All Our Favorite Super Bowl Ads Tackled Women’s Issues

Last Updated: February 13, 2023

The day after Super Bowl LVII, we weren’t talking about any of the plays. We weren’t talking about any of the players. And while the Super Bowl commercials seemed less memorable than in years past, we found ourselves talking about a handful of ads that shared a common theme: Our favorite ads shined a light on women’s issues. 

What is VMS?

In its first Super Bowl ad ever, Astellas Pharma shined some light on a huge women’s health topic that is, for the most part, rarely discussed in the open: menopause. In the ad, actress Carmella Riley asks women, “What is VMS?” Nobody who was asked knew what the acronym stood for although everyone was familiar with the symptoms — hot flashes and night sweats.

The primary reason we loved the ad is that it’s normalizing women’s health. Providing answers to questions related to your product (“what is VMS”) is also an effective SEO strategy that we implement for many of our clients. Providing these answers demonstrates expertise and allows you to introduce your product in a helpful manner. 

The question “What is VMS?” has about 3,400 monthly searches worldwide (according to Semrush). From an SEO perspective, we would encourage Astellas to optimize its YouTube video with this keyword and other variations. It would also help to embed the video in a blog that answers even more VMS-related questions.

Did it work? According to Google Trends, the ad caused a spike in search interest for the term “menopause.” If Astellas’ goal was to get people to learn more about menopause symptoms and solutions, then it appears the ad was a success. 

Rihanna (& Company)

Another women’s health issue was on full display during the Super Bowl halftime show (which is an ad unto itself). Rihanna revealed to the world that she is expecting another baby. The singer and her partner A$AP Rockey welcomed a baby boy in May 2022. We love that Rihanna celebrated her pregnant form in an unforgettable crimson ensemble. In decades past, a pregnant headliner may have tried to hide or downplay the pregnancy instead of making it part of the performance. Not Rihanna. She made it clear that this is her pregnancy and she’s going to have it on her terms.

As Rihanna fans, we loved the puffy hoodies and want to make them our new work informs. As marketers, we also loved the Fenty product placement. And look what happened as soon as Rihanna opened up her compact on stage.

Know Thy Audience

Even before halftime, the team at Search Nurture noticed that many of the commercials had the same recipe. They featured an A-list celebrity but not much more — no creativity, no emotion. One of the commercials that really bucked that trend was the NFL’s own commercial featuring Diana Flores, the captain of Mexico’s national flag football team. We love that women athletes are being highlighted in a commercial for the male-dominated National Football League. You may have also noticed a cameo from another type of celebrity. Right around the 1:04 mark, Flores swiftly passes Mr. Beast, who is arguably the biggest YouTube creator in the world.

From a marketing standpoint, we think this is brilliant. The NFL is clearly trying to appeal to younger audiences who relate more to Mr. Beast than they do, say, Maya Rudolph or Ozzy Osbourne or Ben Affleck. If we were managing the NFL’s YouTube advertising campaign, we would recommend a cut-down version that shows more Mr. Beast. Can you guess where we would recommend running the ad? 

We can’t embed the YouTube video of the ad because it contains content from the NFL. So, go watch it on YouTube.

Let’s Talk Marketing

What did you think about the big game? What was your favorite commercial? Schedule a meeting with Lindsay Lewin, our sales manager. Based in Kansas City, Lindsay is even more chipper than her usual self. She’ll be more than happy to discuss the game, the commercials, and your current marketing challenges. Even if you’re a Philly fan. 


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