Cannes Lions

Poker Face Super Bowl

PEACOCK, New York / PEACOCK / 2023

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Film

Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

The Peacock original Poker Face launched in January 2023 with A-list auspices – creator Rian Johnson (Knives Out) and star Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll) – with appealing “case of the week procedural” premise. But for Peacock, a challenger brand within the streaming space, it was imperative the marketing for the show punch above its weight, not only presenting the show accurately, but do so in an unexpected and unique way. The brief was simple – break through the SuperBowl clutter and drive interest in (and viewership for) Poker Face. The resulting spot played like a :30 clip from the show…with a meta twist at the end. And the partnerships with M&Ms and Google Pixel turned the spot into a piece of branded content for those advertisers, extending the reach and impact of their own campaigns…and making the spot not only a promo for the show…but a culturally resonant branded content.

Idea

The challenge was to highlight the unique ability of the show’s character (to always know when someone’s lying), to stand out amongst the clutter of the Big Game, and to reflect the show’s realistic and low-key tone/style…while making the character feel like part of pop culture.

The concept was simple – what if the character was watching the Super Bowl and all the ads at the same time as America…what would her reaction be? She’d instantly know which advertisers (or actors in those ads) were lying.

So could we have her literally “call BS” on other SB ads (and still pass network standards)?

Yes! By partnering with other advertisers…and having her comment on their ads…as if it was all happening in real time. That’d make the show feel topical…the character feel relatable…and the show feel “must watch”.

Strategy

The insight: If Charlie was watching the Super Bowl she’d know which advertisers were lying…so could she literally “call BS” on other Superbowl ads, thereby bringing her character to life in a uniquely memorable way.

So Peacock partnered with other Superbowl advertisers and, in an industry first, had Charlie comment on their ads like it was happening in real time.

Execution

This film aired during the Super Bowl and opens inside a sports bar, filled with people watching the game. We see the stadium, and hear the FOX announcer from the actual game. We then see 2 people at the bar – Natasha Lyonne (as her character Charlie from the Peacock original “Poker Face”) and a man next to her. The man asks Charlie about her ability to know when someone’s lying; she confirms that she always know when someone’s not honest. The man then asks about commercials they’ve just seen: a beer commercial, a Google Pixel commercial, and an M&Ms commercial that aired earlier. She comments on the veracity of those ads, at which point the man nods to a promo on the bar’s TV for “Poker Face” and says it’s a show he'd watch. Charlie responds “now that’s true”, and we cut to a tune-in card for “Poker

Outcome

The results:

-Poker Face’s audience awareness, in the 2 weeks after the SuperBowl, continued to grow, ranking it second among all Peacock originals to date.

-The show continued to see new viewership each week after the SuperBowl, which is atypical for streaming originals.

-EW called the series “The crime show of the year” and industry/talent feedback (a key KPI for Peacock as a relatively new service competing for projects) on the spot playing in the Super Bowl was extremely positive and positioned Peacock well for some upcoming competitive pitches.

-Poker Face became Peacock’s best-performing original based on new IP.

-Peacock renewed Poker Face for a second season, based on the show’s positive viewership numbers.

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