Brand Strategy Going Into Super Bowl LVI

Brandon Solis, Executive Director of Social and Connections, GREY Group

What goes into putting together a “most talked about” super bowl ad?

A common misstep for brands is when they fail to find out what people are already talking about on places like social. If you aren’t driving content with timely and topical insights – you’re missing an opportunity to create the types of ideas that pull on the levers that stimulate people to connect.

Sometimes we just come up with funny or interesting ideas, then hinge all of the work’s success on the execution, which may or may not hit during airtime. The insights in the brief should start from there and the concept should deliver.


What kind of tone do you believe advertisers are looking to showcase this year?

I think we’re going to see a mixed bag. Some say humor always works in the Super Bowl, and I think the general public is programmed to expect it. Since we have all had a few tough years, we may collectively be ready for more laughs.

I do not think that we are in the season for quirky concepts or wacky hijinks, which are different approaches than humor. Right now, dancing babies or stock trading monkeys may not feel like a natural fit cultural fit for the Super Bowl stage. There are more nuanced or targeted channels where those types of approaches might more easily thrive and be better received.

On the flip side, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few emotionally triggering spots. During the past two years, many agencies and creative teams have become much more attuned to their own emotions and feelings, which possibly could be a starting place for brands in the Super Bowl spotlight.


How important is brand purpose to today’s consumer? How can brands achieve thoughtful and creative connections with consumers?

I believe that consumers already expect brands to have some purpose-driven initiatives, but brand action is continuously a major need and focus.

Brands saying they stand for something are table stakes, but what are those brands actually doing to deliver? To prove that out, it’ll be brands showing up in both real and social communities, bringing people from those communities in, and then delivering consistently. The Super Bowl might be the moment to announce those plans and I expect people will sniff out anything that brands may say during this time which sounds like an obvious ploy.