It’s ok, you don’t have to feel bad about binging a little on carbs, staying up too late for a Sunday night, or missing Church. The Super Bowl only comes around once a year.
Is the Super Bowl just an excuse to let loose, party, and wake up the next morning regretting the 10 pounds of pizza nachos you devoured the night before?
While many tune out the television during football drone, others in the room are glued to the television set, trying their hardest to ignore aimless non-football related chatter in the room.
What does this say about American culture? Why is the Super Bowl so famous with such stereotypically different groups, and what does it mean to each group?
The “American Dream” is related to success and happiness, but achieving the “American Dream” is different for everyone.
I split Super Bowl viewers into two groups: the die-hard fans who actually watch the game, and the socialites who (for the only day every year) wait for commercial breaks to focus their attention towards the television.
So why am I writing about the “American Dream” in a football blog?
Because for many, football is where the “American Dream” begins. In small towns across America, ‘making the football team’ is one of the first goals little boys work hard to achieve. Consequently, it can either lead to their first ever heartbreak if they are cut from the team or their first real taste of glory.
Chicago Bears General Manager Phil Emery is a prime example of a young boy who was mesmerized by the football culture, and now lives his dream working for the NFL. “As a boy, I was fascinated by those lights and everything that was going on at the football field,” Emery said in a recent Observer & Eccentric interview.
For those boys who live the glory through high school and maybe even college but graduate from football to focus on their next dream, watching NFL games brings the glory back.
Jak Purkiss, a reporter for The Journal Edinburgh in the UK, wrote an article after this year’s Super Bowl describing the impact of American football on a foreigner. Purkiss played soccer for Montana State University, and while there he attended football games with his teammates and friends. Purkiss wrote of his experience:
“A crowd of 20,000 huddled together inside a freezing cold stadium (the froth on my sparkling beverage had frozen to an ice-slush). But people still went crazy for the game and the atmosphere it created around the whole town warmed even the coldest of spirits.”
These players are given the chance every year to succeed in the dream, with over 110 million Americans watching. Some of them will fail, some of them will succeed more than once, and every one of them will have awe-struck followers, living the American Dream through their game.
Ultimately, the Super Bowl is about more than winning or losing for American fans. It is a reminder that, even in thin economic times, the American Dream is still accomplishable, in it’s most fundamental form of experiencing a glorious victory cheering for a winning team.
The Super Bowl comes around every winter after the New Years festivities have ended, but still while the year is young and malleable. The event is a social experience for those uninterested in how many first downs the Patriots have, or if the Giants are going to get a safety.
For advertising, the “American Dream” is accomplished by broadcasting and selling your product to a large audience. The idea of the “American Dream” for advertisers reminds me of the TV show “Mad Men.” The 1960s was the height of the “American Dream” for Don Draper and company, when American television advertising began its steady takeover of print advertising.
The “American Dream” lives on during Super Bowl Sunday for advertisers, who are able to draw the attention of over 100 million consumers, many of who have neglected the consumer industry due to the recent downtrodden economy.
Commercial hype for the Super Bowl begins weeks in advance, especially this year, with new social media outlets that leaked certain advertisements and parts of commercials days in advance to increase viewership.
Social Media also played an important role after the Super Bowl, reported the NY Times. USA Today and Facebook teamed up to create polls for the audience to vote on their favorite commercials. The feedback was interesting for viewers, who got to see whether their favorite was popular everywhere, and it was useful for marketing companies, who can now base future commercials off audience reactions.
Social Media was also present during the game, as viewers tweeted about favorite commercials. H&M’s underwear commercial starring hunky soccer player David Beckham topped the list, as he was the subject in more than 85,000 tweets, mashable.com reported.
Before this year’s Super Bowl, CNN conducted a study where it analyzed different companies to find if a $3 million, 30-second advertisement is worth it. The article concluded that for most companies, the pricey advertisements are worth it, because of the large number of viewers during the Super Bowl and the hype they make after the event.
The final component of the Super Bowl is the half time show. Whether the audience bashes or praises the half time performance, the performer will receive more viewers than any other performance during the year.
For a popular 1980’s star living in the shadows of Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and LMFAO, an honorable Super Bowl performance for Madonna was the key to a boost in sales and some Hollywood buzz.
“Sources say her top 10 digital sellers are showing a collected increase of over 1,700%,” The Hollywood Reporter wrote in a recent article highlighting Madonna’s popularity after the 2012 Super Bowl.
Whether you watch the Super Bowl to cheer on your brothers on the field and socialize with friends or use it to increase the popularity of your product or your celebrity status, the game is a reminder for all of America that the “American Dream” is not dead. It is attainable through hard work and success, wherever that success may be. It is seen in the smiles, the cheers and the faces of the thousands of winning fans every year.