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Local professor describes risky game for Super Bowl advertisers

Many big brand advertisers are sitting out this year's Super Bowl amid pandemic
Many big brand advertisers are sitting out this year's Super Bowl amid pandemic(WTSP)
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 2:44 PM CST
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DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - This year’s Super Bowl will be much different that previous ones, and not only because fewer fans will be in attendance.

Some of the biggest brands are pulling out of the advertising game, meaning we won’t see any Budweiser or Pepsi commercials.

For decades, companies like Anheuser-Busch and Coke created a buzz over their Super Bowl commercials.

But that wasn’t the only reason they spent millions to capture 30 seconds of your time.

“There’s also some prestige that comes with running a Super Bowl commercial I think, it kind of shows that we’re on top of the pile of all these brands, we run a Super Bowl ad, we have the money to do it, it’s a tradition people have come to respect or appreciate or anticipate,” says Mark Glantz, St. Norbert College Communication and Media Studies Professor.

Glantz says the ongoing pandemic has left advertisers with a real creative dilemma, leaving many to head for the sidelines instead of risking negative public reaction.

“On one hand if you go with the same old fun stuff you always do, maybe you’re not speaking to the moment, and on the other hand the American public has probably gotten a little bit tired of the typical pandemic ads where they tell us we’re in unprecedented times and that they’re looking out for us,” says Glantz.

With other mainstays like Pepsi and Audi also opting out this year, the opportunity exists for other companies to make their mark.

But Glantz says they better get it right because audiences will be a little more critical.

“I’ve waited all year for something cool to happen, please entertain me, please show me something that takes me out of my pandemic life for just 30 seconds,” says Glantz, describing how viewers may feel.

Which in the end, could lead to the intrigue and buzz Super Bow ads generally create.

“So I kind of like that it’s a little bit more difficult for the advertisers this year to figure out what kind of ad to make and get the attention that they typically are used to just getting for simply running a Super Bowl ad,” says Glantz.

In case you’re wondering, the reported cost of a 30 second Super Bowl ad this year is $5.5 million.

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