If you’d told us this time last year that Taylor Swift and Sunday Night Football would be a major topic of conversation, we probably wouldn’t have believed you. But these days seeing Swift and her iconic red lip at a Chief’s game to support her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, is par for the course (to use an unrelated sports metaphor). The blockbuster-level coverage surrounding Swift and Kelce may have upset some “Brads, Chads and dads” as Swift herself says in her Time Person of the Year interview, but it may also be behind the uptick in female viewers the NFL is beginning to hone in on. In fact, they’re betting on such substantial numbers that for the first time ever, Super Bowl Sunday is going to feature several beauty ads.
Ads from e.l.f., Nyx Professional and CeraVe will make their first Super Bowl appearance, and personal-care brand Dove will also be returning to game time for the first time in twenty years. And as brands tend to do, they’re going big for the Big Game.
E.l.f. is dropping a legal-themed ad packed with familiar faces, including stars from Suits (which rocketed up in streaming numbers in 2023) and even Judge Judy, presiding. Nyx will be celebrating their 25-year anniversary with an ad starring Cardi B, and Dove’s spot will be devoted to encouraging young girls to stay in sports.
Well, the Super Bowl already has a lot of female viewers. Neilson reports that viewership among women has been steadily increasing over the last few decades, to the point where about 46 percent of Super Bowl fans are females. Viewed this way, it’s pretty surprising that it’s taken so long for the big game to run a beauty ad.
That said, Taylor Swift has certainly had an impact.
One survey by Similarweb, a data and analytics company, found nearly 20 percent of millennial respondents listed Taylor Swift’s relationship with Kelce as a key reason in tune into this year’s Super Bowl. Of Gen-Z respondents 31 percent said they’d root for the Chiefs in the NFL’s title game because of Swift.
Those Gen-Z viewers are really driving the spike, as NBC reported a spike of 53 percent in viewership among girls 12-17. For this reason, many are predicting this year’s Super Bowl viewership to blow away previous records.
Taylor Swift and the NFL
Not everyone loves the attention that Swift is garnering at these games.
While the NFL is certainly benefiting from the jump in female fans and viewers, others have complained heavily about the amount of coverage she is receiving as a mere attending fan. This led the New York Times to investigate exactly how much time Swift spent on air during the games.
“The reality is Ms. Swift typically being onscreen for less than 25 seconds over the course of broadcasts that run longer than three hours, with her name rarely being mentioned,” the Times reports.
The complaints from male fans also led to a response from the lead play-by-play announcer for this year’s Super Bowl, Jim Nantz, who said on The Dan Patrick Show he doesn’t have plans to show Swift a certain number of times during the game. “You know, Kelce makes a big play, [Arnold’s] gonna cut to her for a second or two,” Nantz explains. “That doesn’t mean it needs commentary with that shot. It just blends in with the replay, another crowd shot. But I’ve never said, on the cough switch, ‘Give me a shot of Taylor right now.’”
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