Super Bowl Equals Super Opportunity Missed??

Sometimes I bounce ideas for blog posts around with my husband. He does not read my blog because as he says, “I live it.” Need I say more?

As I was contemplating my idea for this post, I asked him what he thought of it, and for the first time, (Okay  probably not for the first time), I think he truly thought I had “lost it.” When I finished describing my idea, there was dead silence and then a long drawn out, “Aahh….I don’t think so.” After our discussion, I decided to forget about this particular idea since his opinion is usually right on, but I just couldn’t shake it. So, here goes.

First of all, as if any of us need reminding, Sunday was the day of the “Big Game.” You might think since I live in Wisconsin, I am a Packer fan, (but dare I say it?), you would be wrong. I grew up in Minnesota and spent most of my adult life there as well, so my family is a MN Vikings supporter. As newbie Wisconsinites, usually we keep this information under wraps, so as not to be thrown off our street or out of the state. For this particular Super Bowl, I was a “sort of” Packer fan.

Anyway, here are just a few basic facts about the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is almost a national holiday and the number one home party event, even bigger than New Year’s Eve. A staggering $55 million is spent on food, second only to THANKSGIVING! (Unbelievable! ) Last year 106.5 million viewers watched the game, second only to Soccer’s UEFA Champions League game, which is still number one with the most worldwide viewers.

And of course, we all know about the commercials. Many of us (like me) claim to care more about watching the commercials than the actual game. By now it’s general knowledge commercial airtime during the Super Bowl is the most expensive airtime of the year for advertisers to obtain. Therefore, companies fill these slots with their most prized, thought out and expensive ads. In fact, it’s a real competition. This is where my idea comes in.

Wasn’t this a great missed opportunity? With that huge audience plopped comfortably in front of their television sets for a minimum of four hours (think about all that pregame airtime too), would it be too much to consider the possibility of maybe 30 seconds of that airtime be devoted to something universally important, like cancer research funding?

I know, I know, it’s almost unimaginable to think about doing such a thing during “The Big Game.” I really do not want to “rain on this parade” or be a spoiler, but still…

My husband very rationally tried explaining to me the impracticality of my idea by saying, “You have to remember all these ads represent companies who have shareholders they must report in to. They must be fiscally responsible. They don’t want to lose money on a missed advertising opportunity, even thirty seconds. No one would want that. No one would think this is a good idea. Plus, many of these companies already generously give to various charities.”

He’s just so darn logical!

I know all that logical thinking is true and he is probably right, nobody would want to do this, but still, while I watched I kept thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if one of those big beverage companies bought the airtime, but instead of a “real” ad, an executive appeared on screen and said something like, “Instead of spending X amount of dollars on one commercial for this time slot, we decided to donate X amount of dollars to cancer research.”  Wouldn’t this be PR worth $$$ in itself too? What if Fox stepped in and donated 30 seconds of its airtime so The American Cancer Society or Livestrong or somebody could advertise for free; or what if Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, came on the air and made some kind of statement about encouraging donations for cancer research? What if a few players came on and talked about a loved one they knew affected by cancer, and then promised to match donations up to a certain amount?

Wouldn’t this make more sense than painting pink ribbons on the field or wearing pink cleats in October?

Dream on. This is all written tongue-in-cheek, of course, because I know it’s not really a realistic possibility. But I just can’t get the idea of that huge audience sitting around in their living rooms out of my head … Maybe next year??

Do you think this was this a missed opportunity?

Did you watch the Super Bowl?

What was your favorite commercial? (Just curious)



14 thoughts to “Super Bowl Equals Super Opportunity Missed??”

  1. Sure, why not? I think it would be a great PR opportunity for any company that did that. All I could think of as an example were those SPCA commercials where Sarah McLachlan comes out and talks about homeless and abused dogs and cats. I’m sure that gives her pretty good press. I don’t recall if those were ever played during a Super Bowl. I feel like maybe they did one year.

    This post did remind me, though, of when NFL players wore pink cleats, etc., “in support” of cancer research and cancer awareness. So, even if they went a bit overboard there and only did it for good PR, at least they did something.

  2. I know exactly what you’re saying. It’s so frustrating to hear how much they pay for those darn ads, I mean, seriously, does Doritos really need to advertise? Who’s their competition? Everyone love Doritos. I just wish more of the wealthy would donate to research; seems like it never happens until it affects them…

  3. I didn’t watch the Super Bowl, but I know all the hype. One of those companies who spent outrageous amounts of money on an ad during the game could have gotten way more mileage from the attentive audience by sponsoring a cancer awareness message. The PR would have been tremendous. I agree it was a lost opportunity. Something to mull over to see if an opportunity awaits for next year. Jan

    1. Jan, I agree, positive PR is pretty darn valuable too. I think it’s a missed opportunity to ask for research dollar donations because people are in the mood to do something positive at such events. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if that ever happens.

  4. Nancy, it’s a good thought. Did you see the commercial that aired about Detriot? Basically it was total PR for the city and it got a lot of attention. So yeah, a cancer awareness organization should be able to do the same thing. One would think…

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