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Why brands team up for Super Bowl ads.
February 08, 2023

Marketing Brew


It’s Wednesday. According to a new report out of UPenn, “high percentages of Americans don’t know, admit they don’t know, and believe they can’t do anything about basic practices and policies around companies’ use of people’s data.” To be fair, using the word “cookie” to describe something that’s played a crucial part in fueling a multi-billion dollar industry probably hasn’t helped.

In today’s edition:

—Kelsey Sutton, Alyssa Meyers, Minda Smiley


Double the fun

the Netflix logo on top of the GM logo in a trench coat Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photos: Netflix, GM

You know the old saying: teamwork makes the dream work. That may be even more true in the Super Bowl ad breaks this year.

Whether it’s Netflix’s partnerships with both GM and Michelob, Heineken’s ad featuring Disney’s Ant-Man, or Molson Coors and DraftKings’ collaboration, tie-in promotional efforts are proliferating ahead of the big game.

Zoom out: The extent of these shared ads in this year’s game is an indication that marketers are betting that, in an effort to cut through the noise and resonate with consumers, two is often better than one—if, of course, brands can stick the landing.

  • “It takes a lot of teamwork,” Deborah Wahl, GM’s global CMO, said of the automaker’s collaboration with Netflix on an ad starring Will Ferrell. The spot, which will promote electric vehicles in Netflix productions, is set to air in the second quarter of the Super Bowl. “It only works when it’s good for both partners and we both get a message across that’s impactful.”

Two is better than one?

For years, brands have teamed up with the goal of winning over Super Bowl viewers.

  • Think back to 2019, when a now-award-winning ad for Bud Light got crashed by HBO’s Game of Thrones villain Gregor Clegane—and, later, a dragon.
  • Plus, movie studios have long used co-marketing efforts to help boost awareness of theatrical titles ahead of their premieres.

There are a few reasons why brands may want to team up around Super Bowl-sized events. First, doubling up may serve as a cost-saver—something that may be particularly attractive when a 30-second spot in this year’s Super Bowl cost some advertisers more than $7 million.

“It’s smart, and it’s efficient,” Paul Hardart, a marketing professor at the New York University Stern School of Business, explained. “It’s a way to maybe even get more bang for your buck.” (The financial terms of co-marketing campaigns are often not disclosed.)

Continue reading here.—KS



Change the channel


Marketers are workin’ overtime these days. From navigating an unpredictable economy to working around iOS updates, we’re in a new era of ad work. If you’re looking to rely less on social and search, maybe it’s time to try a new (acquisition) channel!

And by channel, we’re talkin’ about TV. Tatari is here to help you crush acquisition goals on streaming and linear TV, and they’ve got the case studies to prove it. The reports contain insights on how 5 DTC brands drove lower-funnel performance on TV and boosted sales.

Skeptical about the telly’s relevance? Think again. TV is a marketing channel that can be measured just like digital. It’s also accountable and can be more affordable than social and search. Aaand people trust television more than social these days—it helps build brand legitimacy.

Start surfing a new channel.


Guess who’s back? Back again

E-trade via YouTube E-Trade via YouTube

The E-Trade baby’s back. Tell a friend.

The company first introduced the tot in 2008, but retired him in 2014. That was until last year’s Super Bowl, when he made his triumphant return.

The brand (not just the baby, who, unlike Mr. Peanut, does not age) has been an on-and-off Super Bowl advertiser for 15 years. It even ran an upbeat commercial during the 2021 game, when some commercials were uncharacteristically somber.

This year, E-Trade will run a 30-second ad in the first quarter of the game, according to CMO Andrea Zaretsky. The commercial is still under wraps, though the brand has released a wedding-themed teaser. Zaretsky sat down with Marketing Brew to break down the brand’s Super Bowl strategy over the years and how it’s approaching the game this year.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Super Bowl ad prices have only gone up since E-Trade first started advertising during the game. Why does this continue to be a worthwhile investment?

Andrea Zaretsky: We continue to see tremendous value in [Super Bowl] advertising. E-Trade really has a long and storied history of Super Bowl spots, and it’s helped us develop a real connection with investing consumers. That’s hard to find across the financial services industry.

In a recent survey we conducted with Harris Poll, about three-quarters of US adults said advertisers shouldn’t release their spots in advance of the game. Still, it’s obviously a popular move for a lot of brands. Why did you decide to release a teaser before game day?

We traditionally have never released the full spot, but we did do a teaser last year, and we thought that was a great way to generate excitement. We were bringing the baby back. In prior years as an advertiser, we always got questions [about the baby], so we knew there was already public discussion on this, particularly leading up to every Super Bowl, so we wanted to really be part of that dialogue and generate some anticipation for the fact that we would be bringing the baby back.

Read the full Q&A here.—AM



Countdown is on

a gif from Full House Full House/ABC via Giphy

With just a few days to go until the Super Bowl, we’re starting to get a decent sense of what the biggest trends and themes will be in this year’s crop of ads. Crypto is out, nostalgia is very much in, and alcohol brands will finally get their day in the sun now that AB InBev no longer has exclusive alcohol advertising rights.

Ahead of this weekend’s game, we’ve rounded up some of our coverage of the Super Bowl from the past month. We recommend reading with a side of buffalo chicken dip.

How will brands use TikTok in Super Bowl marketing this year?

More movie trailers are coming back to the Super Bowl—but they might look different

The game’s defining (ad) moments throughout history

  How USA Today’s Ad Meter came to help determine Super Bowl success

About three-quarters of people who plan to watch the Super Bowl said they’re excited for the ads, research says

Responses from our Super Bowl reader survey


French press Francis Scialabba

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

Measure up: Find 10 commonly used KPIs for B2B marketing, as well as how you can leverage them, here.

Automate it: Learn how some advertisers are using AI to help complete tasks and reach goals.

Play nice: Check out these best practices (and tools) for content moderation this year.

Go glocal: The top-down approach to branding just doesn’t work anymore. Frontify’s report with WARC dives into all things global brand governance, plus how you can execute your global brand strategy and empower local markets.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.


  • The Grammys had an audience of 12.4 million on Sunday, its highest since 2020.
  • Pinterest’s Q4 revenue grew 4% year over year, missing analyst expectations.
  • The CW Network has named Chris Spadaccini its CMO.
  • Klarna has debuted a Y2K-themed campaign starring Paris Hilton.
  • Ad Net Zero, a group dedicated to carbon reduction in the ad industry, has started a US chapter.


Stat: The NFL’s 32 teams brought in $2.05 billion in sponsorship revenue during the 2022–2023 season, up 14% from 2021, according to research from sports intelligence firm SponsorUnited cited in Ad Age.

Quote: “The ‘Sunday Night Football’ music video is beautiful to behold, each incarnation a novel response to the question: If unshackled from the bonds of terrestrial physics, what might Carrie Underwood experience?”—Caity Weaver in the New York Times

Read: The chumbox is still the dirty design secret of the internet” (Fast Company)


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Written by Kelsey Sutton, Alyssa Meyers, and Minda Smiley

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