The Backstop



The Super Bowl doesn’t air on TV in Argentina, as I quickly found out after moving there. Neither do the commercials. This is why I’ve spent the last four Super Bowl Sundays watching limited web casting and looking up old commercials to try and get the full experience.

For me, the Super Bowl and its commercials go hand-in-hand. One is nothing without the other. For those less football-oriented, the ads even become the main reason to watch the game.

These commercials that we absorb without question are the result of months of hard work and planning. And money.

In 2009, The New York Times estimated that 30-seconds of air time would cost a record $3 million. That’s $100,000 a second.

The hearts of corporations around America, if they have them, are hopeful for this year’s turnout as the recession begins to lighten.

Historically, the Super Bowl has been an event to air innovation and originality, such as Apple’s famous 1984 commercial.

Now it seems as if I’ve seen all the ads before. Companies would rather air something tested to be successful than branch out.

Ads during the game can be grouped into three main categories: reports, NPR’s, and here & now’s. Animals, babies, and scantily clad women are the most popular.

Indeed, every new commercial for the wildly successful E*Trade babies is always highly anticipated. To get the most out of it, E*Trade now offers outtakes online for material not approved for television airing.

In an age of TiVo and recording, commercials are easily bypassed. The Super Bowl is one of the few events always viewed live. This is the optimal time for advertisers to market their products efficiently and effectively.

The stations and companies are taking every possible advantage of the massive audience as commercial time has steadily increased over the years.

An average of 90 million people watch the Super Bowl each year, regardless of the teams or the location.

Commercials have become a part of the Super Bowl tradition, whether you enjoy them or not. They can be a good source of entertainment, but for the amount they are spending, I would at least like some more variety.

There’s a limit to the number of babies and monkeys I can watch in a single day.