The Return of Roller Skates: Usher's Super Bowl Legacy


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Insights into the Halftime Show and What It Means for Brands

The Super Bowl LVIII weekend was not just about the thrilling overtime victory by the Kansas City Chiefs but also a cultural phenomenon that brought together music, entertainment, and marketing like never before. With Usher's electrifying halftime performance reigniting the appeal of roller skates and Apple Music stepping in as the new sponsor, the event underscored the evolving landscape of Super Bowl entertainment and branding.

The commercials this year, featuring an array of celebrities from Tom Brady to Tina Fey, highlighted the increasing role of star power in captivating a global audience. In this article, Hollywood Branded delves into the standout moments of Super Bowl LVIII, from the dazzling halftime show to the celebrity-laden ads that have sparked conversations about brand influence and cultural trends


Blog The Return of Roller Skates Ushers Super Bowl Legacy

Not The Most Ideal Goldilocks Visitor

Let me share how my weekend evolved from being one of the first in 3 months for me to be home and have no plans to be a bit... dramatic. If you were watching the news Friday night and saw the national story on the 2-alarm fire in El Segundo that had 66 firefighters battling a blaze into the morning to make sure the fire didn't spread to the Chevron refinery across the street... that was a fire that started two doors down from one of our offices. We were very blessed and share a very sincere thank you to the many fire departments ranging from El Segundo to across South Bay and LA that saved our building and block from being completely destroyed.

Then Sunday morning, at the crack of dawn, we got the gift of our own twisted Goldilocks in a meth-head looter (police description) inspired to practice his craft thanks to the fire. After breaking and entering that same smokey office building... he curled up to take a nap amongst warehouse boxes, alarms blaring, until the police arrived. We now also owe El Segundo's police department that very same sincere thank you for being on their toes and at the ready to keep us all safe!  

I'm spending lots of focus lately being super aware of patterns and trying to be in tune with the energy around me. Because come on people, this was an insane story I just shared for two giant impactful events to happen inside of 48 hours - and we got off SO easily.  We have to deal with associated crapola - but in the scheme of life, it's pretty minor. We are very lucky.

The bigger question: What do YOU think the Universe is trying to tell me?

Taylor Did It

Next to that, the biggest news of the day was NOT that the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl in a crazy game of overtime. It was that Taylor made the plane trek journey back in time, which then spun into stories about her impact on the environment as she had a backup private jet flown out too - just in case.  She's likely extremely grateful for their win, as she's not going to be blamed by Chief fans for Travis' less-than-stellar first-half play.

Roller Skates Now Trending

The biggest brand moment in the Super Bowl is now Apple Music, not Pepsi, as they continue to solidify sponsorship of the most famous halftime show in the world, which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense.  Usher's Super Bowl LVIII halftime performance was a dazzling showcase of his talents, cementing his legacy as a music icon. Celebrating over 30 years in the industry, Usher delivered a 15-minute set of his most iconic hits, infused with dynamic choreography and the kind of high-octane spectacle reminiscent of a Las Vegas headline show.

The inclusion of star-studded guests like Alicia Keys, Jermaine Dupri, H.E.R.,, Lil Jon, and Ludacris enriched the performance, each bringing their unique energy to the stage. The moment "Yeah!" came on, with Lil Jon and Ludacris by his side and a marching band spelling out "USHER," was a powerful nod to his significant impact on the music scene.

Usher's fashion was a show in itself, from his dazzling bejeweled suit to a glittering motocross outfit shimmering with crystals, showcasing his flair for the dramatic and the visually stunning. It was his command of the stage, however, that truly showcased his prowess as an entertainer, drawing the audience into every beat and lyric.

The overwhelming praise from fans and celebrities post-performance underscores Usher's unmatched ability to captivate and entertain, solidifying his place as an indomitable force in the entertainment world. This halftime show was more than just entertainment; it was a fitting homage to Usher's remarkable career, proving his lasting influence and star power in the industry.

And let's not overlook the potential cultural shift he's sparked—I'm calling it now: get ready for roller skates to roll back into the mainstream in a big way, all thanks to Usher's show-stopping performance. Usher is relevant right now - and savvy brands should take note.

Celebrity Laden Super Bowl Ads

I still have to do a final count, but this year's brands and celebrities feels higher than in recent years, in ads spanning from tech giants to food and beverage companies, automotive, entertainment, and more, showcasing the power of celebrities - and significant investment  - in capturing the audience's attention during one of the most watched events in the United States.

Here's a quick look at some of the standout Super Bowl 2024 commercials featuring celebrity endorsements:

  • BetMGM: Tom Brady and Vince Vaughn add light-hearted humor, focusing on Brady's illustrious winning streak to bring a comedic angle to sports betting.

  • Tina Fey, Glenn Close, Jane Krakowski, and Jack McBrayer join forces in a comical exploration of the ease and breadth of travel booking options available through the brand.

  • Budweiser: Post Malone showcased Bud Light, making a notable appearance in the Bud Light suite near the field, turning a celebrity presence into a live advertisement.

  • Drumstick: Eric André leverages his unique comedic style in an ad where he plays a quirky doctor, emphasizing the playful spirit of Drumstick with humor.

  • Dunkin': Ben Affleck, J Lo, Matt Damon, and Jack Harlow come together in a musical-themed ad, blending humor with real-life affection for the brand, showcased through a creative and entertaining narrative. It made you do more than a double take. 

  • e.l.f. Cosmetics: The cast of "Suits," minus Meghan Markle, reunites in a courtroom spoof, merging humor with the beauty industry in a memorable setting.

  • FanDuel: Rob Gronkowski stars in a teaser for the Super Bowl Kick of Destiny, bringing humor to the unpredictability of betting and football.

  • Hold My Oikos: Martin Lawrence & Shannon Sharpe engage viewers with a humorous twist on fitness and snacking, emphasizing the brand's appeal through comedy.

  • Michelob Ultra: Lionel Messi, Jason Sudeikis, and Dan Marino star in an ad that humorously explores Messi's supposed loyalty to Michelob Ultra, mixing sports with comedy.

  • Mountain Dew: Aubrey Plaza and Nick Offerman reunite to promote Baja Blast, showcasing their comedic talents in an ad that emphasizes the drink's adventurous appeal.

  • OREO: Kris Jenner shines as she explores the transformative power of an OREO twist, reflecting her family's dynamics in a humorous and engaging ad.

  • Paramount+: Featuring Patrick Stewart and characters from "Hey Arnold!" among others, this ad showcases the diverse entertainment offerings of Paramount+ through an entertaining narrative.

  • Pringles featuring Chris Pratt: Chris Pratt humorously mistakes himself for the guy on the Pringles can in an ad that plays with his iconic character roles, imagining him in a fictional film about the mascot.

  • Silk: Jeremy Renner promotes plant-based wellness, emphasizing feeling good in an ad that mirrors his action-star persona with a focus on health.

  • State Farm: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito bring action and humor, emphasizing the brand's commitment to being a good neighbor in a captivating way.

  • Starry: Ice Spice stars in a creative ad that adds a modern, humorous twist to beverage selection with a love triangle theme.

  • STōK Cold Brew: Sir Anthony Hopkins stars in a fantastical ad, blending humor with the brand's bold flavor as he unleashes his "inner Wred dragon."

  • Squarespace: In this imaginative ad, legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese witnesses a UFO landing on Earth, bringing a humorous touch as he navigates an alien encounter with relatability and a classic New York complaint about traffic routes.

  • TurboTax: Featuring Quinta Brunson who humorously shares her positive experience with TurboTax, emphasizing its effectiveness in keeping the IRS at bay and highlighting the brand's inclusivity and support for various financial situations in their Super Bowl commercial. They SPENT. A lot lot lot with multiple ads. 

  • Uber Eats: David and Victoria Beckham, followed by Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer in separate segments, play on the theme of forgetting and remembering to highlight Uber Eats' versatility and convenience.

Did Cardi B Break The Internet With NYX?

The brand that made the biggest attempt to break the internet was with Cardi B and NYX. Their Duck Plump collab with QR code led to how to get Cardi's big game look - and lip combo.  It's sure to have gotten a lot of rewind moments to snap a photo of the screen as fans at home know there are potential cool goodies and easter eggs to find. QR codes are still a great way for a brand to engage - until one day in the near future when it starts to get overused and become humdrum, but in this instance, its usage was marketing mastery.

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Beyonce's Spot With Verizon Was Brilliant

In an absolutely genius marketing move, Beyoncé effortlessly showcased her unparalleled influence and creativity in a Verizon commercial that was nothing short of iconic. In this clever ad, Beyoncé embarked on an ambitious quest to test the limits of Verizon's network with a series of imaginative and whimsical endeavors. From launching a Lemonade stand that harked back to her groundbreaking album, to morphing into a digital avatar and even transforming into "BarBey," her every attempt was a playful nod to her diverse talents and ventures. Despite her fun and bold proclamations, including announcing her run as "Beyoncé of the United States" and jetting off into space for a performance, the network stood strong, leading to her lighthearted concession, "You ain’t gonna break me."

But Beyoncé had the last word, teasing the drop of new music in the commercial's finale, signaling her ever-evolving musical journey. She then took to social media to unveil snippets of her fresh country tunes, "Texas! Hold ’em" and "16 Carriages," setting the stage for her next musical chapter with "Renaissance: Part II," anticipated to release on March 29. This strategic reveal not only captivated her audience but also cleverly intertwined with the narrative of resilience and innovation.

THIS is the exact type of partnership we love to shine a spotlight on - it is a prime example of a brand and a talent partner who are working well together - truly a mutually beneficial partnership. Beyoncé's fans tuned in. And so did everyone else. 

Following closely on the heels of Jay-Z's pointed comments at the Grammys—highlighting the oversight of not awarding Beyoncé Album of the Year despite her record-breaking Grammy wins—this commercial and music announcement served as a powerful reminder of Beyoncé's unmatched impact and the couple's continuous advocacy for recognition and excellence in the music industry.  Beyoncé's Super Bowl moment was a masterclass in branding, storytelling, and the art of anticipation, proving once again why she remains a formidable force in entertainment and beyond.

But Wait, There's More!

Be sure to check out the articles our team wrote below or listen to our weekly podcast.

In her article "Singers Reign Supreme In 2023," Teri Ward explores the unparalleled cultural and economic impact of Beyoncé and Taylor Swift's monumental tours, highlighting their dominance in the music industry and beyond.

Kaylyn Bucknor's article "The Best Films of 2023 That You Need to See" highlights the year's standout films, including "Scream VI," "Barbie," "A Haunting in Venice," and "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes," offering movie enthusiasts a diverse selection of cinematic experiences to explore.

As always, reach out with any questions or to discuss how to take the first steps to brand pop culture!

Eager To Learn More?

For those interested in diving deeper into the impact of celebrity endorsements in Super Bowl ads and exploring the nuances of successful marketing strategies, Hollywood Branded offers a wealth of insights through their blog. Here are five recommended reads that provide valuable perspectives on leveraging star power and crafting memorable advertising campaigns:

Want to stay in the know with all things pop culture? Look no further than our Hot in Hollywood newsletter! Each week, we compile a list of the most talked-about moments in the entertainment industry, all for you to enjoy!

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