SLOAN COLUMN: Super psyched over super commercials
Ah, the big day is almost here.
Christmas? That was a month ago.
Birthday? Nada. Been there, done that.
Wedding? Graduation? Vacation? No, no and no.
Seriously, you know what day I’m talking about – Super Bowl Sunday! It’s the biggest game, the biggest day of the year. One great big honkin’ party that starts with hours of pre-gaming, followed by a football game that will hopefully justify two weeks of build-up.
Kansas City versus San Francisco.
Chiefs versus Niners.
Mahomes versus Garoppolo.
Will Andy Reid get his first Lombardi Trophy?
Will San Francisco finally get the respect it has earned?
Yes, the Super Bowl is a pretty big deal. Last year 98 million people in the U.S. alone tuned in to see at least a portion of the game, and that number is actually low. The average viewership for the last 20 years is closer to 120 million. That’s almost half of our nation’s actual adult population.
Believe it or not, there is a sizeable percentage of the U.S. population that doesn’t care in the least about who wins or loses Sunday’s championship throwdown. They could give a rip if Shakira’s hips didn’t lie or J.Lo left it all on the floor during the halftime show at Hard rock Stadium in Miami.
Still, these same folk will tune in Sunday night for one simple reason – commercials.
Advertising during the Super Bowl has become a spectacle in and of itself. Each year, companies cough up millions of dollars for 30 seconds of TV time to pitch their products. It matters not whether the game was a nail-biter or a blowout, these half-minute attention grabbers will likely be all the talk at the water cooler on Monday morning.
The price tag on a 30-second ad for Super Bowl LIV is $5.6 million. When the Green Bay Packers met the Chiefs in the first Super Bowl on January 15, 1967, the cost of running an ad during the telecast was $1,333 per second, or roughly $40,000.
In years past fans would have to wait for the big game to get a glimpse of the pricy pitches. Not anymore. Previews, or teasers, of most of the commercials can now be found online.
So what can you expect to watch during time outs in play this year? Here’s a glimpse:
• Frito-Lay will puff up its Cheetos brand with rapper MC Hammer singing praises to the snack.
• Anheuser-Busch will pour it on with two commercials. Bud Light will tout its recently released seltzer, hoping to drop the popular White Claw brand for a loss. Budweiser has whet people’s appetites with teasers over the past week. Will it be Clydesdales? People yelling “Waaasaaap?” Frogs croaking –“Bud”- ‘Wise”- “Er?” The King of Beers rarely disappoints.
• Dialect Coach will get in the game as SNL alumni Rachel Dratch tries to teach Red Sox Hall of famer David “Big Papi” Ortiz, to speak like a native Bostonian, can you say, “Paak the caa in Haavaad Yaad!”
• Turbo Tax will try to build up some muscle to beat out the competition among the number crunchers.
• Doritos, another brand that always seems to come up with great commercials, does not appear to be in for a let down this year. Actor Sam Elliott will spice things up by joining Lil’ Nas for a memorable version of “Old Town Road.”
• Planters has already released a statement that reads: “It’s with heavy hearts that we confirm that Mr. Peanut has passed away at 104 years old.”
The legume with the top hat and cane will at least be able to say he went out on top.
• Finally, the wealthy politicians will get in on the action. President Trump and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg peeled off a cool $10 million for 60-seconds of ad time. Talk about a buzz kill.
Enjoy the game, folks, and be sure to time those pee breaks so you don’t miss a second of that exciting commercial action.