Super Bowl ads showcase collaborations and sportsbooks

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 10:19 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - It’s not just the Chiefs people will be watching on Sunday. They’ll also be watching some high-dollar ads.

A lot has changed this year.

Crypto is out. Gambling and alcohol is in.

That last change is because, for the first time in 33 years, Anheuser-Busch won’t have exclusive rights to alcohol ads.

The company isn’t out of the game. They still purchased three minutes of ad time, including a Michelob Ultra ad re-creating scenes from Caddyshack and a Bud Light ad featuring a fun dance to the music that drones on when you end up on a long hold with customer service.

But this year, a lot of other brands purchased spots. Kelli Anstine, the president of Kansas City ad agency Bernstein-Rein, said that’s a big deal.

“Since 1989, we have not seen any other national [alcohol] advertiser in the Super Bowl,” Anstine remarked. “We’re seeing Miller Lite and Coors Light. We’re seeing some liquors like Crown Royal.”

One of the Miller Light and Coors Light commercials is a sign of two other big shifts that may be the beginning of a trend: collaborations and sportsbooks.

You might have heard of collaborations aka “collabs” in fashion, when a well-known designer issued a style line in collaboration with a musical artist. Now, it’s playing out in big-budget Super Bowl ads.

One example is a collaboration with General Motors and Netflix. Funnyman Will Ferrell appears in backdrops for the streaming network’s popular shows with stars of those shows. Sitting in a GM truck, surrounded by zombies, he announces that Netflix will be using more electric vehicles in their shows and asks, “If you’re going to get swarmed by an army of the dead, why not do it in an EV?” His signature silly banter takes him through Bridgerton, Stranger Things and Squid Game.

“These partnerships are opportunities for them to take that spend, the 6-to-7 million dollars per spot, and actually share it over a couple of different brands. That’s a really big change for us this year. We’ve not seen anything like that,” said Anstine.

Another collaboration is Coors Light and Miller Light teaming up with the sports betting app Draft Kings.

All that’s available to view before the game is a teaser, because Draft Kings is running prop bets on minutiae of what will appear in the ad itself.

“It’s definitely something that we haven’t been exposed to,” said Anstine. “The other one that we haven’t been exposed to is FanDuel. We’ve been watching and waiting for Gronk to get his leg ready to make that big kick. We haven’t seen it yet. It’s all going to play for us out in real time for the Super Bowl.”

With sports gaming now legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia, that’s one of two new elements she predicts will become mainstays.

“I think we’re going to see a lot more gambling ads. I think we’re going to see a lot more partnerships. I think we’re going to see a lot more brands come together and find those cultural moments that take advantage of what they each bring to the party,” Anstine concluded.