Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, and with it, its commercials have too. The celebration of these commercials is an unhealthy celebration of American capitalism.
According to a Huffington Post poll, 35 percent of those polled stated the best part of the Super Bowl was the game itself, while 26 percent stated the commercials were. This poll gave insight to the tradition of excitement around watching the commercials. A 30-second commercial spot during the Super Bowl in 2019 cost $5.25 million, according to USA Today reporter Nick Schwartz, but these companies purchasing commercials are not only purchasing this time slot.
@SuperBowlAdsTV on Twitter stands at 1700 followers, and the Marvel ad that aired on the Super Bowl had over 100,000 engagements on Twitter. When companies buy airtime for ads at the Super Bowl, they are also buying social media engagement, people-watching the discussion of the ads and buying people’s full and undivided attention. Which is something rare for ad buyers and dangerous for consumers.
Most commonly, when consumers see ads they generally know it’s a form of corporate manipulation. However, the 26 percent of people who believe these ads are the best part of the Super Bowl, are either unaware of this fact or just don’t care. This disregard for underlying manipulation does half the work the corporations need to do already.
When consumers begin to celebrate these ads, it is a form of the consumer letting the ad effect their life in a more personal way. Such as their personal conversations or their social media. Letting these ads take place in consumers’ every day, personal lives allows the corporate manipulation to be more successful.
This American tradition of sitting around to watch Super Bowl advertisements is an unhealthy and dangerous tradition for consumers. This celebrates and praises the ads for manipulating the consumer, and makes the job of mega-corporations to manipulate consumers even easier. Discussing and celebrating Super Bowl ads for being inventive or creative is exactly what corporations want consumers to do. Buying into what corporations want consumers to do can be dangerous for any consumer.
American consumers allow this culture of Super Bowl advertisements to be just another piece of entertainment. Because of this, consumers are then allowing advertisements to assimilate into American culture, just as naturally as everyday media such as television or music. This is dangerous because it allows corporations to find their way to further manipulate consumers.