How brands are fielding the Super Bowl

Amid mass layoffs and economic uncertainty, brands are debating whether or not to splurge $7 million on a national Super Bowl ad in 2023.

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The Future. Amid mass layoffs and economic uncertainty, brands are debating whether or not to splurge $7 million on a national Super Bowl ad in 2023. While some consider an expensive ad buy to be in poor taste, others argue that companies often gain market share when they continue to advertise through difficult times. Brands that are intentional about how they market to belt-tightening consumers could score a last-minute touchdown at this year’s Super Bowl.

The game must go on
Companies are more vigilant about their media spend due to layoffs, the slowing economy, and rising inflation, reports Ad Age.

  • Although Google will air commercials even in the wake of its 12,000 job cuts, other tech giants like Meta, which laid off 11,000 employees in November, will sit out of this year’s game. Amazon, which recently laid off 18,000 workers, still hasn’t announced its Super Bowl plans yet.
  • Kia is the only automaker as of now that’s confirmed a national ad buy on Game Day. Toyota, which ran two commercials in 2022, won’t air a spot this year.
  • Travel companies like Turkish Airlines, Expedia, and aired commercials last year, but only has confirmed a spot in 2023.

What’s the play?
Brands that want to gamble on expensive advertising in 2023 have data on their side, according to a recent Analytic Partners report in E-Commerce Times.

  • 60% of companies that increased media spend during the last recession saw greater ROI.
  • Those that spent more on paid advertising saw a 17% increase in sales.

Brands that want to play it safe — and spend less (between $200,000 and $1 million) — on Game Day might opt for regional ad buys, as viewers often can’t differentiate between a national and local commercial.

While the usual advertising strategy is to increase brand awareness, one exec tells Ad Age that a company like Google will find more success by “push[ing] the phone instead of the platform. People will be more receptive to a product promotion than to the brand.”

We’ll see how brands fare with the crowd on Game Day.

Kait Cunniff

Kait is a Chicago-raised, LA-based writer and NYU film grad. She created an anthology TV series for Refinery29 and worked as a development executive for John Wells Productions, Jon M. Chu, and Paramount Pictures. Her favorite color is orange.


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