6 Spots That Won The 2018 Super Bowl

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

Advertisers played it safe this year, opting for funny ads full of celebrities rather than politically-charged ones—and it paid off. Here are the best of the best and what they did right…

Plenty of brands got political last year, but this year, they stayed on the sidelines. One branding exec explained to the Wall Street Journal that, “The fear of a Twitter attack is fueling the play-it-safe approach.” And it’s no wonder; brands have learned that trying to tap into the political climate can blow up in their face at the fast pace of social (lest we forget Pepsi). Instead, three themes pervaded the Super Bowl ads of the night: humor, celebrities, and activism. A-listers and up-and-coming TV stars alike headlined the ads, with several spots switching from celeb to celeb at dizzying speeds. Tapping into TV fandoms propelled two ads in particular to the top, proving how “celebrity” is being redefined by young viewers. The top ads of the night also kept it light, opting for ridiculous over real. This didn’t work out for everyone (ahem, Diet Coke)—but for many, humor was an effective way to win over consumers seeking an escape from the everyday.

The other theme of the night was a hit-or-miss for brands, but there were more misses than hits. Many brands tried to show off their social good for young viewers; not a bad idea considering Ypulse data has found Millennials & Gen Z expect brands' beliefs to align with their own. Unfortunately, some missed the mark (like Ram Trucks) and others were just lost in the clutter of "cause fatigue."

Here are the ads that stood out, winning over viewers and generating the most post-game buzz:

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingDoritos & Mountain Dew

PepsiCo leveraged Next Level Fandoms to release a winning Super Bowl ad. The ad has accrued over 10 million views online and is the…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “[Animal Crossing Pocket Camp is] free to play, but it's loaded with a lot of content. It's super cute and relaxing.”—Female, 32, IL

PepsiCo needs to think small to compete with indie brands. Their new unit, The Hive, will be “a small entrepreneurial sort of agile group” to foster smaller brands and create new brands based on emerging trends. Unsurprisingly, The Hive is a response to consumers (ahem, Millennials) who are “demanding” healthier products and championing smaller labels. We continue to see big brands adopt startups, and startup thinking, as they navigate today’s competitive landscape. (Fortune)

Millennials and Gen Z are going to “extreme lengths” to share streaming passwords—and major platforms are losing millions. Magid research indicates that 35% of 21-35-year-olds and 42% of those younger than 21 share streaming service passwords, compared to 19% of Gen Xers and 13% of Boomers. One particularly amusing anecdote: the 20-something who uses the HBO Go login of a one-night stand from 2013. Though Netflix and HBO have both said that password sharing isn’t a problem, there’s no denying they are losing out on revenue—Hulu stakeholders estimated a loss of $1.5 billion yearly. (CNBC)

Wikipedia-branded streetwear has sold out. The site teamed up with LA streetwear brand Advisory Board Crystals for a “surprising” collaboration, and the resulting long sleeved tee emblazoned with “Internet Master” and Wikipedia’s puzzle logo was a success. All proceeds from sales were pledged to the Wikipedia Foundation, and the store is planning to restock “to make as large of a contribution as possible.” According to Ypulse Brandoms research, 60% of 13-35-year-olds say logos are back in style. (MashableThe Verge)

Fitbit’s new tracker is about more than just fitness. Though their smartwatch business is growing significantly faster than trackers, the brand “hasn’t given up” on their roots—and their newest model offers a range of features for wellness-focused users. While it, of course, tracks exercise and calorie burning, it also has built-in meditation, sleep tracking, and female health tracking. Since 96% of 18-34-year-olds tell Ypulse that taking care of their mental health is just as important as taking care of physical health, thinking beyond workouts could be a wise move. (Business Insider)

Amazon wants to steal away YouTube creators to bolster their own platform, Twitch. They’re reportedly offering multi-million dollar deals to influencers ranging from Gigi Gorgeous to Will Smith, hoping their large followings will follow them off of YouTube. So far, Twitch has 15 million daily users compared to YouTube’s 1.9 billion but Twitch’s SVP promises “a steady drumbeat of lots of new content.” They’re also reportedly looking to double their ad revenue in the next year, and their foothold on video games like Fortnite is sure to help. (Bloomberg)

Quote of the Day: "I love travel and finding the best deals on airfare. Hopper really helps me do that, in a simple format.”—Female, 22, FL

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