5 digital trends you can expect to see with this year’s Super Bowl video ads

Arguably the biggest video marketing event of the year is just around the corner, and brands are gearing up to deploy a bunch of digital strategies not only to create entertaining content, but to extend their life before and after the event.

Here are some trends you can expect to see in use:

Serious brands will get funny

Although there will be plenty of ads employing big celebrities, flashy production, and deep-voice over extolling the virtues of the product, a lot of ads will be using a lighter touch. Expect to see funny, whimsical ads that don’t take themselves to seriously and are engineered to entertain rather than to sell, especially from brands that aren’t known for making funny commercials. Like this one from Audi:


Funny brands will get serious

On the flip side, brands known for embracing comedy in their commercials have an opportunity to try something different. Who would have though Axe Body Spray, with its history of risque, borderline sexist ads would use a “conflict resolution” theme in its Super Bowl ad. Watch it here:


Lots and lots of real-time marketing

Yes we all know Oreo created a historical benchmark after the adulation it received for its “dunk in the dark” tweet during the blackout at last year’s Super Bowl. Since then, every social media manager worth their salt has been trying to emulate the moment at any sort of national event. This year, expect the caffeine-fueled social media command centers for every brand out there to be extra vigilant, looking for an opportunity to comment on every touch down, commercial, musical performance, or media action. While Twitter is expected to have the most activity, you can expect brands to join conversations on Instagram, Vine, Tumblr and Facebook.

Teasers and Add-Ons

Brands aren’t waiting until Super Bowl week to start their advertising push anymore. Many have released online teasers and companion pieces to the ads they will air on TV. ‘The big new trend is teasing out stuff before the event,” says James DeJulio, CEO of video crowdsourcing platform Tongal. “If you release your ad early, you can capture the majority of views before, and continue to drive the hits after as well.” DeJulio says we can also expect to see a lot more additional content to support the main commercial on platforms such as Vine and Instagram.

Here’s an example of a fun teaser from Volkswagen:


Getting Super Bowl engagement without paying Super Bowl ad rates

The really smart brands are figuring out a way to insert themselves into the Super Bowl conversation without having to pay for TV spots. Duracell has already released an inspirational commercial featuring deaf Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman, which isn’t going to be aired during the game, but is taking advantage of the hype surrounding it.  But it’s beer brand Newcastle that may have made the smartest Super Bowl ad, without actually making one. They instead aired a short clip titled “If We Made It” that poked fun at all the Super Bowl ad tropes, lampooning the over the top gimmicks most ads use. Check it out below:

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