Superbowl Commercials Lose Luster
By David Joseph
It does not matter what sport you are a fan of—you know that by far, the most popular sporting finale in the world is the Super Bowl. It is bigger than the Stanley Cup, the World Series, and the NBA finals. However, the average American doesn’t tune into the Super Bowl solely for the greatness being displayed on the field. Fans anticipate the Super Bowl commercials every year. It is not like commercials for any other program. The commercials are a draw. Recently, it appears the content of the commercials declined.
In years past, Super Bowl commercials have been remembered as being entertaining and unforgettable. The commercials would stay with the viewer even weeks after the event. This year it appeared that a number of commercials contained a subliminal message about a social or political issue.
There was a multilingual Coca-Cola ad singing “America the Beautiful,” which touched on the national conversation on immigration and diversity. According to The New York Times, (Maheshwari Sapna Feb 5, 2017) there is speculation that the Airbnb ad was intentionally displayed to go against President Trump and his administration. Perhaps the most controversy surrounded the 84 Lumber commercial. The commercial contained a Spanish-speaking mother and daughter confronting a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Fox deemed the commercial “too controversial” and released an edited version. One has to wonder if we had a different president whether commercials would contain themes like these.
Media Literacy, a course taught in the communications department at BSU, has opened up a conversation among students, voicing their displeasure with Super Bowl Commercials in
their class discussion. One student stated, “This year’s commercials did not do much for me.” A member of the class also shared that the professor has been much more entertained by Super Bowl commercials from previous years.
Are Super Bowl commercials still must see T.V.? The constant popularity of the NFL and the Super Bowl says yes. Some may not agree with the motives behind the commercials, however, most are going to watch anyway out of habit. The NFL knows this. FOX is aware of this. They want viewers to have an opinion on current national topics whether it is negative or positive. Many of those who participate in watching the Super Bowl commercial know that for some advertisers there is a hidden agenda, but for those who do not see the messages being addressed, welcome to the social media age.