The 2021 Super Bowl is set to be unlike any other, thanks to the ongoing pandemic that will change almost everything about how the game is executed on the ground.
And it turns out, the pandemic is impacting the Big Game broadcast, too, with multiple brands that performed well financially over the past year opting to advertise during the Super Bowl for the first time. Those brands include online car marketplace Vroom, lawn product purveyor Scotts Miracle-Gro and freelancer marketplace Fiverr.
Vroom is the first brand to reveal its 2021 Big Game spot, “Dealership Pain,” a humorous take on the pains of buying a car at a dealership that shows a man being tortured by a car salesman before the screen switches to a scene on his lawn, where he’s watching the car he ordered on Vroom appear. The 30-second spot will air during a to-be-determined time during the game, depending on how the game progresses. It is created by agency of record Anomaly.
Scotts Miracle-Gro will run a 30-second spot—the cost of which is $5.5 million—during the game’s second quarter, while Fiverr will run its own 30-second spot during the third quarter. Fiverr’s spot is a part of its larger, preexisting “It Starts Here” campaign, which debuted in September. Scotts Miracle-Gro’s campaign, which will have creative handled by VaynerMedia (the agency behind three Super Bowl spots in 2020, including the infamous death of Mr. Peanut) will establish a “rallying cry” for the category: “Keep growing.”
The ads come at high points for all three brands. Vroom went public just eight months ago, and announced the acquisition of competitor CarStory at the end of last year. Scotts Miracle-Gro’s share price has doubled since the beginning of 2020, while Fiverr’s has multiplied tenfold.
Scotts, in particular, has benefited from more time spent at home over the past year, as home improvement brands such as Home Depot and Lowe’s have also seen sales soar. Comscore data shows that in May 2020, the home furnishings category experienced 133 million unique visitors—the highest ever. In particular, Scotts had a banner year, with a record fourth quarter that saw its U.S. consumer segment sales increase by 90%. For the fiscal year 2020, sales were up 24%.
Online marketplaces Fiverr and Vroom also benefited from the shift to digital. Vroom’s ecommerce unit sales were up 59% at the end of the year, while its ecommerce gross profit rose by 120%. In Q3, Fiverr saw 88% year-over-year topline growth.
Their entry into the world of Super Bowl advertising also comes at a time when other brands are hesitating. Super Bowl veterans including Pepsi (just Pepsi brand, not PepsiCo), Hyundai and Olay are all sitting out the Big Game this year, and far fewer brands have announced their plans than typically would have by mid-January.