Super Bowl Commercials: Were They Wins or Loses?

Erin Sands

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While the events of the Super Bowl, such as the obvious victory of the Kansas City Chiefs over the San Francisco 49ers and the halftime performance by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, have sparked conversation throughout the country, the commercials incorporated into the show have also created much discussion. With costs of a single 30-second Super Bowl commercial costing a whopping $5.6 million in 2020, it was imperative for the ads to portray a conveying message for Americans nationwide, especially for members of the audience who tune in solely for the entertaining commercial breaks. Companies advertising merchandise of all kinds attempted to communicate to consumers throughout the country the importance of their products with appeals including humor, sentiment, and employing prominent figures.

The humorous appeal of Amazon in advertising Alexa utilized prominent figures, such as Ellen Degeneres, and historical situations to persuade the audience of how beneficial the device is for everyday use. As a recent commercial by Amazon had portrayed the loss of Alexa’s voice, the newest ad has raised the question as to what did people do before having access to the device? The role of Alexa in providing convenience by aiding in completing simple tasks was represented through people in centuries past rather than by the technology that is available in today’s age in combination with the typical comical banter of Degeneres.

Continuing, despite Tom Brady not playing in the Super Bowl this year, he made his annual appearance in a Hulu commercial to not only support the company in live streaming sporting events, but also to make a statement in regards to his return to the league for the upcoming season with the New England Patriots. New Englanders, and Patriots fans nationwide, have been anticipating the statement of Brady as he has, arguably, single handedly, brought fame and success to the Patriots franchise.

In contrast however, not all commercials received the anticipated response. A prime example being “Tribute,” the funeral of Mr. Peanut which was brought to the show by Planters. The advertisement was both confusing and unexpected in the eyes of the majority of football fans. On the other hand, Google has provoked a considerable response from the audience; instead of creating a perplexed feeling among audience members, as the Planters commercial did, fans reacted emotionally to the storyline of the Google ad. Featuring an old man seeking the help of Google to remember his late wife, the commercial brought tears to the eyes of many, potentially in the same way as the loss of the San Francisco 49ers did to some.

As the Super Bowl is the biggest night in football, the event doubles as a national platform for advertisements within the country. When considering the substantial cost of a 30-second ad, companies count on the success of their advertisement, which proved to be unsuccessful for some. Despite some failed endeavors, the majority of ads, specifically those featuring prominent figures in American society, received support of their short clip and of their product as well.