Super Bowl advertisements outshine the game

A.J. Newth, Associate Opinion Editor

This past Sunday was Super Bowl 57, where fans gathered to watch the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the Philadelphia Eagles and the long awaited commercials that come along with the game.

While many individuals watch the Super Bowl just for the game, there is a whole demographic of fans who don’t even like football that tune in just for the advertisements and the halftime show. The 2023 Super Bowl was no different and the ads definitely delivered.

As an avid New England Patriots fan myself, I’m no stranger to a good Super Bowl party. But when my team isn’t playing, I can’t seem to find the same love for the game that I do when New England is on the field. That being said, this year’s Super Bowl was all about the commercials.

From cars to beer to insurance, companies sure do get creative with their advertisements for the game. This is most likely because an ad during the event can cost upwards of $6 million, with some businesses even pushing that limit to $7 million for only a 30 to 60 second ad.

We’ve seen our fair share of memorable moments, from the Michael Buble “Bubly” ad in 2019 to the iconic “Puppy Monkey Baby” Mountain Dew commercial in 2016. Advertisements continued to up their game for Super Bowl 57, so much so that they were more interesting than the game.

I’m not the only one who prefers to watch the advertisements when my team’s not playing, as a Marketing Brew survey found that 76% of viewers are looking forward to the ads. Conveniently enough, it was discovered that the Super Bowl commercials are becoming increasingly aimed at women, most likely to expand the NFL’s target market.

The same survey found that 75% of women disclosed that they would be watching the super bowl this year, compared to the 62% from 2022 and the 50% from the year prior.

Super Bowl ads are such a big industry that some companies even pre-release their commercials, hoping to generate traction or promote a new product line. There’s no way to pre-release game clips, the only discussion is game predictions. This is why the ads draw so much attention for the 100 million viewers that watch the Super Bowl every year.

An ad that definitely hit home this year was a Sam Adams “Brighter Boston” clip, starring Greg Hoyt, who tried to convince viewers that the Sam Adams beer would change Boston for the better. The skit was comical and made the break between plays interesting.

Another great way to advertise is to include popular stars or references. This is exactly what the PopCorners chip company decided to do when their expensive ad featured Walter White and Jesse Pinkman (Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul) from the popular television series, “Breaking Bad,” negotiating over the product. The marketing was genius and the commercial was well-received by those who understood and recognized the reference.

Super Bowl ads are not just general advertisements. They’re popularized for their unpredictability, quality, humor and special effects. They feature celebrity cameos and hit songs as well as real world important topics.

Other advertisements from this year’s showing include a Blue Moon ad where Coors Light and Miller Lite comically battle and in the end neither beer is the purpose of the commercial. Dave Grohl also made an appearance in a Crown Royal ad, where he is seen hilariously practicing gratitude. There’s also a lighthearted Downy commercial, featuring “Downy McBride,” who bikes through the street with the product. All of these captured more attention than a 60-yard drive or extended possession of the ball.

The Super Bowl is the most-viewed sporting event in the United States and the culture surrounding it means that people will share food and drinks with friends regardless of whether or not they are football fans. Especially when the game is dragging, it’s nice to have entertainment to break up the game.

I have a great appreciation for the game of football and regularly enjoy watching it, especially with friends. The only difference is that during the regular season, commercials are used for bathroom breaks and during the Super Bowl I’d rather leave during a play challenge than during a Will Ferrell or Steve Carell appearance with one of my favorite brands.

What individuals do with their time after the game further proves my point. While some will read about the halftime show or reminisce on important parts of the game, I think one of the biggest increases in website traffic once the game is over is the buzz on social media about the ads. Popular advertisements can be seen trending on Twitter or being reposted on Instagram, people absolutely love them and the discussion that follows the next day typically surrounds ads and everyone’s favorites.

While I understand the importance of actually enjoying the football, there are times when a battle between beers or a “Breaking Bad” reference is more enjoyable than watching a game between two teams I don’t even follow.