Are ads that address economic issues, from high inflation and high housing prices, the successor to last year’s “in these unprecedented times?”
Although this year’s Super Bowl commercials have been largely upbeat, several touched on undercurrents of financial stress. In its ad, E-Trade tried to persuade its long-retired spokesbaby to return by explaining that consumers are “getting crushed by inflation.” The actor Ewan McGregor, in Expedia’s commercial, pleaded with viewers to ditch their fixation with spending on “stuff” (while encouraging them to spend on vacations).
Rocket Mortgage aired a nightmare scenario for many people shopping for a home, narrated by the actress Anna Kendrick. Barbie tries to buy her Dream House, but is swamped in a “super competitive market” that also includes dolls such as “Better Offer Betty,” “Cash Offer Carl” and “House Flipper Skipper.”
“You vultures,” Kendrick exclaims. “You’re going to start a bidding war!”
Barbie wins the house, while the others must consider a “fixer-upper castle” that “has good bones but really bad neighbors” (it’s Castle Grayskull, from “He-Man”).
All this in a year when Super Bowl ad space cost as much as $7 million for 30 seconds. In the game’s inaugural year in 1967, the same space cost as little as $37,500, or about $316,000 when adjusted for inflation.