Q&A with Parisa Howard, VP, Group Director Business Leadership, NY, Momentum Worldwide
With the world still dabbling between a pandemic and new normal, as a professional in the ad/marketing industry, do you think brands will begin to steer away from the pandemic focus?
While some brands expressed hesitancy about activating fully at the Super Bowl last year, this year we are seeing a full return to live events and programming around Super Bowl week in Phoenix.
Digitally savvy brands will still incorporate virtual elements into their programming to extend their activation reach beyond on-site attendees as a best practice, but we haven’t seen any reluctance to activate on-site in Phoenix.
Of course, certain measures adopted during the pandemic have become industry standards for on-site activations, so we’ll continue to see an increased focus on things like sanitation and keeping communal surfaces clean.
From an advertising perspective, we saw less of a focus on pandemic-related concepts last Super Bowl, likely due to general market feelings of pandemic fatigue. I’d expect that to continue and would be surprised if we saw much if any pandemic focus in Super Bowl campaigns this year.
As inflation has been a big factor in everyday consumer life, how do you suggest brands recognize these concerns, while still creating new campaigns for the Super Bowl?
Brands are certainly conscious that many consumers are reining in their spending and have a general sense of unease about the economy and job market. As consumers look for a distraction from the pressures and challenges they’re facing in everyday life, brands can help provide the escape fans are looking for to reach them effectively.
A few ways to achieve this include tapping into humor, as we saw in many Super Bowl ads last year, or aligning with celebrities, athletes and activities that consumers are passionate about. Aligning with fan passion to drive consumer relevance in brand messaging remains a core tenet of brand ambassador and sponsorship strategy.
The Super Bowl in particular provides a unique opportunity to reach fans in this way, as it is a strong communal cultural touchstone and an experience shared by communities and families.
As Super Bowl ads have been known for their costly spots year after year, and viewership on the decline, do you think brands will continue to buy in to their spots as essentially as they have in the past?
While linear television viewership has decreased overall, NFL broadcasts continue to be the top programming year over year. Last year’s Super Bowl was the highest rated since 2017, with over 112M viewers.
Super Bowl ad expenditures won’t make sense for many brands, but for those who can stomach the price tag, there’s still nothing in media that can compare to the general market exposure of the Super Bowl.
That being said, we’ve seen brands get smart in recent years with breakthrough digital and social campaigns around the Super Bowl that are more cost-effective and may also have a better chance of reaching younger audiences, like Gen Z.
Parisa has experience managing NFL league and team partnerships across several clients, and has formerly worked at the NFL, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. In her current role at Momentum, she leads strategic planning and execution of Verizon's NFL partnerships.
Parisa has worked with a variety of clients, including Subway, Snickers, Honeywell, MGM, Sprint, Papa John’s, Intel, Dannon, Meijer, as well as Johnson & Johnson and its consumer brands.
In her spare time, Parisa enjoys running and has completed the NYC Marathon and LA Marathon. She has also been a wish granting volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation for over 10 years.