentiment. Budweiser received 14% positive and only 2% negative.

Missed the mark

There were a few ads that didn’t go over as planned with fans, like Turkish Airlines commercial. Data collected from Nuvi shows that overall there was only a 6% positive sentiment, while the negative sentiment was at 21% — by far the worst sentiment out of all advertisements. The ad just didn’t resonate with the audience. Popular ads like Bud Light, Budweiser, and Avocados from Mexico received about 700% more views as the Turkish Airlines commercial.

Final thoughts

The data doesn’t lie — consumers want to do business with brands that align themselves with social causes they believe in. Brands are rising to the occasion. Although some commercials were cringe-worthy or boring, others exceeded expectations. On social media, the overall responses have been very positive. Fans are loving the changes brands are making to be more aware, inclusive, and environmentally conscious.