There aren’t many frontiers left to conquer in Super Bowl commercials, which now seem to fall into three categories:
1. Quirky ad for some product or service you’ve never heard of, often involving men acting dumb and/or adorable animals.
2. Big star shills for a known product.
3. Movie trailer.
But this year we’ll see something that’s somewhat new — or at least something that hasn’t been attempted in a long, long time — in the form of a live commercial for Snickers starring Adam Driver of “Star Wars” and “Girls” fame. Here’s the trailer, released Wednesday morning. It’s pretty vague.
According to Ad Age, Snickers will run a live feed from the commercial set beginning on Feb. 2, three days before the Super Bowl. The commercial itself will be filmed live and air during the first commercial break in the third quarter.
Snickers isn’t alone, either. According to Ad Age, Hyundai will film a 90-second ad during the game and air it just after it ends. But neither actually are breaking new ground. Ad Age reminds us that Schlitz ran a series of live taste tests during Super Bowl XV in 1981 in an attempt to take down Michelob, “America’s best-selling super-premium beer,” the New York Times reported at the time. Schlitz, which the Times called “a troubled brewer,” was taking quite a risk considering that previous televised taste tests against Miller and Budweiser found that the majority of the beer drinkers surveyed actually preferred Miller and Budweiser.
The result of the Super Bowl spots, which reportedly cost Schlitz $1.7 million (somewhere around $4.5 million in today’s dollars), was a 50-50 split, and Schlitz continued to decline from its early-20th-century heights.
Forbes says Fox is asking between $5 million and $5.5 million for each 30-second commercial break during this year’s Super Bowl, which is nearly double the asking price from just five years ago.