The Super Bowl of Advertising

You know what they say – “the best part about the Super Bowl is the commercials”. From the Budweiser frogs, to the GEICO Gecko and even Maxwell (the little piggy who cried “whee whee whee” all the way home) we are constantly receiving messages through creative entertainment. Whether or not you tune in for the game or the ads on Super Bowl Sunday  it’s inarguable that there are only a handful of other events that have the capacity to attract this much attention from such a large audience. Football fan or not, Super Bowl Sunday is all about packing into a room full of friends and family and eating Doritos, Dominos or wings from Buffalo Wild Wings while drinking a nice cold Budweiser. The circumstances surrounding this iconic American tradition combine to create an ideal environment for marketers trying to sell their products. Millions of diverse viewers will tune in and inevitably be bombarded with advertisements targeted to all ages and demographics; an opportunity that advertisers eagerly await all year.

That being said, it is pretty obvious that many big-name brands would benefit by planning huge advertising campaigns strictly designed to run during the Super Bowl. In the past it was imperative that these commercials were kept a secret until their grand unveiling during the big game. However, with the recent explosion in popularity of social media and internet video viewing platforms, things have taken a slight shift. Many of the advertisers supporting this year’s Super Bowl are now releasing “teasers” designed to increase anticipation of the full ad, as if these commercials were full-length feature films… and it doesn’t stop there. Some of the companies released the full edition of their Super Bowl commercial as early as three days before The Big Game. Well… that doesn’t make it much of a Super Bowl commercial, does it?

So now that these companies are releasing their special campaigns pre-Super Bowl, viewers will have the pleasure of seeing ‘Super Bowl’ advertisements running up to a week early. Some of the main sponsors created interactive campaigns in order to pre-determine which of their advertisements would resonate best with viewers. Doritos ran a “Crash the Super Bowl” contest where viewers voted for their favorite fan-submitted video to “win” and be played during the game. Similarly, Coca Cola varied from this strategy by releasing a teaser but letting the fans vote on the ending.


At the end of the day, there are successes and failures in the Super Bowl advertising process. From a marketing standpoint these ideas are pure genius. Directly involving the audience, either through voting or asking for audience submissions, builds the brand’s relationship with its consumers and brings more attention to their product. So for those of you with a pre-game tradition, you might want to begin by preparing yourselves for the commercial invasion that America likes to call the Super Bowl.

– Michael NunesAlexandra Huss, Zach AbramoCallie FenlonDann Williams, Daniel Schaefer Lauren Habig