The Super Bowl: Where Ads Matter

How often do you get to half-time during a match, or half way through a TV show and get annoyed because you’ve once again been rudely interrupted by the ad break?

Whether it’s Lenny Henry banging on about how comfy the Premier Inn’s beds are, or somebody dressed up like an Italian tenor annoyingly warbling about price comparison, they all end up getting on our nerves in the end. Although, with today’s technology and the fact that less and less people are watching TV live, a huge number of us will just fast forward through any ad breaks given half a chance.

Let’s face it, nobody particularly likes adverts.

Imagine a world then, where people come not only for the programme, but the ads as well. In fact, let’s take it one step further, let’s imagine some people come exclusively for the adverts. Impossible? Impossible is nothing.

Well, technically they come for commercials, because we’re going over the pond to the good old U.S of A to look at a cultural phenomenon: The Super Bowl.

Ah yes the Super Bowl, just the viewing figures alone are mind-boggling. In 2015 114.4 million people tuned into watch live… and that’s just in the US! They all can’t be sports fans, surely? Well right you are.

The Super Bowl has turned into not only the biggest sporting event in the U.S, but arguably the most culturally significant one too. People don’t just tune in for the tactical tussle on-field, they’re there for the experience, including: the food, the family gathering, the half time show and yes, even the adverts.

In fact, a study recently found that 39% of people were actually looking to the adverts more than the game! So naturally, for the Super Bowl, companies must roll out the big guns…

Because so many famous adverts that aired during Super Bowl Sunday have become ingrained in popular culture, ads that air during the game always come with added expectations. Quite simply they have to be good.

But when they are, they have an impact. Who can forget how much WAAAAAZZZZZZZZZUUUUUUUUP dominated the 90’s…

As you can imagine, the hottest advertising spot on TV doesn’t come cheap, a 30-second spot during this year’s Super Bowl cost marketers a whopping $5 million!

How did it all start? Surely there had to have been somewhere this cultural phenomenon and marketing one-upmanship started? Well, the size of the audience helped initially, but even then you need pioneers, like this Apple Macintosh ad, widely considered one of the best ever.

Doritos, WV and even GoDaddy are all Super Bowl veterans and to stay at the top, they’ve had to come up with some interesting and very successful campaigns.

But here’s where it gets interesting, these companies can all afford the extortionate amount of money needed to get their ads aired.

How then, do you advertise at the Super Bowl without putting hands in pockets?

Step up Oreos.

In 2013, when there was a blackout at the stadium, this was Oreo’s quick-as-a-flash social media response.

And it killed.

Oreos became the big winners of Super Bowl 47 without spending a penny and proving, with a social media presence and a great idea, you can still take advantage of these huge events.

You can still dunk in the dark.

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