The big business Super Bowl

In 2011, 111 million people tuned in to watch the festivities. That’s a ceremonious gift to advertisers looking for reach and hit-rate – provided their budget doesn’t balk at the cost to air and produce something worth remembering during the game.

Back in the day, this church of American sport was held as the big moment when the winners of the National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL) went head-to-head. Now, Super Bowl Sunday is second only to Thanksgiving when it comes to the amount of food consumption in the US – and we all know those Americans can eat! This is not young Jack’s little league.

This year, the number of viewers popped slightly up to 111.3 million (and to 114million for the halftime show specifically by marketing powerhouse Madonna). This year’s advertising costs weighed in at $3.5million for a 30 second spot. That’s a lot of money for a lot of attention. And that $3.5m is only for media – never mind production. How people determine where they put their money is obvious in the lineup of spots this year, and – as usual – there is a great divide between the winners and those on the other end.

There’s the impressive.

And then there is the lame.

Not a complete dog show – and definitely still worth viewing. Just not as creative and memorable as they could have been. The diversity in the executions across these makes me wonder what American audiences expect from their Advertising and how the effectiveness of it is measured.

Sure, taste is subjective, but you simply can’t compare the Public Mobile’s Roaming to Budweiser’s Grab Some Buds. The choices made for what cost what behind the camera to what you choose to be able to afford to put in front of it shows the expansive difference between the two. And with an average 5.7% increase in media costs per year, you’ve got to start being smarter with how you spend your budget.

Either way, they’ve got my vote. Whether you love or hate the spots you see, the Super Bowl is a gamut of entertainment from brands looking to be remembered most after the final whistle has blown. But regardless and let’s be honest, what was remembered most this year was this:

© Dylan Balkind

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