Eye-catching marketing moments from Super Bowl LV

Last Sunday saw US quarterback, Tom Brady, claim his 7th win at the Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccanneers comfortably winning 31-9 against the Kansas City Chiefs. However, he wasn’t the only one to claim W’s that night. Multiple brands, properties and personalities capitalised on this lucrative event to earn traction to themselves.  This blog will explore the most stand-out marketing moments alongside valuable lessons to take away from the following campaigns.  

TV network, CBS Sports drew in an audience of 96.4 million which was 15% less than last years Super Bowl. The channels game presentation accumulated 91.6 million viewers which was surprisingly the lowest figure since 2006’s Super Bowl XL. However, an average per minute audience of 5.7 million consumers was captured, 65% higher than last year’s presentation on US network, Fox Sports. This year’s groundbreaking moment was the LV Super Bowl becoming the first time it surpassed 1 billion total minutes in viewership.

Hospitality sales reached an all-time high with Super Bowl LV reportedly generating per capital $212 through hospitality ($132) and merchandise ($80). Food and beverage purchases rose 38% higher than four years ago.

Drake ‘handled’ it in the end…

It’s only right to get the ChampagnePapi involved in anything that screams sport, music and entertainment culture. The global music legend featured in the insurance company, State Farm’s, Super Bowl Commercial with NFL quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. The ad brought back the funny and self-insulting version of Drake that the people love. However, State Farm didn’t seem to admire the artist’s initial tweet promoting the ad. It was a caption starting with State Farm’s Twitter handle rather than standalone text. It’s likely State Farm asked the rapper to delete and re-post the content, but why?

Well, starting a caption with a handle categorises the tweet as a reply rather than a post. A reply on Twitter is only initially visible to those who follow that account. Therefore, State Farm likely asked Drake to re-post the commercial without the caption starting with their handle to optimise reach.

Despite this being a minor mistake, it shows how sensitive Twitter algorithms can be over little details to optimising your content. Therefore, DON’T START A TWEET WITH A REPLY UNLESS YOU’RE REPLYING!

The Weeknd paid millions to perform at the Super Bowl! Why?

You’ve probably seen The Weeknd trying to find his way out of an indoor maze more than your own family this week! This infamous clip was from his LV Super Bowl performance which he paid a hefty $7 million of his own money to feature on!

Despite how ludicrous this sounds, it could become one of the Canadian singers smartest investments. However, he’s not the first to have done this. Superstars Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performed at the 2020 Super Bowl without receiving a paycheque either! Although they certainly reaped many benefits soon after. The event reaches 100 million viewers worldwide. The National Football League (NFL) capitalises on its enormous commercial reach to offer entertainment stars significant media exposure instead of financial gain to perform. After 2020’s Super Bowl, Shakira and Lopez saw a whopping 900% increase in song downloads alongside an additional 3 million followers each. Now, how’s that for media exposure!

Twelve hours after the 2021 LV Super Bowl ended, The Weekend found 8 of his hits featuring in Spotify’s top 10 trending songs list. Sure, this is amazing for growing his online presence, but it could become a gateway to increasing The Weeknd’s overall net worth and the income he receives from upcoming tours and concerts. 2019 saw Maroon 5 perform at the Super Bowl which saw their gross-per show develop from $220,000 to $1.7 million.

However, as COVID19 is still impacting live events, this could halt The Weeknd’s pay increase for the 66 show tour he’s got planned in the next ten months. His previous tour earned him $100 million; therefore, if his future tour gets the green light, I can only imagine how much more he’ll make.

Brands typically spent $5.5 million for 30-second ad space for events of the Super Bowls magnitude. In contrast, The Weeknd spent $1.5 million more to star in a 15-minute commercial during the halftime show production, which has produced much more social media engagement than any ad during the break.

What can we learn from this? Well, if you’re going to spend BIG, think proactively about it. Not only has various clips from The Weeknd performance become an online sensation, but it could significantly leverage his commercial value for live performances, dependant on COVID19 of course.

Bud Light advertised by a dude with a sign…

Bud Light, the US beer brand partnered up with a ‘dudewithsign’, which arguably made their Super Bowl campaign one of the most eye-catching moments.  

The dudewithsign isn’t any random dude; he’s a social media personality with 7.4 million followers who carries a cardboard sign to represent his brand identity. Bud Light received live TV advertising to 185 million viewers alongside the extra 7.4 million from the online sensation.

Bud didn’t claim halftime ad-space as they viewed it as inefficient spend due to most fans using that time to stock up on refreshments. Instead, they had the dudewithsign hold up his cardboard piece during the game to promote the message ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’. This is linked to advertising the Bud Lights lemon seltzer drink.

The moral of Bud Light x dudewithsign’s campaign is quite simply, don’t follow the crowd. Instead, stand in a crowd with a piece of cardboard and write a cliched quote indirectly promoting a product!

Reddit claim the most unorthodox 5-seconds of fame

Reddit, the web content site, blew their entire marketing budget on a 5-second ad for their first-ever ad in the Super Bowl. Recently, the site’s marketing team saw a subclass of its users battle out with billion-dollar hedge funds that acquired colossal media coverage. To capitalise on the flurry digital traffic, Reddit’s Chief Marketing Officer, Roxy Young, knew it would take something BIG to continue the momentum.

Roxy’s initiative consisted of claiming 5-seconds of ad-space during the Super Bowl. The ad was a simple image with 11 sentences of text endorsing Reddit users supporting the Gamestop stock debacle. Obviously, 5 seconds is nowhere near enough time to read 11 sentences. However, Young knew it would make Super Bowl viewers curious to find out more about the brand. Her vision was realistic, as the channel gained over 6,000 mentions on Twitter the morning after the event, 300,000 upvotes on the website, and it was Google’s 2nd most searched ad during the night.

What was the critical lesson from this campaign? Quite simply, keep people intrigued and curious. The brand awareness Reddit acquired from such a simple concept was monumental, which could prove integral to growing their platform to an even broader demographic.


As usual, the Super Bowl yet again made plenty of noise despite the pandemic’s impact on live sport. However, many brands have walked away from this marketing extravaganza with significantly more leverage than anticipated to grow their audience to new heights due to this annual sport and entertainment entity’s spotlight.  

Published by Ash

I'm a First-Class Graduate in Sports Business Management who has worked across Local Government, Sport and the Third Sector. Throughout my career, I've developed a thriving passion to promote sport being used as a tool to bring positivity to the world we live in. This ethos has inspired me to create a website which champions this value through comprehensive online content for you to gain value from. Join me on this journey of discovering what sport can do to enhance society.

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