The Super Bowl is not only a huge day for football fans – it is also a big game for advertisers. And, Super Bowl ads are about more than generating buzz. The landscape of modern advertising has shifted to include a multitude of measures, such as equality, diversity, purchase intent and likability among others.
It’s not enough to win with only one ethnic group defined by a set of outdated tropes. It’s about inclusion and moving the needle across a diaspora of cultures and gender identifications to generate likeability and conversions.
My team and I created X_Stereotype to take the stereotype out of marketing. It is the world’s first tool that uses artificial intelligence to detect and measure bias in content and purchase intent by race and gender. We’ve proven how multicultural understanding will only make ads work harder:
To predict how this year’s Super Bowl ads will be perceived by multicultural groups, let’s look at last year’s results. In 2022, the top 5 ads that received the highest sentiment scores, all appeared in the top 10 lists for most inclusivity and least bias. Marketers must look at DE&I beyond just preventing “getting canceled.” It’s also an opportunity for business growth.
Many Super Bowl 2022 commercials underscored the industry’s commitment to cast more diversity in commercials, but diversity that felt inauthentic or forced was noticed by consumers. For example, the ad that ranked lowest on inclusion – T-Mobile’s 5G ad ft. Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus – also ranked lowest on purchasing intent. Intuit QuickBooks and Mailchimp’s “Duality Duets” ft. DJ Khaled ranked for the most bias, unconscious bias and stereotypes.
However, Google’s Real Tones featuring Lizzo had the most positive impact on purchasing intent among all consumers. The ad scored in the 80th percentile or higher across every race and gender included in our insights.
Super Bowl ads for 2023
Our early analysis of this year’s ad teasers and previews reveals similar results.
In general, the early content for this year’s Super Bowl did a generally good job with diverse casting, but fell short when it came to authenticity in some cases. This is similar to last year when we saw some of the ads with a lot of diversity actually score low among multicultural audiences due to a lack of perceived authenticity.
In terms of inclusion, Budweiser is the top-rated advertiser. Worth noting, this campaign was #1 for inclusion for both white males and Black males. We continue to see evidence that genuine and diverse representations will be appreciated by all groups.
Sam Adams again appears on the list despite largely featuring a white caucasian male, though there is diversity and an appearance by Kevin Garnett at the end.
Meanwhile, the bottom two scoring for Inclusion IQ – Crown Royal and Miller Lite and Coors – also had the lowest scores in the conversions category (likability, purchasing intent, etc.).
The top-performing campaigns for Bias IQ were the early teasers for Workday and Heineken. Both were near the very top in percentile rankings when looking at Super Bowl content over the last two years.
The Publicis Working with Cancer and Uber One campaigns ranked as the bottom two for Bias IQ. It is worth noting, the Uber One ad featuring Diddy with a group of white people asking him questions scored very low among Black females and Asian females.
And, be assured, we will be watching this Sunday for any game-day surprises.
Larry Adams is co-founder and CEO of X_Stereotype, an AI-powered platform that analyzes content through a lens of diversity and inclusion. Larry is a digital marketing and media expert with over 20 years of experience on both client and agency sides. He led the content strategy, marketing automation, data strategy and organizational design infrastructure for the Bloomberg 2020 presidential campaign, which ran over 65,000 concurrent digital campaigns. He has held senior positions at AT&T, WarnerMedia, Mindshare, InterActive Corp. and DIRECTV.
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