The Football Game that Became an Advertising Phenomena

Name the most famous Super Bowl commercials of the past five years. Who performed during half time at the past two Super Bowls? Name the winners of the past five Super Bowls. Can you only answer the first two questions accurately? Maybe you got some of the winners of the past five Super Bowls but not all of them. You are not alone if this is you.

The Super Bowl started as a sports event, but it has now turned into a major advertising event.  The Super Bowl began in 1967 and the popular advertisements began in 1970 with a Noxzema commercial. The 1970 Super Bowl set a record with a crowd of 80,562 people. According to Neilsen 111.3 million people watched this year’s game, making it one of the most watched shows in U.S. history.

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Over the years the audience has grown tremendously, and the hype has drastically increased also. But is the hype really something to look forward to? The hype began with the 1970 Super Bowl and skyrocketed from there. Advertisers are paying millions of dollars to secure their advertising spot during the Super Bowl game. The hype for Super Bowl advertisements does not appear to be worth it. In 2012 Volkswagen paid NBC $3.5 million for the 30-second ad featuring a dog. This was the highest average advertisement price a network ahs ever charged. Yes, the advertisement got people talking, but Volkswagen has not seen any marked increases in sales since the advertisement aired.

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Some of the advertisements were even released to media outlets prior to the Super Bowl. This year, Audi’s Vampire advertisement was previewed on morning news shows in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Even though this increased the hype for the advertisement it was quickly overshadowed after the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl half time performances have been drawing in viewers since for years. TMZ increased the hype for Madonna’s performance in 2012 by reflecting on famous performance over the years. Americans have a fascination with celebrities and musicians, and the Super Bowl latches on to the phenomena to draw in viewers. Most of the time the performances do not live up to the hype, and sometimes ruin a performer’s reputation. Remember the Janet Jackson incident back in 2004? What about M.I.A.’s explicit content during the Madonna’s 2012 performance? Just like the advertisements, half time performances get people talking, but quickly fizzle out a week after the Super Bowl.

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So will people keep tuning into the Super Bowl? Of course, it has become an integral part of American culture. No one wants to be uniformed about the team that won the game, the popular advertisements, and the half time performances. Despite the hype people will keep tuning in to watch the Super Bowl to be entertained. With all the serious, and sometimes tragic, events occurring around the world the Super Bowl gives Americans a chance to relax and have some fun.


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