February 28, 2023
Before we tackle that question, we need to go on a quick historical tour of the Super Bowl and its halftime show. There has been halftime entertainment since the 60’s when the Super Bowl first came into existence. For the first 25 years, the show consisted of marching bands and drill teams, very low-fi and not at all newsworthy. This came to a head in 1992, when TV channels began to put on special programming during the halftime show to lure viewers away from the game. In 1992, 22 million viewers switched over during the halftime show, approximately a quarter of game viewers. To counter this, in 1993 the halftime show was performed by Micheal Jackson, followed by Diana Ross and Boyz II Men. The halftime show as we know it was finally here.
Skip forward 25 years and now some of the biggest artists in the world have performed during halftime. It has become a badge of honour, a statement of success and an aim for most artists. And, as the NFL hoped, viewing figures increased. And, as viewing figures increased, so has the opportunity.
Today’s Super Bowl ads are a large (and expensive) part of the spectacle, but even back in the early 90’s a 30 second spot was demanding a cool one mil. For brands, the Super Bowl is a massive opportunity to get eyes on your brands, but in a sea of similarity it is easy to get lost. In 2000, the halftime show itself became open for sponsorship, giving brands another opportunity to get their logo on the world’s biggest stage.
No artist has ever been paid to perform at the Super Bowl. The NFL covers all expenditure for the show but the artist never receives a dollar. What they get instead is publicity and 100 million eyes on them. In 2017, after Lady Gaga performed the show, her music sales spiked 1000%. And, in the following year Justin Timberlake saw a 534% increase in downloads the very same day. Rihanna's performance followed this trend and her Spotify streaming numbers increased by more than 640% after her 15-minute show. Not bad for a ‘free’ gig.
Moving past the download figures, the viewing figures tell the same story. This year's game was one of the most watched ever, with an estimated 113 million tuning in. However, the dramatic gameplay wasn’t the biggest draw. Rihanna’s halftime performance was the second most watched ever (Katy Perry still has that crown), and averaged 118.7 million viewers. That means people tuned in just to watch Rihanna, a stark contrast to the 1992 game. So with millions watching, brands fighting for the limelight and sponsorship of the halftime show itself, how did Rihanna take advantage of this all eyes on her opportunity?
She touched up her makeup.
Half way through her show Rihanna used a compact to check her makeup live on stage. The brand? Fenty, her own makeup brand of course. The moment didn’t just send social media into a frenzy with memes and jokes, but also groans from marketing specialists as they realised the millions they had spent on big game spots were lost in a whirlwind of Rihanna and Fenty. According to Cosmetics Business, searches for Fenty Beauty went up by 833% and it didn’t cost her a penny.
So with Rihanna being the first artist to merge the live performance with a brand, is the halftime show itself becoming an advert? Possibly - with celebrities now owning major brands of their own, and media becoming more crowded, these viral moments and opportunity for ‘‘free’’ ad space will become more and more sought after. We’re not suggesting Ed Sheeran should perform the halftime show dressed as Tingly Ted, but it would certainly be a little saucy.
We worked with fruit and veg delivery company Oddbox to unveil the world’s first vegetable dating service, ‘‘Soilmates.’’ The tool aims to combat food waste by finding a recipe match for lonely or leftover vegetables.
With research revealing the average person in the UK throws away 10% of the fruit and vegetables from their weekly food shop, ‘Soilmates’ allows people to enter select vegetables sitting in their fridge drawers producing tasty, low-waste recipe suggestions which put them to good use. It’s like Tinder for vegetables, without the hassle of going on a date.
To help spread the word, we worked with various influencers such as food-waste disruptor Martyn Odell, otherwise known as Lagom Chef to demonstrate how easy it is to use up unwanted vegetables, as featured in Country and Townhouse.
The campaign gained almost 50 pieces of coverage, which included national coverage from the likes of of Mail Online, The Mirror, The Sun and The Express, in addition to multiple pieces in lifestyle publications such as Joe.co.uk.
To celebrate the end of Dry January and getting through what feels like the longest month of the year, Beavertown Brewery threw one lucky winner the party of a lifetime at the start of the month, with the legendary pirate DJ — DJ Oneman — controlling the decks.
This wasn’t just any party, Beavertown took over the winners own front room, filling it with Beavertown beer kegs, a built-in bar, strobe lighting, DJ decks and enough pizza to put Naples itself to shame. The competition gained multiple pieces of coverage, including Manchester Evening News, The Argus, and Metro Slice.
Disney kickstarted their 100 years of friendship celebrations by announcing the launch of pre-sale tickets for Wonder of Friendship: The Experience. The interactive and immersive experience at 180 Strand will take place from 12th May-21st May and will later tour Germany and France, with further markets to be announced.
For the first time, guests will be able to interact with Disney characters outside of theme parks, and multi-sensory activities will see visitors being able to bring Disney stories to life using Snapchat’s ground-breaking augmented reality technology.
Groups of friends will be able to venture through 1,000 square metres of various installations across four different themed rooms which include: Alice in Wonderland, Lilo & Stitch, Lion King and Mickey and Friends.
Step aside Pedro Pascal, your time as TikTok's heartthrob is up. TikTok’s latest fixation is… Claudia Winkleman. It’s probably not what you were expecting, but it's true. Claudia edits have been making the rounds on the popular social media app and this collection of videos has been nicknamed The Winkleverse.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, what weird side of TikTok are Here Be Dragons on to be getting these edits on our For You Page, but #TheWinkleverse has 267 million views on TikTok, so we’re not the only ones. For those yet to enter the Winkleverse, let us explain; it's basically intense, slightly sexy edits of Claudia Winkleman, pictures from throughout her career, her makeup, her hair, you get the gist. One of our personal favourite shows that she does in fact have a forehead behind her famous and iconic fridge, who knew?! Another discusses some key members of the Winkleverse, including Claudia look-alikes, such as Davina McCall and Noel Fielding.
If you’re a Claudia Winkleman fan, or not and just a bit curious, we recommend giving it a search on TikTok and delving into the Winkleverse.
American singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams has released her highly-anticipated debut album, Good Riddance. Co-written by Abrams and The National’s Aaron Dessner, who also leads the record’s production, the 12-track project invites the listener to embark on an ethereal journey where brutal introspection takes centre stage — a practice that many emerging artists know all too well.
Good Riddance packs a rather sombre punch. The album’s soothing string melodies, paired together with the singer’s slightly raspy vocals, allow the listener to feel at ease right off the bat; but, at the same time, the 23-year-old musician’s sharp-witted lyricism pierces right through the soul, awakening memories of something long gone… be it a past romance, regret over something that cannot be undone, or anything else within that beautifully contemplative realm.
Seeing as Abrams’s first-ever body of work, her debut EP minor, was released during a global pandemic, her music accurately represents the let’s-skip-the-party type of sound, which is the defining trait of the genre-defying bedroom pop movement — arguably one of Gen Z’s main musical obsessions (just take a look at the likes of Clairo, beabadoobee, and mxmtoon). Quite ironically, calling Gracie Abrams a bedroom pop artist today wouldn’t be correct, for Good Riddance is her sonical expansion to brand-new horizons; however, the bedroom pop influence runs deeply within her shamelessly delicate artistry.
Abrams is at the forefront of teenagers and young adults who fearlessly rip their hearts out and serve them on a carefully-crafted yet provocative musical platter. This authentic approach to art makes her work all the more intriguing — hence, Good Riddance is a charming start to an exciting career.