Super Bowl commercials; it’s all about the hype

The Super Bowl is today, and, like every year, my Facebook feed is full of articles about the most exciting Super Bowl commercials. Not articles about who is more likely to win the actual game, or what players have to show up for their teams to win, but articles about how puppies will be employed to convince us to purchase beer. And how we are apparently more excited for that than the game itself.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a 30 second spot costs $4.5 million for this year’s game. Without all the extra attention these commercials get, there is no way companies would pay this much to get their message out. But, since the public and the media have created this buzz around the advertising, it becomes infinitely more valuable to have your message displayed during the game. It not only leads to potential pregame buildup attention to your brand, but the visibility during the game, and the following Google searches to find “that ad we all liked.” And, if you have one of your commercials dubbed a “hit,” you have something that becomes almost a cultural icon. Everyone will recognize it for years to come, the youtube hits will come every year as the game rolls around, and college kids will reference it in their blogs.

But, in my opinion, the only reason these ads get any attention is because of hype built up around them. They aren’t that good, or different from what we see normally. To me, the super Bowl is grand example of successful campaigning by advertisers to create something out of almost nothing.

The commercials would still be valuable without all the added hype, but, without Buzzfeed listing its favorite ones each year, I doubt that value would exceed $4.5 million.

The one issue these companies face is they are still having to pay for all the extra attention. The real winner? the NFL.


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