How about those Super Bowl ads?

Just over a week ago the Saints won the 44th Super Bowl, yet in recent years this sporting event has become known just as much for its innovative advertising as for football. As many of you may already know, the Super Bowl is the most viewed television event of the year (although many of you may not know that it is also the day each year with the highest rates of domestic violence incidents).  Because of the incomparably large audience it draws, advertising rates for a 30 second commercial ranged between $2.2 and $2.8 million this year (CBS.com). According to Nielsen, the Doritos Snack Attack ad aired during the 2010 Super Bowl has become the most watched ad of all time. An estimated 116.2 million viewers watched the ad when it ran during the 4th quarter and millions more have re-watched it online since it’s original airing. Yet, you may have noticed that some of the usual advertisers were missing from this year’s game.  Numerous companies decided not to spend millions to run ads during the Super Bowl this year, citing a variety of reasons for their decisions including the current economic conditions. Pepsi announced that their advertising dollars could go further by utilizing the Internet and other forms of viral marketing to reach a younger demographic.  Yet, the question remains as to whether this strategy will have the same impact. For days after the Super Bowl the ads remain a topic of water cooler conversation, and many viewers seek them out online to see them again and share them with friends. But they also cost huge sums of money to produce and air during this event. Is it worth it? What do you think?  Will another medium be able to compete for audiences in the same way as Super Bowl ads do?  
Andrea Bergstrom, Department of Mass Communication
Pierce Arrow Blogger
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