Morning Brew - ☕ Pick me

Deciding Super Bowl success.
January 31, 2023

Marketing Brew

It’s Tuesday. Nearly three-quarters of last year’s Super Bowl ads featured celebrities, according to iSpot, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. We’re still unclear as to whether Clydesdales count as celebrities.

In today’s edition:

—Ryan Barwick, Alyssa Meyers


What the people want

USA Today Ad Meter logo on an illustration Illustration: Dianna “Mick” McDougall, Photo: USA Today

There’s never just one winner in the Super Bowl. Sure, there’s the team that holds the Lombardi Trophy, but there’s also the place that the winning team represents, the fans, and the halftime performers embracing the limelight—who could forget Left Shark?

And then there are the advertisers that pay ungodly sums for America’s eyeballs. Though it’s not always clear whether that investment is worth it, at least there will be a champion come Monday morning, thanks to USA Today. Since 1989, the publisher has released an annual list of the most-liked Super Bowl spots, voted on by a team of thousands of panelists.

  • Rick Suter, digital revenue strategy and custom content project manager for USA Today Sports Media Group, has overseen the Ad Meter since joining the company in 2019. (FWIW, his favorite spots are Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” ad and Snickers’s Betty White commercial.)
  • According to Suter, the publisher noticed audience interest in the ads—and how much advertisers were spending—in the late ’80s, so it wanted to capitalize on the moment. “It was really just to gauge consumer opinion…more people were talking about the commercials in the game,” he said.
  • Back then, they’d bring people to USA Today’s office in McLean, Virginia, to observe them and gauge their reactions.

Today, the Ad Meter is a digital-only affair. Leading up to the game, brands and ad agencies can submit commercials to USA Today. Only national spots are considered, and they must run between the coin toss and the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter.

Continue reading here.—RB



Lend your brand a hand

These days, a biz needs more than a catchy name and slick advertising to become the coolest kid at the party. Consumers want more than good ol’ products—they want personality. But how do you hit it big in the popularity game?

One word: influencers. Fortunately, is here to help you get a grasp on the tricky but rewarding world of influencer marketing. Their new “Top Influencer Marketing Trends to Watch in 2023” blog post has the scoop.

It covers topics like:  

  • this year’s biggest influencer marketing trends
  • TikTok and the rise of video content
  • how influencer marketing has changed post-COVID
  • achieving maximum impact with micro-influencers

Put a face to your brand’s name with


Pregaming the Super Bowl with data

Super Bowl illustration Francis Scialabba

Word on the street is that sports fans love statistics. If you’re one of them and you’re also into advertising, which we assume you are, you’re in the right place.

A survey of 1,050 US adults recently conducted by Marketing Brew and Harris Poll suggests that viewership could be on track to continue an upward trajectory (last year, the game drew an average of 112 million viewers, a five-year high). What’s more, it found that potential viewers are almost as excited for the ads as they are for the game itself.

This year, 79% of US adults surveyed said they’re at least somewhat likely to watch the Super Bowl, while nearly 70% said they watched last year. In a survey conducted last year, 61% said they tuned into the game in 2021, per Harris Poll.

Football is for the girls: That potential uptick in viewership could be driven by women.

  • Three-quarters (75%) of women said they’d likely watch the Super Bowl this year, up from 62% who said the same last year and 50% who said they did in 2021.
  • While more men (83%) said they’d likely watch the game this year than women, the increase in self-reported viewership among that demographic has been less dramatic year over year, up from 72% who said they did in 2021 and 74% who said they would in 2022.

Ad anticipation: Those who are likely to watch the Super Bowl this year were most excited about the game itself—82% said they’re looking forward to it. But they’re more highly anticipating the ads than the halftime show (sorry, Rihanna).

  • About three in four (76%) likely viewers said they were at least somewhat excited about the ads, compared to 71% who said the same of the halftime show.
  • That order of excitement (game, ads, halftime show) was the same for last year’s game, data showed.

Keep reading here.—AM



Coworking with Patrick Buchanan

Marketing Brew's Coworking with Patrick Buchanan
Patrick Buchanan

Each Tuesday, we spotlight Marketing Brew readers in our Coworking series. If you’d like to be featured, introduce yourself here.

Patrick Buchanan is VP of marketing at Good American. Earlier in his career, he held marketing roles at companies including K-Swiss and UMG’s Bravado.

Favorite project you’ve worked on? The Good American Open Casting is by far the best project I’ve worked on. I got the opportunity to travel around the world and meet so many incredible women and hear their inspiring stories. Year after year, this campaign has helped redefine what is valued or even allowed in fashion by breaking down barriers and challenging dated norms. It’s a special experience to be able to speak to and spend quality time with your customers.

What’s your favorite ad campaign? It’s hard to just name one. I really loved the Nike campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. The message said, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” It hits on many levels.

One thing we can’t guess from your LinkedIn profile: Well, one job that I didn’t list on my LinkedIn is that I was Kelly Clarkson’s assistant for a day. When I was in college, I won a contest on MTV, and they filmed the entire thing. It’s a memory I’ll never forget and something no one would probably guess (unless you saw that episode of TRL).

What marketing trend are you most optimistic about? Least? I love that more and more brands are prioritizing inclusivity and providing more representation through media. While I know some brands are likely being opportunistic, they’ll soon discover that inclusivity is not just important; it works. I’m least excited about the new gross-out marketing trend, where brands use disgusting food combinations to get consumers’ attention. No thank you.

What’s one marketing-related podcast, social account, or series you’d recommend? Follow Gary Vee. He’s an incredible businessman and marketer. He’s a good one to follow also because he’s known for being super engaging with his audience.



French press Francis Scialabba

There are a lot of bad marketing tips out there. These aren’t those.

: Dig through these 160+ social media statistics to stay up-to-date on usage data and trends.

: If your brand is still on Twitter, the platform has pulled together a calendar of major moments to leverage in your marketing.

: Work in content marketing? These eight tips could help bolster your writing.


  • TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March.
  • Busch Light’s Super Bowl ad will star Sarah McLachlan.
  • Molson Coors is partnering with DraftKings on a campaign that encourages fans to make predictions about the contents of the brewer’s Super Bowl ad.
  • ABC News’s T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach, former hosts of Good Morning America’s afternoon programming, are leaving the company a few months after their romantic relationship became public.
  • Unilever has named a new CEO.


It’s not just about getting an ad in the Super Bowl; it’s about making it count. Which brand ran the “most-loved ad” of last year’s broadcast, according to data from Morning Consult?

  1. Doritos and Cheetos
  2. Budweiser
  3. Disney+
  4. Planet Fitness

Keep scrolling for the answer.


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1. The Doritos and Cheetos co-branded spot, featuring an animal rendition of Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It,” was ranked No. 1.


Written by Ryan Barwick, Alyssa Meyers, Minda Smiley, and Kelsey Sutton

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