The prime time of AI ads, the super bowl time, are we there yet?

January 2022, back then AI was starting to play an increasingly prominent role in advertising, including during major events such as the Super Bowl. Advertisers were utilizing AI technology to analyze extensive datasets, comprehend consumer preferences and tailor advertisements to target specific demographics more efficiently. Fast forward two years, February 2024 and there are AI ads at the finals! Would you believe it if we told you about it then? Why is it so special really? If you, as a brand get things right, more than 110 million people will see your ad, that is the estimated reach. It’s massive to say the least. With such a large audience tuning in, companies paid top-dollar to capture their attention and stand out in a sea of adverts. They say it costs $7 million to air 30 seconds in the Super Bowl. This is big players stuff! And yet, here it is… AI in the service of the big boys, like Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Google, Etsy or even Despicable Me! Is the heyday of AI just around the corner? It’s not now, for sure, despite having its moment, 2024 is not the year of the Super Bowl AI. But the future looks incredibly promising. Let’s take a look at what actually took place in the finals. Some advertisers highlighted how AI actually helps their products become better, others used AI to make their ads and some even poked fun at it.

Despicable Me 4 would come in the latter category. Funny yet, trolling the generative AI, the movie teaser pretty much highlighted the flaws of text-to-video ability to understand the creators’ needs through humorous but too-many-fingers type of distorted images created by the minions.

Then, the Coca-Cola-owned sports drink brand called Bodyarmor has used generative AI to make somewhat tepid point about offering its customers a “real” product. If you’ve viewed a sufficient number of AI-enhanced videos, you’re likely aware that certain ones can be disconcertingly poor in quality, featuring eerie voiceovers and clearly artificial depictions of creatures and humans. That’s where Bodyarmor found its way to address real vs fake issue of sports drinks, where “nothing in sports should be artificial” and offer only “real sweeteners, real flavors”, like they do!

Here come the serious guys, them Microsoft people. They actually haven’t been seen in the Super Bowl ad game for a few years and this year made quite significant comeback with a commercial for its AI-powered chatbot found in Windows 11 – CoPilot. Message is clear: call on AI to help you out with completing a movie, video game or a study for a test. So long the image of a stodgy software maker, long live AI-focused company.

This year Google addressed those that may have seemed forgotten in the whole AI thing – people with impaired vision, especially since we are all living in a selfie-and camera phone-focused age. The company’s ad has showed off an accessibility feature called Guided Frame for its Pixel 8 which uses Google AI to alert them about when and how many faces are in the frame.

If you haven’t heard about a company called CrowdStrike, then the time is now, or you can watch them travel back in time in an ad showcasing how it uses AI for security. To cut the long story short, they have managed to keep us all safe.

Last but not least, rookie of the year title goes to Etsy, an online marketplace company running its first Super Bowl ad to promote a new “Gift Mode” tool, which uses artificial intelligence and human curation to help shoppers select a gift.