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Super Bowl should be called 'Ad Bowl'

POSTED: February 5, 2014 7:00 a.m.

Between our national sport of baseball and March madness, we have one other little sporting event in our country — the Super Bowl. There have been a few alternate names given through the year but I believe we all know what the Super Bowl’s second name should be. 
“Ad Bowl”. 
The match up of the best two teams from the NFL and AFL for this game is talked about, planned, previewed and predicted for the two weeks before the actual game in every sort of media available to man. However, the commercials are anticipated almost as much as the big game.. The commercials of the Super Bowl have become so renowned they rated a network special this past week.
The truth is that the annual Super Bowl has something for everyone by the smart incorporation of the commercials. Those who track such things say the Super Bowl is the most watched program on television thus smart marketers compete to get their product televised during the game.
In the early years of the Super Bowl a 30-second commercial cost $45,000. That’s a fairly good price tag for advertising but in more recent years, a 30- second spot cost $4 million, which divides out to a mere $133,000 a second. That’s a lot of Doritos! By the way Doritos had an ad campaign asking contestants to send them a Super Bowl commercial paying $1 million to the winner. That makes their Super Spot worth $5 million. No wonder they are the priciest bag of chips at the store!
You can get a list on-line of the most popular Super Bowl commercials. I was surprised by some of the choices but the selection did bring back some fond memories.
An ad that was considered a little racy back in 1973 was the Noxzema commercial with Joe Namath and Farrah Fawcett.  Joe comes on screen with a wide smile saying, “I’m gonna get creamed!” Farrah comes in singing to him while she applies Noxzema to his face. Even today this commercial has some sizzle. Good job Noxzema as though cheesy, it’s still a good commercial even after 41 years.
Let’s take a little trip down memory lane. Does it “Taste great” or is it “Less Filling”? Do you recall the product for that ad? How about the following. Can you name the brand the advertiser was promoting?
1. You aren’t yourself when you’re hungry.
2. Do you need a New Job?
3. What you want is what you get?
Number one is Snickers and you might recall Betty White and a football game. Number two was for Monster.com and it showed a moose head in an upscale room but on the back side was someone’s desk, under the back end of that moose. Number three was for Big Mac. Can you remember the game of horse between Larry Bird and Michael Jordan? The winner got the Big Mac and the shots got harder and harder. (Through the window, over the beam, off the wall and nothing but net.) One of my favorites.
 Other memorable commercials that may ring a bell, Mean Joe Green and Coke, the talking baby and who doesn’t love the Clydesdales stories?  Go-Daddy has originals as does Doritos, Budweiser and Pepsi. The marketers also have worked a particular ad story for two or three years. There was the “bud bowl” and, of course, the infamous “Bud-Wei-Ser” frogs. Most people have their favorites and each year the buzz over the most popular commercials is the big topic over the water cooler at work the following week.
The big name brands are easy to recall but what about those “not-so-big” brands that spend the big bucks on the show? Do you recall any commercials for Bridgestone or Xerox? There is one of each in the top 15 all time popular commercials I found online. Once I saw a clip of the commercial, I did recall one of them but not the other. Often the commercial is remembered but not necessarily the product. It would seem like a gamble for the marketing department of a smaller company to put out the capital required for 30 seconds with little guarantee. The questions will remain. Can you make the commercial funny or sentimental enough for millions to imbed it in their minds? Can the ad make purchases for the product go up? Is the gamble worth the price. There will be millions of eyes to see it. 
 For the first time, this year some companies leaked out their commercials before the game. I think it feels like peeking at your Christmas gift before Christmas morning! Let the anticipation build. Could we please keep at least one thing scared in our lives and opt instead for instant gratification.
The top runners are out there. Is there another all time favorite this year? I’d suspect that some professional ad people make and break their futures with these commercials. A winning Super Bowl commercial could be like having the winning power ball ticket just as one that busts could mean unemployment. And some of us think we have job stress! At any rate, it’s a fun day for most with the game, good food, commercials and a beverage, deciding on if it really does “taste great” or is “less filling”.

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