Published: Jan. 29, 2020

This year’s Super Bowl ads cost a whopping $5.6 million per 30-second spot. Kelty Logan, associate professor of advertising in the College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI), says these are the key trends to look out for:

Funny will be a popular play...

In a hot-tempered environment like 2020, a more comedic angle to ads may work better with audiences.

"We are going to have political ads in the mix, and so I think a wise advertiser would go very, very hard on humor," Logan said. 

...But diversity will still be prominent

Advertising for the big game has become increasingly diverse over the past few years, and Logan says that will be a central focus.

"This year, what they've figured out is the way to handle inclusivity is with humor," Logan said.

Olay's ad will feature an all-woman cast of actresses Taraji P. Henson, Lilly Singh and Busy Philipps, while hummus brand Sabra's ad will feature Kim Chi and Miz Cracker, drag queens who starred on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Plenty of new products and familiar faces 

The cost of this year's ads is a record $5.6 million for a 30-second spot, and Logan says that cost, plus the large captive audience, may lead to brands focusing more on new products.

"You'd better have something that you want to say to 100 million people," Logan said, "and for that reason, a lot of the advertisers will be talking about new products." Among brands highlighting new products in their ads will be Little Caesar's, PepsiCo's Mountain Dew and Cheetos brands, and Kellogg's Pop Tarts brand.

Celebrities as well will be present throughout this year's ads; Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness will star in the aforementioned Pop Tarts ad, while Cheetos' ad will feature MC Hammer.