Taylor Swift's Super Bowl Appearance Sparks Shift in Advertising Focus Towards Women

Taylor Swift's Super Bowl Appearance Sparks Shift in Advertising Focus Towards Women
Taylor Swift performs onstage during the The Eras Tour | Getty Images | Photo by Hector Vivas

In a groundbreaking shift, Super Bowl advertisers are recognizing and targeting the vast and influential audience of women, inspired in part by pop sensation Taylor Swift. Typically dominated by beverage, technology, and auto brands, this year's Super Bowl commercials showcase health and beauty companies, with notable appearances from M&M’S and other long-time advertisers adopting a fresh approach.

The surge in female-focused advertisements is attributed to Swift's widely publicized relationship with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce. Swift's presence at the Super Bowl is not just a spectator event, it's a catalyst for a new era in advertising dynamics, per CNN Business.

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Taylor Swift performs onstage for the opening night of
Taylor Swift performs onstage for the opening night of  The Eras Tour | Getty Images | Photo by Kevin Winter

Taylor Swift's impact on Super Bowl advertising extends beyond her immense fan base. As the relationship with Travis Kelce took the spotlight, Swift's influence on football ratings became undeniable since their public revelation in October 2023. Her attendance at the Super Bowl promises not boosted the overall viewership, it also led a significant shift in its demographic makeup.

According to Paul Hardart, a clinical professor of marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business, Swift's devoted fan base, coupled with the romantic allure of her relationship with Kelce, creates an appealing environment for brands to associate themselves with her presence.

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Fueled by this cultural shift, health and beauty brands are making their mark, introducing advertisements that highlight powerful women. L'Oreal's NYX Professional Makeup lets Cardi B endorse Duck Plump lip gloss, marking the brand's debut in Super Bowl advertising. e.l.f. cosmetics, another first-time Super Bowl advertiser reunites cast members of "Suits" in a spot where lawyers haul various celebrities into court. These companies are breaking new ground, recognizing the importance of showcasing and celebrating strong and funny women during the iconic sports event.

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Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 2017 DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert |  Getty Images | Photo by Kevin Winter
Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 2017 DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert | Getty Images | Photo by Kevin Winter

With a 30-second ad costing between $6.5 million to $7 million, Super Bowl advertising remains a premium investment. However, the unique advantage lies in the unparalleled publicity and social media engagement these advertisements generate. As CBS announces a sold-out slot for this year's Super Bowl, the participating brands understand the enduring impact and widespread discussion these commercials will evoke.

Traditional Super Bowl advertisers such as State Farm, Oreos, TurboTax, and DoorDash maintain their presence, yet a common thread emerges—smart and funny women take center stage. Scarlett Johansson endorses M&M as a comforting treat for her losing the Oscar race, Jennifer Aniston humorously forgets David Schwimmer while carrying an Uber Eats bag on set, and Kate McKinnon thoughtfully discusses food waste in Hellman’s adorable commercial featuring "Mayo Cat." Frito-Lay's, a regular Super Bowl advertiser, features "Wednesday" star Jenna Ortega, introducing an entertaining supermarket showdown for the new spicy Doritos Dinamita chips.

In a resounding departure from convention, Super Bowl advertisers captivated by Taylor Swift's cultural sway, are leveraging the event to engage a broader female audience. This paradigm shift transcends mere commercial breaks, ushering in a transformative era where empowering narratives and diverse representations redefine the very essence of Super Bowl advertising.

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