In addition to being a great night in sports, the Super Bowl is the biggest cultural moment for the U.S. market each year. And, of course, music is at the forefront. Here are some of the highlights from SB52…
Love him or hate him, Justin Timberlake did his thing with a 15-minute halftime performance designed to demonstrate his versatility as an artist. As for that much-buzzed-about Prince tribute: it certainly helped drive a wave of interest in the icon’s music following the performance: streams on Spotify were up 214% on average across the board from the songs he performed. Even Prince saw a nice bump off the tribute.
JT’s place as one of the most prominent lifestyle icon’s of our time was underscored by a genius collaboration with Nike in which he donned a custom pair of Jordan 3’s that were released via the SNKRS app immediately following the performance. The kicks sold out almost immediately. (P.S. The black Swoosh version is set to drop in March, so set your notifications now.)
The music world as also ever-present throughout the evening’s many big brand ad spots. At $5 million a pop, why wouldn’t you enlist some of the biggest names in music—like Cardi B, Busta Rhymes/Missy Elliott, Big Sean, and Steven Tyler—to rep your brand? Even without artists present, music was core to many of the Big Game spots (how about when the Vikings sang Queen and T-Mobile transformed Nirvana’s “All Apologies” into a lullaby?). Maybe because I’m obsessed with Amazon Alexa these days but I think they had the best commercial by far. I’d love it if Cardi B and Anthony Hopkins were the voice of Alexa.
In general, it felt like there was a lot more hip-hop in this year’s spots—a clear testament to the growing influence that hip-hop culture has on pop culture. It’s good to see brands & advertisers taking notice.
The intersection of sports and music didn’t end with the final whistle, either. Eagles players were seen chanting “Free Meek [Mill]!” in the post-game celebration and Lebron got involved, too. Maybe Jason Flom, CEO and Founder of Lava Records, and creator of the “Wrongly Incarcerated” podcast can help his situation.
Congrats to all you Eagles fans—hope you have some strong party playlists on deck.
– Jesse K
Also published on Medium.