Why aren’t more of this year's super bowl ads shoppable?

This article originally appeared in The Drum on February 10. Read the full article here.

Super Bowl 2022 is upon us and while many are focused on the teams, stats and scores, I’m all about the chips and dip and the entertainment. A few common themes have emerged, yet I’m spotting some missed opportunities that brands could use to better link their big spots with commerce experiences that consumers now demand.

Advertisers are showing consumers how they make their lives easier

Given the widespread scale and price tag, the Super Bowl historically has served as the fastest way to ensure consumers know your brand name. Awareness was always the goal with (hopefully) award-winning creative to reach the masses. The shift in shopping behavior from the last few years has brought forward more and new commerce players to join the party.

From Rakuten, Sam’s Club, Uber Eats, Carvana and Vroom, these commerce-centric brands are not only ensuring that consumers have their brand name top of mind, but also that these spots will get viewers to buy into their products or services by creatively and explicitly breaking down their offerings or unique selling propositions in ways that consumers can easily understand. For example, you don’t have to wait in a line when you scan and go at Sam’s Club; Uber Eats is now more than just eats; Carvana and Vroom offer online ways to sell your car; you can buy high quality goods on Rakuten. Viewers won’t walk away wondering what that meant, they’ll just get it.

Advertisers are making things simple to understand in 30 seconds or less

Crypto, NFTs, metaverse: Most people need to go back to school to really understand what it all means. Between Meta and a number of crypto companies buying spots this year, the masses will no doubt be asking themselves what the media industry has been asking for the last six months – what exactly is the metaverse and how does it all work?

For newcomers like FTX, Crypto.com and eToro, this is a chance to simply explain what their product is and how to buy it. While the traditional advertisers in the financial sector or CPG category can rely on revived themes (such as E*trade) or celebrities hamming it up (such as Frito-Lay), the new kids on the block will need to make a clear case for their offering.

Where’s the shoppable content?

So far, none of the teasers or full ads include a shoppable component which is a big miss. Super Bowl shouldn’t be about a one and done ad, but about an end-to-end connected experience. While the percentage of brands using shoppable video ads has risen from 25% in 2018 to 40% in 2020, there is still tremendous opportunity, per the IAB’ US 2020 Digital Video Advertising Spend Report. A car can now be purchased in just a few clicks, so why not make it easy to connect to the site after seeing the ad to do just that. Or, after seeing the Lays ad, why not make it easy to launch GoPuff and get their chips delivered in 15 minutes. Every advertiser should be taking advantage of the number of eyes on these ads to drive immediate conversion.

More content should be doing double duty

Unlike past years, where Super Bowl takes place at least one to two weeks prior to Valentine’s Day, this year we see the two events back-to-back. For the categories that cross over, instead of making a choice between the two, brands should embrace the opportunity to maximize their media dollars and speak to both occasions.

So, while there will be the traditional lineup of celebrities, stunts and cars flying down freeways, the spots this year are sure to continue delivering on the changing needs of the consumer, giving them what they want, when they want and where they want it, ensuring a touchdown for all parties. Brands just need to think about making the connection from awareness to purchase in a seamless way and bringing value to their everyday lives. While the ’Big Game’ is important, it’s the micro moments that build loyalty and connection.