Ads to Skip Politics During Super Bowl
Even though Republicans “care more about Super Bowl LII ads than any other political group,” according to recent Instart Logic research, a Reuters analysis of Big Game ads shows marketers are avoiding the subject of politics completely. That’s a football field away from last year’s ads, which deal with everything from the gender pay gap to immigration.
A Reuters article published by The New York Times on Wednesday reads:
Advertisers are likely to stick with proven strategies, such as comedy or positive emotions rather than controversies, such as athletes kneeling during the National Anthem, marketing experts said.
"My strong prediction is you will see a lot more safe ads," said Derek Rucker, marketing professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, which runs an annual review of Super Bowl commercials.
Ratings for National Football League games dropped nearly 10 percent during the regular season. Media experts said protests over racial inequality drove some viewers away. TV broadcasters showed players kneeling or locking arms during pre-game presentations of "The Star-Spangled Banner," prompting President Donald Trump to call them unpatriotic.
On Halloween, one of the NFL sponsors — John Schnatter, founder and CEO of pizza chain Papa John’s — claimed the protests had cost him millions.
However for the Super Bowl itself, the decrease in the ratings didn’t seem to matter to advertisers handing over $5 million for 30-second spots.
In addition to marketing gurus telling Reuters advertisers would do well to avoid politics on Feb. 4, the article says:
For this year's game, veterans organization Amvets tried to place a one-page advertisement with the message "#PleaseStand" in the Super Bowl program. The NFL rejected the ad and said the program was not a place for anything that could be viewed as a political statement.
The game program will include a Veterans of Foreign Wars ad that supports veterans, and the league will celebrate the military at the game, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN Radio on Tuesday.
This move away from politics in mass marketing during the Super Bowl also seems to be distancing advertisers from a general trend among marketers like Patagonia that, in December, placed consumers visiting its site immediately into a message about Trump’s action on parkland: “The President Stole Your Land.”
In Instart Logic’s research announced on Wednesday, “87 percent of Americans admitted that commercials affect them during the game.” But while Republicans care more about the ads, Democrats are more likely to act on them, the study found.
Showing that this is perhaps one of the most studied advertising events of the year, findings from another analysis announced on Tuesday found:
Viant, a TIME Inc. advertising technology company, analyzed the profiles of over [27,000] people to find insights around the Super Bowl audience. For example, Viant found that those who watch for the game are more likely to buy an Audi and drink Sam Adams; viewers who watch for the half-time show are more likely to buy Febreeze; and viewers who watch for the commercials are more likely to drink Budweiser and file their taxes on TurboTax.
What do you think, marketers?
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