Whether it’s wondering how exactly Taylor Swift is going to make it in time to support boyfriend Travis Kelce, re-watching the best commercials of all time, or simply having Usher on repeat in preparation for the halftime show, the 2024 Super Bowl is the word on everybody’s lips this week – including a few of our favourite beauty brands, who’re preparing for their adverts to take centre stage for the first time.
Coincidence or not, there’s more make-up and skincare brands than ever before choosing to spend their budget at the Super Bowl, an event that’s watched globally and is known as advertising’s biggest night thanks to the audience of over 100 million viewers.
‘The Super Bowl has always been an advertising gold rush, but it’s not until more recently that beauty brands have become major players,’ says Lisa Payne, head of beauty at trend forecasting agency Stylus. ‘Last year, Rihanna’s halftime show marketing tour de force really cemented the marriage between music, beauty and sports, and will have no doubt inspired many more brands to take advantage of the event’s huge audience, a growing proportion of which is women.’ In fact, according to a 2023 survey, three quarters of female respondents said they were more likely to watch the Super Bowl compared to the 50% in 2021.
But which brands are taking the plunge? Interestingly, it’s the ones who are already major players in the online world, and who also sit at the more affordable end of the spectrum: e.l.f., CeraVe and NYX Professional Makeup – each of which are seemingly unafraid to take risks and go against the grain of traditional advertising. ‘The key here is a level of playful insouciant cool that Gen Z fans love – Rihanna is the master of this, and e.l.f.’s partnership with offbeat comedic queen Jennifer Coolidge is another example. Audiences want to be surprised and delighted at the Super Bowl, something these agile brands can do very well.’
Another prime example of the unexpected surprise and delight we all love so much is CeraVe’s already-iconic decision to tap Michael Cera, who’s been dropping hints at an (extremely clever) partnership across social media for a few weeks now, the results of which are due to be aired during Sunday’s big game. Meanwhile, NYX Professional Makeup has also teased its ad on social media, which focuses on the brand’s new Duck Plump lip gloss, £10.50 and will feature Cardi B wearing the shade Cherry Spice.
Interestingly, Dove is the only heritage brand spending its money this weekend – but it’s important to note that, as a brand, Dove has repeatedly nailed the ability to create meaningful, authentic campaigns that resonate across the internet and around the world, while having a positive impact. Staying true to its ethos, the brand will be shining a light on the campaign it launched last October, Body Confident Sport, which is an online coaching programme designed to help build body confidence in girls.
Arguably it’s the perfect fit, especially because – as Payne notes – women’s sports have slowly been gaining traction in mainstream media over the past few years. ‘We have been forecasting this female-first approach for years, and we anticipate continued grown as the sports and active lifestyle-led beauty continues to growth and innovate,’ she says.
So here’s to the brands choosing to market in new ways in order to reach new audiences. For once, we can’t wait for the ad breaks.
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