🏈 What those Super Bowl ads actually meant

Monday, February 3, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

It's what happens off the field that matters in the Super Bowl

Last Week’s Market Moves
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10-Yr US Treasury

Hey Snackers,

Goldman Sachs' CEO David Solomon (aka, "DJ D-Sol," aka, the banker who drops bangers) and Elon Musk just dropped an EDM track on SoundCloud. It's called: "Don't Doubt ur Vibe." Don't u dare doubt it.

US markets had their worst week in 6 months — stocks tumbled on continued fears that coronavirus could slow economic growth.

1. Our Super Bowl commercial highlights — it's all about the messaging

Dear 100M American Bowl-viewers... A bunch of companies paid Fox $5.6M for the right to a 30-second commercial between the QB sneaks and butt fumbles. PR and marketing teams put extra thought into this year's Super Bowl ads to send the right message — that reveals their industries' relationship status with customers (sometimes, complicated). The highlight themes:

  • Tech — "I'm sorry": Facebook's rookie Super Bowl ad promotes Facebook Groups as a way to meet real people with similar interests (emphasizing connection over privacy issues). And could you really try to break-up Alphabet when it's helping a widower keep memories of his Loretta? Tear-jerker.
  • Also Tech — "I'm not sorry": Ellen pondered what people did before Alexa (spoiler: The jester didn't tell a joke and Nixon didn't delete the tapes) — the ad highlights, rather than down-plays, Amazon's intimate role in your life.
  • Food & Beverage — "Something for everyone": Lil Nas X dance-dueled for Doritos while Bill Nye showed off SodaStream's H2O — PepsiCo has something for everyone. Coca-Cola tries to reverse shrinking soda sales by adding guarana extracts, B vitamins, and Jonah Hill, making it "Coke Energy." Budweiser flipped the "typical Americans" cliché in one ad, then made Bud Light Strawberry Seltzer manly enough for Post Malone in another.
  • Automotive — "Shaking things up": Fiat Chrysler brought on Bill Murray, who went full Groundhog Day to introduce the Jeep Gladiator (part jeep, part pickup). And LeBron brought his talents to South Detroit to help General Motors tease the new electric Hummer. Showing off that new new.

This is the Super Bowl for your extra attention... And your eyes and ears are worth millions. With DVR, streaming video, cord-cutting, and options to pay more for no commercials, it's incredibly hard for big brands to get noticed (you ever actually watched an Insta-story ad?). While $5.6M is a lot for 30 seconds, it's probably comparable on a per-view basis with a Facebook or a magazine ad.


Gloomy IPO season gets some sun... One Medical stock popped 47% as the membership-based healthcare co went public Friday. Its lofty goal: "Make people fall in love with their doctor's office." Kinda like what Equinox did for gyms, but for medical visits (and not as pricey). The word "delight" was mentioned 7 times in their IPO filing — that's more than the word "doctor." It's still unprofitable with 400K members, but the real opportunity is with corporate clients — Google is one of its biggest customers (and investors).

The branches are growing... Apple enjoyed its most profitable quarter ever. It was also the Fruit's first quarterly profit increase in over a year. Highlight: Wearables sales (think AirPods, watches) jumped 37%. In 365 days, Apple has added over $725B to its value (that's more than Facebook's entire value), thanks to its self-serving ecosystem: Apple's wearables and services (Apple TV+, Apple Card) all tie back to and benefit its core iPhone biz.


Smoked out of billions... Altria. The tobacco giant that makes Marlboro cigs lost an extra $4.1B on its investment in Juul — that's a total loss of $8.6B in just over a year. As smokers traded tobacco-filled paper for a vape juice-filled metal device, Altria saw Juul as the future of smoking, so it invested $12B in the startup. That "strategic" investment turned into a major fail (and massive liability). Regulators cracked on down on vaping for hooking kids with mango-tastic flavors and colorful marketing. Now Altria's paying the price.

Not so gassed up... Oil companies. Shares of oil icons Exxon and Chevron fell 4% Friday on disappointing earnings. Meanwhile, Shell hit a 3-year low on slow growth. But the real worry is coronavirus — travel demand continues to tank as it hits global health emergency status. And with reduced demand for travel, oil and gas prices have fallen. Airlines like Delta, American, and United have all suspended China flights — plus, China is big oil's major source of demand/growth.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Chill: 6 ways to stop overthinking the past and the future (and actually get sh*t done)
  • Moisturize: Where your skincare products actually "go" when you put them on your face
  • Hustle: How an 11-year-old invests his chore money — and how much he might have by retirement if he keeps it up
  • Explore: The most beautiful places to visit in the US, from Alaska's fjords to New Mexico's white sands
  • Learn: 8 questions about the coronavirus, answered — here's what Corona beer thinks about the whole thing
  • Science: Meet the robots that "sweat" to keep cool (they look like orange gummies)
Snacks Daily Podcast

Nike's performance-enhancing "Vaporfly" shoe was just (shockingly) approved for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Our 15-minute podcast breaks down why VaporFly got the Olympic Committee's OK, but other springy shoes didn't — that's a lot of free Nike marketing...

This Week

Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Apple, Alphabet, Beyond Meat, and Sony

ID: 1077536

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