Ad-ception: Super Bowl commercials adapt to social media


The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched events on television, and is celebrated like a national holiday — raking in hundreds of millions of dollars each year. From stadium tickets, television viewership and hotels, the event reeks of profit. 

It’s not just views and tickets that contribute to these millions – VICE recently reported that the Super Bowl, which will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, is going to "make it rain" at strip clubs around the city. 

More notoriously, the Super Bowl makes most of their massive profit from the advertisements and commercials that many of us anticipate every year. Every year, millions of people — including those who know nothing about football — tune in just to watch the commercials played during the game. 

I'm sure we all remember the 2013 “When sexy meets smart” GoDaddy.com commercial or the 2004 Pepsi commercial starring Beyoncé, Pink and Britney Spears. These commercials were long-time icons that captured the attention of millions of viewers, but they came at a high price. The chance to advertise to more than 100 million people will cost approximately $5.25 million for a single 30-second spot, according to Thrillist

There’s money to be made from these advertisements, but this year may be on a whole other level. Just a few days ago the new Pepsi advertisement, which features Cardi B and Steve Carell, found its way online. Though fairly new, the question is whether this type of advertising — in which you show commercials even before the game — takes the excitement away from the Super Bowl. 

With the increasing importance of social media, the buildup to the game has been massive, so it's no surprise to see your favorite celebrities representing their team, promoting the game or showing up in a commercial even before the big day. But it's not just Pepsi. USA Today listed more than 10 Super Bowl commercials that were shown and promoted before the game. Among these commercials are Doritos, Audi and Amazon Alexa. 

To put it simply, it’s strange to see trailers for commercials, but it's not surprising. The $5 million cost of these commercials is a “bargain” when you put it into perspective and realize that for 30 seconds, companies have the undivided attention of 100 million people, according to For The Win. Mixing social media into this only generates more attention, views and profit. But does the introduction of trailers for commercials and social media advertisements take away from the allure of the Super Bowl?

While times may be changing, big companies and advertisers know exactly what they're doing. Just as many, if not more, people will tune in to watch the game, commercials and halftime show. 

We're submerged in a commercial culture, with millions of dollars spent on advertising that show what's valued most in our culture: consumerism and materialism. Additionally, we're prey to these big advertisers who feed off of the attention and recognition allowed by their products.

America may be the clearest example of a commercial culture. The truth is that as a whole, we don’t really care so much about the constant flow of these advertisements or how they're being aired for massive amounts of money.

Yes, we might question why Amazon Alexa has a Super Bowl advertisement out already, or maybe even understand how elitist and unfair technology may be, but we will still buy it. That’s just the point. 

It’s all about money for advertisers, and these products help us fit in. It seems like fitting in is the goal, whether it be by watching the game, the advertisements or buying the products. 


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