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The Masterstroke of Super Bowl Halftime Commercials: A Deep Dive into Today’s Advertising Genius

week in review

Insights on Design, Marketing Campaigns, Influencers, Brands, and Competitive Strategies.

February 09, 2024

Super Bowl 2024 Las Vegas

In the landscape of advertising and marketing, the Super Bowl stands as a colossus, casting a long shadow that brands and marketers vie to occupy, if only for a fleeting moment.

The halftime commercials of this iconic American football championship are not merely breaks in play; they are a cultural phenomenon that captures the imagination of millions worldwide.

These ads have evolved into a showcase of creative brilliance, where storytelling meets marketing in a high-stakes ballet of visibility and engagement. They transcend their primary goal of selling, embedding themselves into the cultural fabric and often becoming topics of conversation long after the final whistle has blown. In this dynamic landscape, three prominent strategies have emerged as game-changers for brands looking to leave their mark on the Super Bowl halftime show. Let’s take a deep dive into the three main strategies employed by this year’s halftime commercial.


Broadened Campaigns: Maximizing Engagement Beyond the Game

  • Teaser ads and extended narratives, as seen with brands like BMW and Uber Eats, build anticipation, and maintain audience engagement over a longer period, transforming a single ad spot into a comprehensive storytelling campaign.

  • This approach maximizes the impact of the Super Bowl's wide audience, creating a more immersive and memorable brand experience that extends beyond the confines of the event itself.

Gone are the days when a Super Bowl ad was a standalone 30-second spot. Today, brands like BMW and Uber Eats are leading the charge with teaser ads and expansive campaigns that stretch far beyond the confines of the halftime show. These teasers and extended campaigns are not just about building anticipation; they're about creating a narrative that audiences can engage with over months, not minutes. This strategy transforms the traditional ad spot from a fleeting message into a chapter of a larger story, fostering deeper audience engagement and ensuring the brand's message resonates long before and after the main event.



Absurd and Self-Aware Storytelling: Cutting Through the Noise

  • Brands embracing absurdity and self-awareness, like DoorDash and Drumstick, distinguish themselves in a saturated ad landscape by offering humor and relatable content that resonates with viewers.

  • This strategy leverages the power of entertainment and authenticity, making commercials memorable and shareable, thereby amplifying their reach and effectiveness in a crowded marketplace.

In a world bombarded with advertisements, standing out is paramount. Enter the era of absurdity and self-awareness, a realm where brands like DoorDash, Drumstick, Paramount+, and Popeyes reign supreme. These brands have crafted commercials that are not only humorous but delightfully self-aware, tapping into the zeitgeist with a blend of meta-humor and surreal storytelling. DoorDash's concept of delivering "all the ads" and Drumstick's surreal narrative featuring comedian Eric André exemplify how brands can leave a lasting impression by embracing the absurd and acknowledging the ad space they occupy. This approach not only entertains but also engenders a sense of authenticity and relatability, cutting through the noise to capture the audience's attention.



Influencer & Audience Likeness: Building Connection

  • Employing influencers and celebrities, as done by E*TRADE and BIC lighters, leverages their existing fan bases and credibility, enhancing the ad's appeal and trustworthiness among target audiences.

  • Relatable scenarios and activities, like the pickleball in E*TRADE's commercial, mirror the interests and lifestyles of the target audience, fostering a deeper emotional connection and increasing the likelihood of audience engagement with the brand.

The Super Bowl's limited ad slots are a precious commodity, prompting brands to maximize their impact by leveraging influencers, celebrities, and relatable scenarios. Brands like E*TRADE, BIC lighters, and Stary understand that resonance is key, employing familiar faces and situations to mirror their target audience's preferences and lifestyles. E*TRADE's ‘Picklebabies’ commercial is a prime example, using the burgeoning popularity of pickleball to connect with viewers on a personal level. This strategy of aligning brand messages with audience interests and influencers not only enhances relevance but also fosters a sense of community and belonging among potential customers.


Looking Forward: Evolution of Super Bowl Advertising

The Super Bowl halftime commercials are a testament to the evolving landscape of advertising, where creativity, engagement, and strategic insight blend to capture the hearts and minds of viewers. Through broadened campaigns, absurd and self-aware storytelling, and a focus on influencer and audience likeness, brands can transcend traditional advertising confines, creating memorable experiences that resonate long after the game is over. In this high-octane arena, the message is clear:

To make an impact, one must be willing to innovate, entertain, and connect on a level that goes beyond mere selling, weaving into the fabric of cultural moments that define our times.

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At RDLB, we are obsessed with brands and marketing. We believe that brands have the power to change the world, and we want to help them do it.



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