Super Bowl week is upon us, and for those who aren’t there for the football, there’s always the ads.
The battle for the Vince Lombardi trophy is one of the most watched events every year and has showcased some of the greatest football the world has ever seen. With that many viewers, the stage is set for the most high-budget and interesting advertisements all year. Some incredibly iconic ads have come from Super Bowls, such as the Apple Macintosh ad from 1984.
The issue with Super Bowl ads, at least for the advertiser, is that they typically don’t have near the impact that they should. Think back to a couple years ago, when Mountain Dew ran the remarkably strange ad about a puppy-monkey-baby monstrosity that, if disturbing, certainly got the ad talked about. The thing is, after seeing that ad, did you actually go buy Mountain Dew? If you did, were you just going to buy it anyway, regardless of the ad?
Advertisements are supposed to get people to purchase a product, but in the case of the Super Bowl, the people watching expect to see an entertaining commercial; they have no intention of letting the ad influence their purchasing habits. All the ad accomplishes is an incredibly brief buzz about the commercial itself, a buzz that rarely goes with the actual product they were trying to sell.
Of course, none of this would be a real problem if the ads were cheap, except Super Bowl commercials are anything and everything but cheap. It’s estimated that a 30 second ad spot during the game costs five million dollars. That price is only going to rise in the future, and that is only to have the rights to air the commercial, never mind all the costs of making it, which can pile up rather quickly when factoring in all the production costs, especially if a well-known actor is involved. Costs of some of these commercials have caused entire companies to go bankrupt, just from putting up a single ad.
So be grateful that these multimillion dollar companies haven’t come to their senses yet, because Super Bowl commercials, for as entertaining as they are, are the Hail Mary of advertising.