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Our senior PR manager, Dalma is crazy about American football. For her, Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year, but she is not alone with this feeling. Super Bowl’s viewership in the USA is huge: more than 100 million people. The Oscars had, by comparison, only 30 million viewers in 2017. And each year, Super Bowl ads are as popular as the game itself. People talk about them before the game, during the game, after the game, and even the next day. They share ads on Facebook and other social media platforms, journalists write about them. All in all, it has a huge PR value too.
But is Super Bowl ad space still the most valuable in the USA? The answer is not so obvious.
The cost of a Super Bowl ad is roughly $5 million for a thirty-second spot, not to mention the creative production, social media, and PR costs. It has already been raised that all the scrutiny can create problems; it is all too easy to offend people with a polarizing ad. But still, the 2018 Super Bowl presents some new and complex challenges for advertisers. We collected the new risk factors:
- One major problem is that the NFL is dealing with multiple protests. Colin Kaepernick started the trend by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. Some people salute the gesture while others believe it is disrespectful. Even President Donald Trump has called for team owners to fire or suspend players who kneel.
- Another area of concern for advertisers is the issue of brain damage among players. Recent studies suggest CTE among almost all NFL players. Perhaps as a result of these issues, NFL viewership is down more than 5% this year.
- On top of this, the Pyeong Chang Olympics begin just a few days after the Super Bowl. While the Olympics are a different and perhaps much less effective marketing platform, advertisers have to consider it as an alternative.
We are sure that Super Bowl LII will show great ads in 2018 again, but we look forward to seeing which big brands stay away from advertising this year.
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