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5 Super Bowl LVIII marketing trends we’re watching, from Taylor Swift to celebrity stunts

Super Bowl LVIII is less than two weeks away. Not every ad has been announced, but we’ve kept watch on the teasers. This year’s Super Bowl will be defined by a potential Taylor Swift appearance, possible Paramount+ complications, and some big swings from brands. Ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers’ big night, here are five trends we’re watching.

1. The biggest brand at the Super Bowl could be Taylor Swift

Swift, who is no stranger to selling out football stadiums, has been a figure at most recent Chiefs games, cheering on boyfriend and tight end Travis Kelce. Apex Marketing Group estimates Swift has created a “brand value” of $331.5 million for the Chiefs and the NFL.

It’s easy to see the singer's brand value in action. United, American, and Southwest Airlines have all created Swift-Kelce-themed flights to the big game, with flight numbers like 1989 (a reference to a Swift album name) and 87 (Kelce’s jersey number).

A brand may want to capitalize on Swift’s potential presence at the game the way State Farm did earlier in the season. The insurance company worked with Maximum Effort (a marketing firm owned by actor Ryan Reynolds) to seat Jake from State Farm in a box with Swift.

Swift’s presence at the game isn’t confirmed. She’s performing in Tokyo the night before, but can reasonably make it back before the big game. And if Swift is in attendance, you can count on the broadcast cutting to her reactions frequently.

2. The big game might literally be hard to watch

This year’s Super Bowl broadcast will air on CBS and stream live on Paramount+. The company is also broadcasting what it calls the “first alternate telecast of the Super Bowl” on Nickelodeon, which will be aimed at younger viewers.

The split telecast is a mixed bag for advertisers. It will help certain advertisers reach younger viewers. But it also means some older people—like those kids’ parents—will not have eyes on the same CBS and Paramount+ broadcast.

And there will be no way to easily stream the Nickelodeon version, our analyst Ross Benes pointed out. It won’t be featured on Paramount+, and Paramount is shutting down its Nickelodeon app this week. Viewers will have to find another strategy like linear—which is an odd choice considering younger people are less likely to watch linear—or YouTube TV to watch the Nickelodeon simulcast.

3. Beer heads back to the basics

While many advertisers consider the Super Bowl a time for innovation, Budweiser and Bud Light are headed back to basics, with Budweiser featuring its iconic Clydesdales.

Meanwhile, many will look to Bud Light to see what it does after a year of PR blunders related to its partnership with influencer Dylan Mulvaney, who is a trans woman. The brand’s 2024 ad appears to be leaning into the brand’s more traditionally masculine reputation, featuring a mustachioed mystery man.

4. Business and finance ads show the need for quality creative

Several prominent business and personal finance tools will return to the Super Bowl with celebrity-studded spots in 2024.

E-Trade’s ad marks four consecutive years, TurboTax is hitting 11 straight years, and SquareSpace’s ad will be its tenth Super Bowl campaign.

B2B and personal finance ads in the Super Bowl leverage whimsical, creative ads for tools that aren’t associated with entertainment. This is an extension of an overarching trend of B2B brands recognizing that their buyers are business people, but they’re also consumers. That means their ads should be consumer-oriented.

5. That weird celebrity stunt is probably a Super Bowl ad

This is more of a prediction, but it’s a good rule of thumb to be skeptical of any bizarre brand or celebrity actions in January, as they could be setting up for a Super Bowl campaign. In the past this happened in 2020 with Planters announcing the death of and subsequent rebirth of its mascot, Mr. Peanut, and again last year with M&Ms retiring its spokescandies only to bring them back for the football game.

While it’s impossible to confirm what is a Super Bowl stunt and what is just an unusual happening, supermodel Tyra Banks’s recent courtside appearance between two people in fursuits at a Knicks-Nets game seems like it could be leading to an ad. Same goes for actor Michael Cera’s public appearance writing his own first name on bottles of CeraVe cleanser, which were captured and posted by a major influencer.

Time will tell on if either of these stunts will actually find their way into the Super Bowl.

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.