Come for the Football, Stay for the Skittles: Super Bowl Ad Preview

How a few major c-store brands will spend their Feb. 1 airtime

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The countdown is on for Super Bowl XLIX, and with less than two weeks until kickoff, advertisers are pulling out all the stops preparing fan-focused TV spots that are (fingers crossed) both interactive and memorable. With teams from both coasts facing off, advertisers will have the attention of the East, the West and everyone in between.

Convenience Store Products takes a sneak peek at a few classic convenience-store brands we’ll see on screen.

Anheuser-Busch will strike thrice at the Super Bowl, repping two brands in three commercials. Budweiser, their flagship brand, will air a 60-second spot focusing on its brewing credentials as well as a narrative commercial about a friendship between the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales and a little lost puppy. Prepare your heartstrings for some tugging.

Bud Light, the second Anheuser-Busch brand to be featured during the game, predicts their 60-second commercial and House of Whatever live party and concert series will make Bud Light “the most talked-about experience at the Super Bowl,” said Alexander Lambrecht, Bud Light vice president. Touting Bud Light as the “Perfect Beer for Whatever Happens,” the ad will depict a Bud Light drinker who says he’s “up for whatever” and is whisked away to a legendary night of iconic ’80s fun.

Creating a successful Super Bowl ad is no easy task. PepsiCo’s Doritos brand put the creative power in the hands of their customers, hosting a contest for consumer-created ads that will result in two winners aired for a global Super Bowl audience. The winning ads will be selected from 4,900 submissions from 29 countries. The creator of the fans’ favorite of the two ads will win $1 million and the opportunity to work for a year on-site in Hollywood at Universal Pictures on projects like “Pitch Perfect 2.” Not a bad gig.

Mars Chocolate North America is taking Snickers advertising full circle. Its “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign, which was born during the 2010 Super Bowl, will return for Super Bowl XLIX. The 2010 spot featured a football player whose hunger transformed him into Betty White. This year, we’ll see what else hunger can do.

The Coca-Cola Co. has purchased a 60-second spot for its flagship soda brand. Last year they ran two—one shot in Green Bay showing an underdog high school football player scoring a touchdown and the other featuring Coke-drinkers singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages. Coke’s ads are usually of the feel-good variety; we’ll soon know if this one follows suit.

Just like last year, PepsiCo is sponsoring the Super Bowl halftime show and is kicking it off with a 30-second commercial. Details about the ad are under wraps, but we do know that Katy Perry will be performing live at halftime. Perhaps the ad will feature her, too.

Mars has purchased one 30-second ad, which will, for the first time, feature its Skittles brand during the Super Bowl. No details about the ad have been released, but we know that Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch is a known fan of the candy. Skittles has already begun promoting its Super Bowl debut by circulating a video of former NFL player Kurt Warner tailgating outside University of Phoenix’s stadium four weeks early. Sitting in a hot tub full of the colorful candy, Warner can’t contain his excitement.

Will its 30-seconds of Super Bowl glory live up? Will anyone’s? We’ll know soon enough.