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Super Bowl advertising: Wikis


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The Super Bowl, the championship game of the National Football League in the United States, is known for the high-profile advertisements that air during its television broadcast. The broadcast typically ranks very highly in the Nielsen ratings, reaching more than 90 million viewers. Prices for advertising space can typically cost millions of dollars; 30 seconds of advertising time during the 2010 telecast is expected to cost US $2.6 Million dollars.[1]

The high price tag of the commercials all but promises that they will be spectacular and innovative in most cases. The commercials are often highly anticipated, generating much buzz even before the game is played usually because of their innovation or sense of humor.

These high-profile ads are usually only broadcast on the originating American network. This is because the cost of buying commercial time on the American network does not include ad time on foreign broadcasters, which sell their own advertising. Moreover, since there is lower interest in American football outside the U.S., other carriers have smaller audiences for the game, meaning that the ads seen locally may not share the high reputation of the domestic commercials.



There has been much concern about the viewing of commercials because of the use of products such as TiVo, which allows viewers to skip over the commercials. However, TiVo reported[citation needed] that viewers were pausing and rewinding back to previous commercials that they enjoyed.

In 2010, the cost of a 30-second commercial on average will be (according to CBS, who will carry the game telecast) approximately US $3.01 million. This excludes costs and fees for actors, equipment, ad agencies, directors, crew and other personnel. In 2009, NBC sold out all the advertising spots for record revenue US $2,600,000.


Notable commercials

  • 1973 - The first famous Super Bowl commercial was for Noxzema featuring legendary New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath.
  • 1973 - Master Lock ran the first of their long-running advertisements showing a sharpshooter shooting at and hitting a Master Lock in a failed attempt to open the lock.
  • 1980 - A spot for Coca-Cola featuring Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro defensive lineman "Mean Joe" Greene, who is offered a Coca-Cola by a young fan and tosses the kid his game-worn jersey as repayment. However, according to ESPN, this ad never debuted during the Super Bowl.
  • 1984 - Perhaps the most renowned Super Bowl ad ever, the ad for Apple's Macintosh followed a 1984 theme. Directed by Ridley Scott, the ad featured a woman wearing track-and-field clothing sprinting into a large auditorium and hurling a large hammer into a screen right before security guards can subdue her. On the screen was a large Big Brother-type of face speaking to a massive assembly of drone-like people. His last words were "We shall prevail," before the screen explodes and leaves the audience enraptured in gazing at the spectacle. The ad ran just one more time on television, perhaps compounding its renown.
  • 1985 - Generally considered unsuccessful, The Apple "Lemmings" ad is shown featuring many PC users walking to their doom over a cliff.
  • 1990 - Ridley Scott directed an ad for the Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo. The ad depicts a dream sequence with the driver in a Twin Turbo 300ZX, competing against an unknown enemy. First the 300ZX races a motorbike, then a race car, and finally a jet fighter plane. At that point the plane is about to catch up to the 300ZX before the two turbochargers of the 300ZX "kick in", greatly increasing engine power and the car accelerates away from the plane. The ad was only run once due to complaints that it promoted street racing. Nissan ran another popular Super Bowl ad for the 300ZX in 1995.
  • 1993 - In perhaps his most famous ad, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird play a game of HORSE for a McDonald's Big Mac and fries. The game is made more interesting due to the increasingly complex set of obstacles set for both players.
  • 1995 - Nissan again ran a commercial for the 300ZX (which they advertised in 1990). The ad featured the car as a toy driven by a G.I. JOE picking up a Barbie-like doll. Despite being a popular advertisement, Mattel successfully sued Nissan to take the ad off TV.
  • 2000 - Year of the dot com commercials
  • 2009 - Joe and Dave Herbert from Batesville, Indiana create a Doritos commercial where one employee makes a wish come true by throwing a snow globe against a vending machine glass and breaking it (which was done in one take), and another worker using the same snow globe to hit his boss in the "family jewels". The ad earned a US $1 million payday as the number one ranked ad in the annual USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter survey from Doritos' owners, Frito-Lay as part of their annual "Crash The Super Bowl" contest.
  • 2009 - Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu is involved in a spoof of the 1980 Coca-Cola ad where a kid tries to give him his Coke Zero, but the two Coke brand executives which usually appear in Coke Zero ads and overzealously defend their brand suddenly appear and take the bottle. Polamalu tackles one of them, drinks the Coke Zero, then rips their dress shirt off and tosses it to the kid.
  • 2010 - In an ad for Snickers candy bars, a man with little energy is said to be "playing football like Betty White," with the 88-year-old actress in scene, supposedly as the man, being tackled for comedic effect.
  • One of the most famous Super Bowl ad campaigns has been the "I'm Going to Disney World!" ads for the past 20 years.
  • Bud Bowl

See also


External links


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