‘Super’ TV Ad Insights Before Sunday’s Big Game

With the Super Bowl just days away, we wanted to shine a spotlight on some unique advertiser insights, courtesy of iSpot. Below, you’ll find some of the most interesting notes around this year’s Super Bowl brands, plus some of the standout creative that will be grabbing the headlines come Monday morning.

Interested in more NFL advertiser data? Check out our reports around regular season ad performance and business outcomes.

NFL Football – 2019 Regular Season Business Outcomes

While spend and impressions are important measures for TV advertising, every marketer is ultimately concerned about ad effectiveness. For the NFL, we isolated brands that advertised on a network on a game day and looked at the incremental sales lift that happened as a result of that exposure. On average brands advertising during the 2019 regular season received a 27.82% lift.

The baseline for this reporting is the sale activities (Web and app visits, etc.) associated with our panel of 14M devices. The lift number compares the exposure to action ration between those exposed to ads that appeared during NFL programming and those unexposed (control).


Porsche Zooms Into the Super Bowl for the First Time in Over 20 Years


Auto ads are no stranger to the NFL — automotive was the No. 1 industry for spend during the regular season with an estimated outlay of $606+ million — but a new brand is coming into the fold during this year’s Super Bowl: Porsche. For the first time in over two decades, Porsche is shelling out for airtime during the Big Game with a spot promoting its electric sports car, the Taycan. 

This is particularly notable because, since Jan. 1 2018, the brand has only spent $11.6 million on TV ads overall, and the biggest slice of that has gone to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (NFL came in second). With 30-second spots costing up to $5.6 million this year, that’s basically half of what Porsche has spent on TV overall since January 2018 — and the brand’s Big Game spot will be 60 seconds, meaning on Sunday they could be investing in one spot what they spent on TV in the last two years. 


SodaStream’s First Foray Into Football Comes at the Super Bowl



SodaStream’s parent company, PepsiCo, is plenty familiar with football and the Super Bowl. And though SodaStream rarely airs spots during NFL games, they did appear during Super Bowl XLVIII (2014). More recently, the brand spent just $135,000 advertising against college football in 2018, and its largest sports spend since the start of 2018 has been on figure skating ($600,000). Dating back to Jan. 1, 2017, SodaStream has spent $30.4 million on TV ads, with most of that going to reality TV (18.2%), drama and action shows (17.4%) and movies (13.3%). 

The chart shows spend breakdown for all sports shows since the start of 2018 (through Jan. 28, 2020).


Rick and Morty’s Interdimensional Travels Land in a Pringles Spot


Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty are no strangers to crossovers. Despite the cartoon duo’s meta humor, late time slot and obscure references, they’ve already “crashed” events like last year’s Emmys. You can add the Super Bowl to the list as well, as Pringles utilizes the show’s manic energy to get you hooked on the spot, which focuses on stacking chip flavors.

The ad’s not without a real-world tie-in, as Pringles rolled out “Pickle Rick”-flavored chips. Pringles has also spent over $100,000 advertising against Rick and Morty episodes since Sept. 1, 2019, and Adult Swim ranks fourth ($2.7 million) among all networks for the company’s ad spend since the start of 2019. With a desire to capture younger audiences, the focus on the network certainly makes sense.


Secret Kicks Inequality at the Super Bowl


P&G’s Secret women’s deodorant will be tackling women’s inequality in sports with “Secret Kicker” at this year’s Super Bowl. Though it’s not the first time the brand has looked at inequality in a TV ad, the Super Bowl spot is a hint at how Secret views sports as a way to deliver messages of change. Though Secret has put less than 4% of its TV ad spend toward sports since the start of 2018, football has been a particular emphasis. The chart below shows a breakdown of Secret’s spend on sports programming. NFL Football is the top show (any genre) for Secret by spend over the last two years, at nearly $2.9 million.


Turkish Airlines Rarely Lands on TV


Turkish Airlines has released a teaser for Super Bowl LIV with astronauts in the desert. The company hasn’t done much on TV since its Ridley Scott ad, “The Journey,” for last year’s Super Bowl. Here is spending per show going back to 2019. Nearly all of its $10.4 million TV ad spend in the timeframe has been on sports as well.


Little Caesars Revisiting Sports Ads 


Little Caesars has spent big on TV advertising since the start of 2019 (over $226 million through Jan. 23, 2020), but just $15 million of that was on sports — and only $763,000 was on NFL games. Dating back to Jan. 1, 2018, Little Caesars has spent a total of $33.5 million advertising against sports programming (vs. $424.3 million overall), so their Super Bowl debut could signal a larger emphasis on sports once again. Little Caesars has spent just $1.7 million on ads during NFL games over the past two seasons, but nearly double that on both NBA and college football games, respectively, since Jan. 1, 2018.

The graph shows Little Caesars spend on sports shows only since the start of 2018.


Sabra Doesn’t Usually Dip Into Football, Now Shawarming the Field (sorry not sorry)


Pepsi is investing in making a lot of noise for Sabra in the lead-up to the Super Bowl, with 13 unique creatives in the market for the hummus brand. But Sabra isn’t normally a TV advertiser. From 2019 to Jan. 28, 2020, Sabra only spent an estimated $11.6 million on TV and less than 3% of that spend was on sports-related programming. Going back to the start of 2018, Sabra’s spent a total of $30.2 million on TV advertising, with just $1.4 million (4.6%) going toward sports programming. Sabra has not advertised during an NFL game at any point since at least 2016.


TurboTax Banks on Q1 Sports Programming


About 38% of TurboTax’s spend is sports since the start of 2018, and they typically stop spending on TV after the first week of April (and don’t come back ‘til Jan. 1). Also, 21% of their spend since the start of 2018 is NFL, with another 5.1% against the last two Super Bowls. Clearly, they want people to be paying attention before tax season.

By and large, ad budget is geared toward Q1 sports — specifically NFL Playoffs, Super Bowl, NCAA Tournament. They don’t advertise on linear TV during the NFL regular season at all. TurboTax’s total TV advertising since the start of 2018 is $370 million, with about 26% of that coming during postseason NFL games (playoffs, Super Bowl).


Will Bud Light Switch Beer for Seltzer?


Bud Light Seltzer ads began appearing for the new brand on Jan. 4, 2020 and became the primary investment for the brand with more than $24.2 million spent in the first few weeks of the year. Of that total, $23 million came from NFL Playoffs broadcasts. From Jan. 1-28, Bud Light Seltzer was 32% of the entire beer industry TV spend. 

Back to top