CBS is using the Super Bowl on Sunday to promote its entire lineup of returning series which will roll out during the premiere week that will follow the sporting event. Two of them, comedy Ghosts and drama Fire Country, are getting special promos created specifically for the Big Game.
The Ghosts spot features Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), Sam (Rose McIver) and their house ghosts doing a running commentary while sitting on the couch watching the Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg movie Ghost.
The Fire Country promo, designed to run during half-time features co-creator, executive producer and star Max Thieriot delivering a speech akin to an rousing coach half-time pep talk from a movie or TV series.
“Both are really high performing shows, and we think there is still a lot of opportunity to grow the audience for both,” Mike Benson, CBS’ President and Chief Marketing Officer, said about the choice of Ghosts and Fire Country for custom Super Bowl spots.
Ghosts and Fire Country both ranked as the most watched new series of the seasons they premiered in, 2021-22 and 2022-23, respectively, and have remained strong ratings performers for the network.
On Ghosts, “we have been leaning into the bigger idea about believing in ghosts in the supernatural sense but also in Ghosts the show, going for a double entendre and connecting the two things,” Benson said.
The Ghosts-Ghost mash-up came out of a desire to make the spot feel like a scene from the show. On the series, Jay & Sam and especially the ghosts, regularly watch TV and comment on it.
That’s what the gang is doing here as they banter about what would happen if Jay were a ghost, with the conversation referencing the Super Bowl, electoral college and a penny joke comedian Goldberg could’ve said in the movie — while Asher recreates the moving penny trick performed by Swayze’s character in the film.
CBS’ marketing department developed the skit with Ghosts executive producers Joe Port and Joe Wiseman who wrote the dialogue to get the voices of the characters right.
A 30-second version of the spot will air during the Super Bowl. You can watch below the full 1:07-minute version, which will be available online. The WeBelieveInGhosts.com site the ad sends viewers to was created for the occasion with the idea “to create a community of believers in a fun, comedic way.”
CBS marketing execs also worked with the Fire Country creative team on their spot whose premise came about after Benson and his group saw that there was a lengthy promo spot available during half-time.
Taking inspiration from great sports movies or TV series, Benson said his team asked, “what if we take the sense of pep talk and bring it to Fire Country.”
“We try to think, as people are watching the game, where they are in the game to be contextual with the specific place for the promos to stand out more effectively,” he said.