Since the dawn of time, the Super Bowl has been the mecca of star-studded celebrity commercials featuring the acting and athlete elites of the world. But lately something interesting has been happening… creators have started to infiltrate celebrity territory.
Not only have creators become increasingly pivotal to brands’ digital marketing strategies, they are now becoming a pivotal part of the biggest sporting event of the year. This year saw more creator collaborations than ever before, so let’s take this time to look at the top partnerships that stole the show at Super Bowl LVIII:
1. Nerds + Addison Rae: In a teaser released late January, Addison was seen teaching dance moves to a mystery figure, later revealed as a new Nerds Gummy Cluster character dancing to “Flashdance…. What a Feeling” during the Super Bowl. Addison makes a quick cameo at the end to approve the performance.
2. Dunkin’ + Charli D’Amelio: Leading up to the Super Bowl, fans watched Ben Affleck’s journey to become a pop star with the help of creator Charli D’Amelio. During the Super Bowl commercial, we see him form a musical group (the DunKings!) with Matt Damon and Tom Brady. This was probably one of our top 3 favorite commercials, and while we loved the official star-studded spot, we find ourselves returning to the hype video with D’Amelio.
3. Benito Skinner + e.l.f.: The beauty brand partnered with comedian Benito Skinner for their Judge Beauty commercial as “Benny Drama,” as a Gen Z intern Kooper in a Super Bowl teaser featuring a handful of traditional celebrities.
4. Pepsi + Zach King: Zach King magically turned the Sphere into a massive Pepsi globe with a cherry twist, using playful editing to blend the two seamlessly in fun Pepsi Wild Cherry content. While Pepsi’s Ice Spice commercial may have been their best work during the big game, the Zach King content captured the eyeballs leading up to it.
5. Victoria Browne + Priceline: Priceline sent Victoria Browne to Swift’s Eras Tour in Tokyo on Saturday and then to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas on Sunday. The travel brand knew how much Browne loves Taylor, and how much social chatter had been going on about her getting to Vegas from Tokyo after her show. So sending Brown on the same challenge was a brilliant stroke of creator marketing.
6. The NFL itself may have made the biggest bet of all on creators, collaborating with top names like MrBeast, Haley Kalil, Adam Waheed, and Ryan Trahan, who began filming content in Las Vegas a week before the Super Bowl. Acting as on-site reporters, they offered exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage of the event for the NFL. This content was then shared across various platforms during and after the Super Bowl, reaching millions of eyeballs.
The number of partnerships that started before the big game shows how the week leading up to the Super Bowl has become as important as the game itself, and brands are using creator partnerships and pre-game content to drive buzz at a fraction of the whopping $7M price tag for a 30-second spot.
Even the brands who did shell out the money for a commercial activated early and brought creators into the mix. Partly because of the price efficiency but mainly because creators are at the height of cultural relevance.
Brands are certainly coming to grips with the fact that creators are the new celebrities for younger generations. In the same way Boomers, Gen-X, and Millennials grew up idolizing movie stars, Gen-Z and Gen Alpha idolize the mega-creators who populate their social feeds.
By the time we reach Super Bowl LX we may not even be talking about the difference between celebrities and creators because they will be one and the same. Will that mean talent costs will be less than years prior, or will that mean creators are going to earn a lot more in the future? Time will tell, although we think we can confidently read that crystal ball.