What do Apple's “1984,” Budweiser's “Puppy Love,” and Coca-Cola's “Hilltop” have in common – beyond their iconic status in the world of advertising?

They all premiered on Super Bowl Sunday.

As Super Bowl LVIII rolls into Las Vegas, with the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers squaring off, the commercials are once again expected to steal at least some of the spotlight.

For brands, major sports events continue to be golden opportunities. In a hyper-personalised world, mass-shared experiences have become as rare as hen’s teeth – and, therefore, incredibly valuable to marketers.

These mega-events offer brands a unique chance to capture the undivided attention of millions and capitalise on the emotionally charged backdrop that only live sports can offer.

Apple's famous 1984 Super Bowl advert, directed by Ridley Scott

Smart marketers recognise the allure of events like the Super Bowl or the FIFA World Cup goes beyond large viewership figures; it's about the nature of the viewing experience itself. Live sports is resistant to the on-demand culture of streaming. They demand audiences tune in real-time – ad breaks included. And because of the nature of a collective viewing experience, these moments become topics of our cultural conversation.

The build-up to the Super Bowl, especially in recent years, has helped brands maximise their investments. Teasers, early releases, and behind-the-scenes footage all work to extend the moment for brands.

Coca-Cola's Hilltop advert was a star of Super Bowl VI, (won by the Dallas Cowboys but you already knew that, didn't you?) Ps we know you want to sing along...

Yet, integrating brands seamlessly into these sports isn’t easy, especially when the competition is fierce. Brands seem to unknowingly coalesce around yearly themes that reflect the current cultural mood, making it difficult to both strike the right tone and stand out at the same time. 

A difficult, but not impossible task -  just ask the folks at Apple, Budweiser, and Coca-Cola.

House 337 is a leading creative agency in London with a dedicated sports practice. Get in touch to find out more