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The Superbowl Results Are In, and Record Numbers Have Tuned In For the Ads

It’s been an interesting journey to watch the Superbowl transform itself from a grueling slugfest of titans reminiscent of Vince Lombardi into an overtly commercial venture. While the game itself still has meaning to many, the story of the advertisements within the game has taken on a life of its own, a story that virtually every media outlet is complicit in promoting in large part due to their own self interests.

Americans place a high value on sports, athletes and the in inherent drama of professional athletics, but Americans place an even bigger value on commerce. The Superbowl captures both of these interests in such a dramatic and effective manner that the big game has become a must for people across America – even people who don’t actually like football.

The marketing of the advertisements within the game has evolved, to the point that the average person on the street knows that Superbowl spots are the most expensive in the world. By touting this simple fact, both the value and the public’s interest in these spots have dramatically increased. Simply placing an ad in the Superbowl is a story (Tim Tebow’s ad). This year we also discovered that not placing an ad in the Superbowl can also be a story worthy of press (Pepsi Bails On Superbowl 44).

With the traditional media companies looking for a big win with a desperation never before seen (hello internet!), the Superbowl is an annual opportunity for all television/media companies to tout the effectiveness of their medium, the unparalleled reach (106.5M tuned in for the game) that television can potentially provide, and of course most importantly the simple fact that the only place you can participate in this event, a true National Pastime, is by using a television. Not to mention that this year we also saw a record for the most viewed commercial (Doritos, with 116.2M views).

This story surrounding the advertising for the big game is one that all media outlets have happily shared with us for years and with each year the story get a little better and of course a little more interesting. They ply us with dollar amounts, with demographics, with stats about how many people will call in sick from work as a result of “enhanced consumption” during the game, the amount of chicken wings we’ll eat that weekend, specials about Superbowl commercials (yes, CBS did an hour on this during primetime), and most importantly they continually ask us the question – who will win? Not the game of course, but rather who will supply us with the best commercial. USA Today claims its’ the one with Betty White, although I personally thought the one with Letterman, Leno and Oprah was the best. The more we invest in the advertisements as a viewer the more we enjoy the game, or so we are led to believe. Even the NFL is in on the act – if you go to their Superbowl site right now the first thing you see is not who won the game, but rather a link to view all the commercials from the game!

I’ll fill you in on a dirty little secret though – the more we watch the game, the higher the ad rates will go, which naturally means we’ll be forced to pay more for these goods and services, thereby making a Superbowl advertisement that much more effective from the point of view of the advertiser, the NFL and of course for the broadcaster.

Posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “The Superbowl Results Are In, and Record Numbers Have Tuned In For the Ads”

  1. kelly says:

    did pepsico really bail? because there looked like a lot of dorito ads… its the same company so I think they realized how they could optimize their advertising dollars by not competing with with coke