Part 2: Results of our predictions for Super Bowl LV Ads
13 insights from 400+ Super Bowl ads from the last 6 years.
February 8, 2021
Last week, we shared our predictions for how the macro-factors of 2020 would impact the creative decisions marketers would make about their 2021 Super Bowl commercials. To measure these predictions, we used our creative analytics technology and analyzed nearly 400 unique video ads from Super Bowls 2016–2021 (we excluded all NFL ads, film trailers, and network commercials).
The data’s now in, and 64% of predictions were correct:
Covid, Black Lives Matter, and the US election didn’t change the messages we saw. We found this surprising. It meant that our predictions were mainly wrong on two fronts:
We overestimated the role that Covid would play in how marketers would represent people and settings (mostly as though Covid never happened). Given the difficult economic times, we thought brands would compete on price more than ever. However, messages featuring discounts, promotions, and giving back actually decreased.
We underestimated just how difficult it is to remove stereotypes (most likely subconscious) from the way we represent and portray different people. Given brands’ responses to the Black Lives Matter movement, we expected brands would portray people of color more inclusively. However, representational gains came at a price: people of color playing stereotypical roles (i.e. doing physical activities, a reference to racist bias and physical stereotyping).
Here are the top 5 things we uncovered:
Covid was ignored: Only 7.5% of ads explicitly mentioned covid, less than 5% featured masks, and 51% of ads featured people in groups or crowds.
Representation of people of color jumped 20% in the last 2 years
Men appeared in 100% of commercials
Racial stereotyping reached a five-year high
The sexualization of female roles reached a 3 year low.