The annual league championship game of the National Football League (NFL) of the United States, known as the Super Bowl, kicks off on 11 February 2024 in Las Vegas.

Major retailers and brands have started releasing information about their involvement in the show exclusively aired by CBS, which contains 30-second slots costing an eye-watering average of £7m each.

So which retailers have claimed spots and are hoping to attract the attention of over 100m viewers?

Food brands dominate the Super Bowl

As the viewer experience of watching the Super Bowl typically includes snacks, food retailers reliably jump on the key advertising opportunity.

PepsiCo subsidiary Frito-Lay has put together a campaign titled ‘Taste of the Super Bowl’ featuring US football legends to promote its Lay’s, Cheetos, and Tostitos snack products. The brand has also organised an immersive fan experience called the ‘Frito-Lay Chip Strip’ which is located on the Brooklyn Bridge at the New York, New York Hotel from 8-11 February.

After a hiatus of four years, the Hershey Company candy brand Reese’s is returning with a 30-second ad, but details are being kept under wraps.

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Unilever‘s Hellmann’s Mayonnaise has taken its fourth consecutive slot to continue highlighting its “Make Taste, Not Waste” initiative that aims to combat food waste. This is a key example of a strong brand message and ESG initiative that will stick in viewers’ minds.

Other confectionery and convenience food brands airing commercials include Pringles, Nerds, Oreos, and M&M’s.

Beauty at the Super Bowl

Ads for the Super Bowl from beauty brands historically tend to focus on men’s grooming and personal care products, but there is space for brands with sizeable budgets to represent other kinds of beauty and stand out from the competition.

Unilever-owned beauty brand Dove is returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years to continue its long-running “Campaign for Real Beauty”. Its ad focuses on the importance of boosting self-esteem and promoting body confidence in girls to encourage them to keep playing sports.

Technology ads get creative

Website building and hosting company Squarespace has partnered with film industry icon Martin Scorsese, who is the director of this year’s ad. In 2023, the company booked A-lister actor Adam Driver, proving that ads can still provide the masses with a cultivated and creative viewing experience amid all the fanfare.

Retail media remains important

A recent survey found that a staggering 78% of brands believe it is challenging to justify increasing their investment in retail media.

The sheer cost of the Super Bowl means only the biggest industry players can take part, albeit with attractive dividends. According to research by Kantar, in 2021 the ROI on Super Bowl ads for retailers was an estimated $4.60 per dollar spent.

But smaller retailers can still look to the event for advertising inspiration, while adjusting creative ideas and budgets accordingly.