Verizon and Beyoncé Both Win With Super Bowl Album Surprise


Verizon made a Super Bowl ad with Beyoncé without announcing a tour or perks for fans. Beyoncé used that ad to launch a new album on her website, which never mentioned Verizon.

For both, Super Bowl 58 was a win.

On a night where rival T-Mobile packed two ads with multiple stars and touted both its network and perks, Verizon countered by having Beyoncé showcase the strength of its own 5G network and remind them who offered presale for Renaissance World Tour tickets to Verizon Up members last year. Beyoncé, meanwhile, used a longtime corporate partner to redirect the Super Bowl’s massive audience to her own site and the announcement of country-tinged album Renaissance Vol. II’s release on March 29—complete with links to new tracks Texas Hold ‘Em and 16 Carriages.

Though Verizon’s teasers forcing Arrested Development star Tony Hale to squeeze lemons (in homage toto Beyoncé’s 2016 multiplatinum visual album Lemonade) and referencing the sparkle horse from the first ​​Renaissance album cover gave fans grand ideas about the Super Bwol ad’s intentions, the somewhat more grounded end result still stood out on a mostly staid night of marketing.

“On a night where there weren’t too many clear winners, this one hit on all cylinders: Great idea and execution,” said Eric Segal, co-founder and chief creative officer at creative and strategic agency X&O. “It leveraged culture and created it..had massive star power, but super tidy product integration.”

Matthew Quint, director of the Columbia Business School’s Center on Global Brand Leadership, noted that Verizon and Beyoncé’s collaboration was initially similar to the theme of most 2024 Super Bowl ads. It stitched together quick cuts of humor and pop-culture references—AI, Barbie, the upcoming U.S. presidential election. 

But instead of simply dropping a “follow the story” tag or web address at the ad’s finale—as has become standard—Beyoncé’s words (“drop the new music”) were allowed to guide fans away from the ad (and the Super Bowl). While Beyoncé wasn’t the only sponsored musician promoting or alluding to new music during this year’s Big Game, the approach she and Verizon used highlights the benefits of Super Bowl ads for sought-after celebrities with brands of their own to promote.

“It’s certainly a great place to showcase an announcement or tease of something,” Quint said. “Even if folks miss the moment during the game, there will be (cough, cough) press following up to tell the story anyway.”

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