Marketing trends we can learn from the Super Bowl.

Pretty sure it’s ok to say out loud that one of the key roles in any marketing team is keeping on top (and in the know) of trends? Not to mention this being a hot topic on the [coffee] table for many a Bird & Emmy team meeting … 

Which is why Super Bowl season always gets my attention! I do love a good ad.  Every year, the Super Bowl commercials showcase some pretty cool trends and there are always nuggets of creativity and inspiration you can pick up and apply to your business.

This year, I got over-excited about the subject on a coffee date with my Student Placement, Elise Ferguson and tasked her with homework to come up with cool examples from this year’s event and to pull together some of the key trends that small businesses can use in their 2023 campaigns. 

But aren’t the Super Bowl adverts extremely high-budget?!

Well yes those ones are …

… but the trends and themes in these adverts and campaigns can easily be brought over to a smaller business with a smaller budget.

So let’s take a look. 

What the Super Bowl adverts teach us about small business marketing. 

Keep it real.

One of the main marketing trends we spotted from the Super Bowl Ads in 2023 was authenticity (no surprise here though) and brands keeping it real with production sets and relatable banter and situations. 

The Pepsi Zero Sugar advert, starring Ben Stiller and Steve Martin is a fun example of this as the actors stand next to each bickering back and forth side-whispering “over actor”, “under actor”, “sell out”, “you’re doing a commercial” “so are you” to each other. 

Anyone else think of sibling rivalry or a work colleague banter situation when watching this one?

The Bud Light advert with Miles Teller and Keleigh Sperry also caught our attention. 

In the advert Keleigh Sperry is frustrated and on hold on a call with customer service (super relatable) and Miles Teller cracks open a Bud Light for both of them and they spend the rest of the call dancing to the hold music and drinking together, including their dog. 

Think easy watching, real-life scenarios, warming and entertaining. 

On the topic of this content being super relatable, the theme also pulled together some epic brand partnerships. Or collaboration if you’re in the small business world. Think pumped-up UGC (User Generated Content) type-campaigns. Of course, Miles Teller would be an excellent choice for a brand partnership in our opinion, but maybe a little out of most of our budgets and perhaps something a little closer to home and in line with our business values and mission would work just as well. 

The knock on effect of a great brand partnership or collaboration is huge for a business and that piece really deserves it’s own blog and “top tips” but the takeaway here is to think outside of your own box and look around for a collaboration that plays to your business’ values and is relatable and real to your target audience. 

Think of the success of TikTok as an example; the majority of the videos play on being real and “unedited” ranging from funny cat or dog videos, to relatable memes on work life, homelife or #couplegoals and right back to how to use excel! The key point is TikTok isn’t popular because it’s TikTok, it’s popular because it feels so real and relatable and plays with collaborations in a way that other platforms struggle to keep up with. 

P.S TikTok for businesses is a whole other conversation but the key learnings around the popularity of the platform are there for the taking.  


One theme that often reoccurs in marketing is nostalgia. Everyone loves to be reminded of a good time, a favourite moment from a movie or get reacquainted with a favourite character from a book or TV show; and two Super Bowl commercials in particular managed to bring back an iconic TV series and movie as part of their 2023 marketing campaign.

The first one is an advert for Popcorner with Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. Both actors came back to the screen as their characters from the show Breaking Bad for the advert entitled “Breaking Good” which featured the Popcorner product in scenes from the programme.

Another was Rakuten which was set in the style of the classic 90’s cult movie “Clueless” and the debate scene which featured the star of the movie, Alicia Silverstone in the commercial too (see brand partnerships as above too…).

These commercials stand out even more than others due to the heavy referencing of well-known series or movies. The advert almost becomes the series/movie and is therefore much more enjoyable to the viewer and attention-grabbing. A great way to secure engagement too as guaranteed that either one of these adverts would have been shared amongst fellow fans and peer groups!

Relating your brand to current events.

Staying relevant is a great way to get visibility for your business on social media, and one of the best ways to do this is by making sure you are on top of current events.

[disclaimer: strategy is an important one for this kind of content too as not every current event or daily happening is relevant for your business and you shouldn’t be making content decisions based on daily trends alone. Being clear on your strategy (why, what, who, how and when) will help to make quick decisions around a happening or meme trend.]

Fenty Beauty has us shook (in a good way) with their creativity and on-trend-ness on their TikTok in the lead up to the Super Bowl. The brand is owned by Rihanna, who was the halftime performer for this year’s Super Bowl and one of the video’s featured their primer and foundation being applied to American footballs on a production factory line just at the time when the Super Bowl was becoming a hot topic on the platform and the hype was getting ramped up for the actual performance.

Add this build-up to some product placement during the actual live performance and we want to hand out medals to that entire brand, social media and content team this year!  

Life after the Super Bowl adverts.

To be honest, there are loads more brilliant examples of ad creative that we could talk about here and if you have kept reading this far, well done! I just have one more thing to say: all of these themes have something in common, and that is being authentic and raw with your marketing, even if that means being bold and experimental with your content and campaign planning. Which are some of the biggest content marketing trends we have seen emerge from 2022 and now firmly taking a seat in 2023 campaign plans!

Bird & Emmy note: thanks to Elise Ferguson for her drafts and research for this blog and for embracing the theme that is very dear to our marketing-hearts! Good luck with the rest of your studies. Suz 🙂

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