Diverted Super Bowl Commercials
The Super Bowl is one of the most popular sporting events in America. Over the past decade, this single game has reached millions of people, creating a larger audience than the World Series, NBA finals, Stanley Cup Finals and Academy awards combined. Personally, my family and I are not extreme football fans. We do not gather around the TV with some guacamole and soda screaming at the referee through a television screen. However, as I have grown older, and entered a sports oriented college, the concept of the Super Bowl became more and more popular. While the technicalities of football have still never intrigued me, there was one aspect of the Super Bowl that was appealing — the commercials.
The Super Bowl commercials are widely appreciated for their distinctive creativity and comical plots. With such a wide audience, producers made sure these 30-seconds would be worth every penny (450 million pennies to be exact). Ratings actually increase during these commercial breaks. Therefore, it is important to make these 30-seconds count.
But to what extent? Yes these commercials are unforgettable and hilarious, but do they leave the consumer craving the product? Does the touching video of a dog reuniting with his horse companion really leave the viewer wanting a Budweiser beer?
This year, I looked at some of the popular commercials publicized during this time. Some, evidently, did have the undertones of the product brand. For example, the Bud Light commercial, “Bud Light Party”, illustrates a a political campaign speech of Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen. Here, the two comedians confidently praise America’s strong national identity. They announce that Americans love patriotism and beer. So, while these boisterous football fans praise this country for providing such a glorious day of recreational sports, they are left with the craving for a nice cold bud light beer to top off their experience.
However, there were some other commercials that did not possess this strategic production. For instance, in the Shock Top Super Bowl ad, it sets the scene in a casual bar. Comedian T.J Miller is bantering with the Wedgehead mascot. They tease each other with creative mockery. As I watched this commercial, I was entertained by the clever comparisons these two characters say. But towards the end of the ad, I was left confused to what the product really was.
I later discovered that this ad was part of the “Live Life Unfiltered” campaign. Here, Shock Top is promoting their unfiltered Belgian-style wheat ale. While the theme of unfiltered banter was integrated into the dialogue throughout the ad, I did not understand its relation to the unfiltered ale. While this ad entertained me, it did not leave me wanting the product.
With the pressure to produce a popular advertisement, there is a fine line between memorable humor and advertising practicality. I believe that the Super Bowl commercials are headed down a more diverted path, where the actual product will be in the background of a creative plot line. Producers need to reassess their promotion plans by creating not only a memorable commercial, but an effective one.