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How Hyundai won the Super Bowl ad war: Media exec

More than one million people watched Super Bowl LIV across all of Fox’s platforms, according to Variety, but for advertisers, the commercials were the main event. Carrie Kerpen, CEO and co-founder of Likeable Media, says Hyundai won the night. 

“I'm looking at Hyundai’s SmartPahk,” Kerpen tells Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM. “It taps into the actual utility of what the car does. It also uses celebrities with large social followings. And they did a really smart preview of the ads both on TikTok and all across social media.”

Hyundai’s ad features its Remote Smart Parking Assist feature while also integrating big names like actor Chris Evans and former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz, who all adopted a Boston accent. Kerpen says the integration of celebrities with Boston roots was a good move.

But a good ad needs to do more than just create buzz among consumers. Kerpen says an effective ad means Super Bowl viewers also buy a company’s products.

“This fascinated me with Planters,” Kerpen explains. “I never thought I would actually be saying the words “Baby Nut,” but it worked. The reason it worked was that it was so weird that it tapped into the conversation that got you to the second screen and you brought peanuts.”

Planter’s Super Bowl commercial comes after the company announced it was terminating its Mr. Peanut Mascot.  The ad depicts Mr. Peanut’s funeral and introduces Baby Nut, a child version of its original character. 

In addition to the ad, Planters launched a live stream on Twitter where viewers could interact with Baby Nut. 

“1.5 million people were actually on a live with Baby Nut stream telling him what to do and having him react to it. So they were paying attention to Baby Nut — which is a random character — rather than the biggest game in America.”

The ad also featured a slew of other household names like the Kool-Aid Man, as Planters’ parent company, Kraft Heinz, looked to get the most exposure out of its TV spot. And the price tag wasn’t cheap, with Fox Sports selling 30-second spots for as much as a record $5.6 million each, according to Bloomberg.

“This is about efficiency,” Kerpen explains. “These are expensive ads. You're getting all of these different brands in there at the same time to really get your bang for your buck. They're able to get a lot of brands into a shorter time frame than they ever were before.”

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