A lot of time has passed since the era of Super Bowl commercials that demeaned women by portraying them as sex objects, but the negative result of this change has been that Super Bowl ads starring women in recent years have been few and far between. Last year only 13 women had roles compared to about 50 men, with the previous year telling a similar story, 61 men to 23 women.
But are things set to change?
According to recent research by Forbes, women are 26% more focused on the adverts than men during the Super Bowl. Considering last year a whopping 48.6 million women watched the Super Bowl, accounting for a rather surprising 47% of the viewers, this certainly provides a significant opportunity for brands.
Based on the ads and teasers that have already been released this gap is set to narrow as brands look to powerful female celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Serena Williams, Christina Applegate and Cardi B to front their campaigns. However not only are brands using strong women in their ads, it is predicted they will directly target women with campaigns and messaging focused on female empowerment.
Adverts for beer, snacks and car brands usually dominate the roll out, but for the first time ever, beauty and skincare brand Olay will air an advert this year starring Sarah Michelle Gellar or ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ as she is better known.
Brand director for Olay, Stephanie Robertson said
“We wanted to change this dynamic by reaching women on TV’s biggest stage with a message that we hope viewers will find entertaining. Olay wants all women to be bold and empowered, and in a way, we’re doing just that, as a brand, by showing up in a place that is historically focused on men.”
Another brand putting women at the forefront of their Super Bowl campaign and overall brand, is dating app Bumble. Bumble as an app empower women by allowing them to make the first move and this year they take centre stage in their Super Bowl campaign. Advertising is another world that is ruled by men, but the Bumble ad was created by a team of women predominately and features tennis pro Serena Williams. Women understand women, so it makes sense that they would lead the creative.
Car brand Toyota is also taking a stab at targeting the female Super Bowl audience. Although it would be easy to ask how on earth a car brand can relay a message of female empowerment, this year their Super Bowl ad features American football star Toni Harris, the first female football player who does not play a specialist position to be offered a football college scholarship. Their message is clear; the new RAV4 HV will shatter perceptions of hybrids, just like Toni Harris who is shattering perceptions of a football player.
Considering research proves that women influence more than 80% of all consumer spending and that an astonishing 89 % of consumer spending decisions are made by women, it is surprising brands haven’t taken this approach years ago, so here’s to this year’s Super Bowl – the year that women stole the show!