Another Super Bowl has come and gone. With it, we’ve had one of the most surprising, eclectic, and destructive games in the competition’s history. The commercials themselves show us where advertising is going.
Football used to be the main event of the Super Bowl. These days, the commercials have become some of the biggest attractions and talking points of the whole show. On average, 30 seconds of airtime during the most watched sports event in America will cost you about $5 million.
With this huge price tag, it’s safe to say that every company that’s spent their time and money on these Super Bowl commercials will have thought long and hard about what ideas and products they want to convey to their audience.
What’s important about this year’s Super Bowl commercials over previous years, however, is the format and ideas behind these advertisements.
In recent years, most commercials have become quite rigid, generic, and complacent in their writing and composition. It’s easy to visualize a typical car, insurance, or beer ad in your own head without ever having to look at your tv.
One of the main reasons behind why this was done intentionally by many companies was in order to make their products and ideas a more consistent and persistent idea within your mind.
However, cord cutting has risen sharply in the U.S. over the past few years. As of the end of 2017, over 22 million people have chosen to cancel their cable, telco, or TV service in favor of streaming services or no media services at all. That is an extremely significant number for television and advertising companies alike.
It seems that with this year of witty, strange, and satirical commercials that these companies have finally seen the writing on the wall.
As a medium, cable is being overtaken by streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. It is quickly being left behind by these cheaper, more convenient, and accessible forms of entertainment.
As of the writing of this article, over 50 million Americans have a Netflix account alone; that’s almost a fifth of the population.
Super Bowl Commercials are Weirder Than Ever
This year, TV advertisers did their best to keep up with these aforementioned streaming giants. Most of this year’s Super Bowl commercials took a more “viral” approach to their presentation. For example: is the surprisingly aware and extremely satirical Tide adverts which confused and amused millions during their airing.
Another great example is Jeep’s barebones commercial showing one of their cars driving across a stream and up a rock formation. Nothing else happens
These self-aware, ironic, and critical Super Bowl commercials will certainly set the stage for how advertisements will be made over the rest of 2018. It’s not the cable audience that these companies are going after. They know that for this one event they have the attention of online streamers and browsers.
Despite this, not every company notices that the jig is up. For example, Dodge has been severely criticised and slated for using an audio clip of Martin Luther King Jr. to advertise one of their trucks.
Although it totally missed the mark and managed to step on an entire country’s toes in the process, it’s still a commercial that is trying something different.
In all, these Super Bowl commercials show us that innovation is again the name of the game in the advertising world. Prepare yourself to see a lot of strange, experimental, and extremely self-aware commercials. Over the course of the next few months, most of the commercials you see on TV will make you think you’re watching YouTube.