Super Bowl 2015

Lauren Salzman [caption id="attachment_4813" align="alignnone" width="300"]Courtesy of marketing Courtesy of marketing[/caption] Every year, tens of millions of people gather around their televisions to watch the biggest football game of the year. And…if you’re not that into the game, there are always the commercials.  Companies spend an insane amount of money every year making Super Bowl ads and buying the air time to show them—on average, 30 seconds of air time costs 4.5 million dollars. So as you can imagine, lots of time, thought, and preparation go into planning these costly advertisements. Super Bowl 2015 was the most watched program ever, with nearly 115 million people tuning in—so, perhaps, advertisers got what they paid for. This year, amidst the good, the bad, and the ugly ads, there were a few that were controversial. Let’s start with a commercial that was a bit controversial amongst the genders: in case anyone missed it, one contentious commercial was the “Like a girl” commercial. It touched on the self-esteem issues that girls can have during and after puberty, and how “throwing, fighting, running, etc. like a girl,” have seemingly negative connotations. But, when pre-pubescent girls were asked to show what it means to run and fight like a girl, they were quick to throw some tough punches; older teens and woman, on the other hand, were cat-fighting in fear of getting their nails chipped. Although this commercial had already aired in July of 2014, this is the first time that over 115 million people got to see the ad. Many kids and adults were touched by the message and moving commercial, but others…not so much. Many men tweeted that it was sexist. The responses to that were as one could imagine—“The Super Bowl is a bunch of men…that’s not sexist?!” Many people were rightfully upset that a 60-second commercial devoted to building up young girls’ self-esteem caused such a loud and hateful uproar. “It doesn’t seem too much to ask that one minute out of a four-hour event—an event that primarily focuses on men—be solely devoted to addressing women,” said the Huffington Post in response to the ad. But I do not think that it was solely about gender equality. It was simply about awareness and providing a fresh perspective about how puberty can change a girl’s outlook on herself and the world. Another highly debateable commercial was Nationwide’s ad that started off very heart-warming. It featured an adorable boy talking about how he will never be able to ride a bike,  get cooties, or learn to fly. I feel confident in saying that everyone was shocked when the second half of the commercial shows the boy saying that he couldn’t grow up because he died at a young age. It was, if I do say so myself, a little bit of a buzzkill, and popular opinion it that it definitely crossed the line. But, it got EVERYONE talking. And if exposure was the goal, then no publicity is bad publicity. Nationwide came out with a statement that said the commercial was trying to promote conversation about preventable accidents, not sell insurance. They definitely accomplished that. On a happier note, there were some very well-received commercials as well. The precious labrador puppy was once again featured in the Budweiser commercial along with his group of bodyguard horses. The Budweiser commercials are always a fan favorite. Budweiser has done an amazing job with their campaign. Now, whenever someone wants a beer, they very well might think about a cute pup. Touchdown, Budweiser! Another touching Super Bowl ad was Coca-Cola’s. Known for always having had great and meaningful commercials, Coca-Cola produced a touching anti-bullying commercial. It was simple, clean, and all that it needed to be. This was a solid ad that had an indisputably good message. One of the main overall themes that arose from the ads was “Dadvertising.” There were many ads depicting dads with their kids. I think this is a highly important message to send, that isn’t touched on as often as it should be. All over America, mothers are often viewed as the ones close with their kids more than the fathers. But, on a day where people gather around a tv to watch men in helmets tackle one another, it was nice to see ads that highlighted the bond that can form between a child and his/her father. There were touching commercials of kids looking up to their parents, which was also a refreshing thing to see. Unlike the old days of sexual degrading ads, the commercials this year tugged on the heart strings of viewers. Good job America—it worked. And Dadvertising? We’ll take it. In the end, Super Bowl 2015 was mostly a success. I mean how can something go wrong when there are puppies, cute kids, Doritos, Coke, and lots and lots of love.  ]]>