Three words. Super Bowl Sunday. Whether you just rolled your eyes after reading that, or are heavily anticipating the upcoming showdown between the San-Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, there is one thing that most viewers of the event agree on; the commercials have become a phenomenon that put the “super” in Super Bowl.
For many Americans the Super Bowl has become an honorary holiday since it was first established, according to the NFL, in 1966 when it was called the ‘AFL-NFL World Championship Game.’
Now 54 years later, the game is a long-established tradition. According to USA Today the most-watched Super Bowl was February of 2015 with 114 million viewers, a close second being February 2018 with 103 million viewers.
Although recently, “Super Bowl viewership has been in decline since reaching its high in 2015. Last year’s Super Bowl reached 98.2 million, the lowest figure since 2007,” said Professor Andrew Pederson of the Marketing Department at Monmouth University.
“It is interesting to note that this year viewership for both the NFC (the late game) and AFC championship games was down 20 percent and 7 percent respectively from last year. In part this is explained by the fact that both games were never close at the end, although the Chiefs game saw an amazing comeback and then a route,” further explained Pederson.
The good news is the advertisements were what kept the event buzzing. Forbes estimated that on the Thursday and Friday before last year’s Super Bowl, the ads had already been found and streamed more than 105 million times across several platforms.
Professor John Inzero of the Marketing and International Business Department, explained the immense opportunity this presents for businesses.
“To have that many people at one time see your ad is an incredible opportunity for businesses to introduce themselves or a new product, to more deeply brand themselves, or to remind people about a product they loved for so many years,” said Inzero.
Inzero added to, “watch for the Mr.Peanut funeral ad in the upcoming game. It is Planters chance to re-introduce in a really funny way their most famous character.”
Now more than ever, there is a detachment felt between pro-football and millennials. In a 2016 study done by YouGov, 26 percent of young Americans (18-24 years old ) said the “best part” of the broadcast is the ads.
Founder and Former President of the Sports Industry Club, Max Sobrano, has taken note of this shift. “I think this is something that is constantly being talked about…The craziest part of this NFL Super Bowl commercial phenomenon is the fact that commercials use to be a time when TV viewers would take bathroom breaks.
Now-a-days I see non- football fans almost more excited for this year’s big million dollar commercial,” said Sobrano.
But Why? Simply put, the game is no longer the most intriguing part of the event. It’s the connections that young people feel for the players, the brands they represent, and the insanely expensive, movie-like commercials that make 30-seconds the most important part of the night.
“This year’s networking hosting the Super Bowl ,FOX, is asking $5.6 million dollars for a 30 second commercial spot. That is up from $5.25 million from last years network, CBS.”
With a world saturated in ads, young people invested in social media and influencer culture, want to know, and go, where the next big trend is.
From social, the Super Bowl is an event for young college students to gather and celebrate. At Super Bowl parties although fans are clad with NFL apparel, the conversation on everyone’s tongues often is how amazing, or disappointing the new ad campaigns are for their favorite brands.
Sobrano added, “As far as social media goes, I know every year a big movie studio like Disney or Fox releases their biggest movie of the year trailers during the game so movie/entertainment fans are waiting through hundreds of commercials to see the big release of that.”
Pederson said at this year’s Super Bowl, “you will also see political ads from both President Trump and Mike Bloomberg and companies such as Budweiser (who will run four ads), Audi, Frito Lay, Coke, Discover Card, Facebook (a newcomer), Hienz, Hyundai, Proctor & Gamble, New York Life, Pepsi, Pringles, Snickers, Squarespace, Tide, Toyota, WeatherTech, Verizon and a host of others.”
IMAGES COMPILED by Chloe Barone