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Commerce chronicles: Super Bowl LVIII edition – Feb 5, 2024

Feb 05, 2024 - Alyssa Wolfe
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Temu and Etsy invest in ads, Dove returns after 18 years and electronics sales surge

In this week’s news: As February 11th approaches, consumers and retailers are gearing up for the big game. Electronics merchants look to tempt buyers with stellar deals, and Etsy, Temu and Dove are investing in Super Bowl ads. Commerce looks to win big during the Super Bowl as retail consumers flex their spending playbook, turning halftime breaks into shopping sprees and touchdown celebrations into checkout triumphs. Visit our blog every Monday for a roundup of the latest commerce news.

Etsy advertises new gifting feature and plans to run first Super Bowl ad this year

American ecommerce platform Etsy is making its first Super Bowl appearance this coming Sunday. Their first big game ad offers American viewers a bit of a French twist. The company, a marketplace that focuses on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies, is promoting its new Gift Mode feature, which blends AI and human insights to help determine the best gifts to get someone. Gift Mode works by having users provide details about a gift recipient. It uses AI to sift through Etsy’s extensive offerings, identifying a curated selection of gifts that best align with the recipient insights. Viewers will enjoy US politicians debating what to get the French for gifting the Statue of Liberty. Unsurprisingly, they use Etsy’s new Gift Mode to find ideas. The ad – which has already dropped – was developed with Orchard, Etsy’s creative partner, and Biscuit Filmworks’ Andreas Nilsson.1

Beauty brand Dove is returning to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years

The last time Dove graced the Super Bowl with an ad was 2006, when the company promoted the importance of boosting self-esteem in young girls. Fast-forward 18 years, the brand aims to focus on the same message while encouraging girls to keep playing the sports they love. According to a Dove press release,2 Leandro Barreto, Senior Vice President of Global Dove Masterbrand, said, “Dove is on a mission to make sports a place where all girls can thrive and feel like they belong. The prevalence of negative body talk in sports and focus on appearance over ability harms girls' body confidence. As the biggest champion of self-esteem for girls globally since 2004, we are thrilled to return to the Big Game and use this massive stage to drive meaningful awareness for this important issue and help girls stay in sports."

The 30-second ad will air in the first quarter. It will support Dove’s new partnership with Nike, Body Confident Sport, which are scientifically proven coaching tools designed to build body confidence in 11- to 17-year-old girls. The goal is also to shine a light on the sobering fact that 45% of girls quit sports due to low body confidence.3 The brand, founded in 1957 with the launch of their Beauty Bar, has long upheld its mission to inspire and empower women. The new ad “Hard Knocks” is sure to continue the tradition and #KeepHerConfident.

Retailers race to entice electronics buyers with the best Super Bowl deals

Enter a Best Buy, Costco, Walmart or any other store with electronics at the end of January or the beginning of February, and you can expect to find major markdowns on big-screen TVs, sound bars, streaming players, remote controls and more. What’s the occasion? Why the Big Game, of course.

The best deals are widely advertised with the support of the media. For example, GMA (Good Morning America) reports the best deals on electronics and sound systems for your Super Bowl party4 and Forbes reports the 20 best Super Bowl TV deals.5 Several sources state that Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM), before new models are released and before the Super Bowl are the best times to buy a TV. So, if you’re a retailer looking to compete with other electronics merchants, it’s time to offer enough savings to entice a surge of buyers looking to up their Super Bowl watching game. As for what some sellers are offering – up to 60% off flat screens, sound systems and more.

Ecommerce up-and-comer Temu to return to the big game, spending millions on a new ad

Before 2023, you probably hadn’t heard of Temu. But after their first-ever 30-second Super Bowl commercial, they were officially “on the map,” says one Temu spokesperson.6 The month before? Meta calculated Temu ran almost 9,000 ads on the platform. This aggressive marketing approach has offered them the chance to return to the big screen with yet another Super Bowl commercial – this time estimated to cost up to $7 million.

In the already-released ad, Temu still encourages you to “Shop Like a Billionaire” while displaying a dazzling array of color and products featuring prices that will “blow your mind.” While this “strategy-less strategy” that bombards consumers with paid ads has worked for Temu, it’s not something most marketers recommend. However, it’s an incredible feat to watch play out from the sidelines.

2023 consumer spending + what products sell best during the big game

Last year, 115.1 million viewers tuned in to watch the Big Game, making Super Bowl LVII the most-watched US telecast of all time.7 Additionally, consumers spent a massive $16.5 billion to celebrate the game. This year, an estimated 200.5 million adults plan to watch Super Bowl LVIII, and the projected consumer spending is $17.3 billion.8

Consumerism has been a longtime Super Bowl tradition. In 1967, companies spent $37,500 for 30 seconds of ad time. Currently, they spend millions. Additionally, parties and team spirit drive significant sales. This year, 80% of consumers plan to purchase food and drinks, 13% team apparel, 9% will buy TVs, 8% want decorations and 6% plan on purchasing furniture.9 Merchants have an opportunity to reach consumers before or during the game through sales, ads or by having a social media presence. On February 11th, commerce and consumers will take center stage with touchdowns on the field, victories in shopping carts and a halftime show of epic spending spectacles.