Super Bowl LIII: Putting Money on this Year’s Brand Battles

This Sunday we will watch a true David vs. Goliath battle between the seemingly unending dynasty of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and the youngest coach and quarterback duo in the NFL – Sean McVay and Jared Goff.

Meanwhile, we’ll have countless brands spending millions on their media buys, celebrities, and that perfect message, as they battle it out for our laughs, tears, social media responses, viral catch-phrases, and, of course… our money. Given that I commission most of ChappellRoberts’ football-related gambling circles, I suppose it only makes sense for me to put money (imaginary blog money, that is) on who will win these battles too.

So, here we go:

Battle of the Automakers

The contenders so far: Audi, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota.

My money is on: Kia. While car commercials are known for their celebrity appearances, Kia has announced a different approach for their 2019 spot. Instead of spending millions on a celebrity appearance, they’ll be endowing a scholarship fund to help young people in need get a foothold in higher education. On one hand, I can see this back-firing, with some potentially suggesting that they should have just gone all in, not air a spot at all, and put all of that money into the scholarship. On the other hand, I feel they’re tapping into a relevant social topic here. If they can make this story mesh with their brand in way that doesn’t feel too heavy-handed, I think this one could be a winner.

Battle of the Foods & Beverages

The contenders so far: Avocados From Mexico, Bubly, Burger King, Devour Foods, Doritos, M&Ms, Pepsi, Planters Peanuts, Pizza Hut, Pringles and Skittles.

My money is on: Bubly. The teaser is hilarious, simple, and memorable. In fact, I almost wish they had just saved it for their actual Super Bowl spot because it’s so good. It’s the only teaser I have heard anyone talk about or share on social media so far. I’ll put my money on Bubly winning this battle for now, and I’m hoping they don’t go and ruin it with the full-length version.

Battle of the Booze

The contenders so far: Anheuser-Busch and… *looks around* … I guess they’ll be competing against themselves with 8 different ads across 5 different brands they own, for a combined air-time of 5 minutes. These brands will include: Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer, Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois.

My money is on: Bud Light. Love or hate their Super Bowl spots, we can always count on Bud Light to produce one of the more memorable spots each year. All of the other brands listed above have already shown their hand — Stella Artois may be the best of them, but I’m admittedly biased with The Dude’s appearance. Here’s hoping Anheuser-Busch is saving their best for last.

Battle of the Movie Trailers

Last year did not disappoint as we got trailers for Infinity War, Solo, Mission Impossible and Jurassic World. No specific movie trailers or teasers have been disclosed, but Disney will reportedly air an undisclosed number of spots in the game. So…

My hopeful money is on: Star Wars. (Please?) We haven’t gotten a title for Episode IX yet, and the title for The Last Jedi was announced in January 2017. Seems like perfect timing to me.

Battle of the Celebrities

The contenders so far: Ludacris, Jeff Bridges, Michael Bublé, Luke Wilson, Cardi B, Steve Carrell, Lil John, Serena Williams, Chance the Rapper, Jason Bateman, Peter Hermann, Bill Hader, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and… Abraham Lincoln.

My money is on: Pepsi. Steve Carrell, Lil Jon, and Cardi B all in the same spot? I’m not sure how that can’t be entertaining. Here’s hoping Pepsi can finally redeem themselves after this disaster.

Battle for the Laughs

2018 had some of the funniest Super Bowl commercials in recent memory with Tide, Tourism Australia, and Febreeze stealing the show. I can only hope that 2019 delivers just as well. I expect we’ll see another dark horse in this category, but for now…

My money is on: Burger King. I mean, they just trolled the president of the United States. If the same people who are at the controls of their Twitter account are in charge of their Super Bowl commercial, we should all be in for a treat.

Battle for Shock Value

No one has really come close in this category since GoDaddy did this. Until now…

My money is on: Devour Foods. I’ll be curious to see the spot that actually airs, but if it’s anything like the uncensored spot (arguably NSFW) that they already released, it will certainly get people talking! Whether it will actually help sell their food is highly debatable.

Battle for the Tears

It’s not a Super Bowl party until we all look around the room to see who else is glassy-eyed. If you’re a dad, Dove’s Ode to Dads from 2015 made you sob uncontrollably. And Google’s Parisian Love is still my all-time favorite Super Bowl commercial. So who’s going to chop the onions this year?

My money is on: One of the car commercials. And I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say Toyota. Historically, Toyota has been all over the board with their commercials. Last year, they hit us in the feels with an emotionally-charged spot featuring paralympic skier Lauren Woolstencroft and it paid off. I think they’ll stick with what worked and try to earn viewers’ tears again in 2019.

Battle of the Catch-Phrases

Fun fact: It’s been exactly 20 years since a Budweiser Super Bowl commercial drove us all to shout “Whassup?” at one another. #NeverForget More recently, Bud Light introduced “Dilly Dilly!” to the world. Or, if you work at ChappellRoberts, “okurrr!” is still heard daily. So, which brand will introduce the next viral catch-phrase to America?

My money is still on: Bud Light. Either they continue to ride the Dilly-Dilly-train or we get some kind of Dilly-Dilly 2.0. If anyone creates a new catch-phrase, it’s likely to be them.

Battle of the Non-Commercials

Every year, we get at least one brand that saves their millions on a Super Bowl spot and generates just as much (if not more) buzz through a perfectly-timed social media post or an unplanned event at the actual game. We all remember Oreo’s famous tweet when the lights went out at Super Bowl XLVII. And Budweiser unexpectedly got $13.9 million in free advertising from Peyton Manning after he won Super Bowl 50. So, if we do end up getting a non-commercial this year…

My money is on: Snickers. They may not have a paid spot in the game, but I find it hard to believe they’re “sitting out” this year. I’m still waiting for a last-minute “You’re not yourself when you’re hungry” spot featuring the referee from the NFC Championship game. I’ll be following them on Twitter this Sunday.

So that’s where I’m putting my money this Sunday. That and on our annual ChappellRoberts game of Squares.

Go Rams.

view all blogs