It’s the one time of the year we turn off our ad blockers: Superbowl Commercials

Makenna Mason, Reporter

The Super Bowl is a time for football, food, family, cringy halftime shows and, most importantly, comedic commercials. According to Property Casualty 360 one in four people of Super Bowl viewers were watching purely for the commercials in 2015. 

So what’s the hype around the commercials? If you’ve ever watched one you’d know that companies put a LOT of effort into these commercials. Around $5.6 million worth of effort for just 30 seconds according to

Companies fight for the most “viral” video of the night yet most of us forget about them by the end of the week. So how beneficial are Super Bowl commercials to the companies and what makes a good commercial? 

According to Stanford University, they can be effective, although the “effectiveness” of a Super Bowl commercial is not what most people expect. Super Bowl commercials purpose is to raise awareness of the brand than to raise revenues according to Koeppel Direct. Stanford says Super Bowl commercials “do not drive new sales when two of the same type.” For example sodas like Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew are both very popular brands but they tend to cancel eachother out. But beer generates a large revenue per household. Yet sodas do not profit nearly as much as beer. Then again Budweiser paid $1.4 billion to be the official beer of the NFL until 2022 according to Daniel Roberts from Fortune. 

After asking a handful of people what their favorite commercial of this year, many said things like “the one with Toby from the Office!” or “the one with Lil Nas.” This could be because the punch line does not involve the brand. The only commercials they knew the brand was the Jeep and Tide Pod commercials. The Jeep commercial played off the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day.” Bill Murray lives the same day over and over, and everytime he wakes up he’s excited to ride his Jeep after stealing Phil the Groundhog. The Tide commercial had a running joke coming up throughout the whole game. Tide’s commercial was about a guy getting a stain on his shirt and his friend told him he could wash it later, and it would be okay. Prompting the question for the rest of the game, when is later? At the very end he’s seen wearing a clean shirt as a very old man only to get another stain.

102 million people watched the Super Bowl this year to watch the Chiefs and the 49ers square off in one the biggest sports spectating events of the year. So what makes a commercial that can be remembered by that many people? According to Psychology Today to remember things well it’s to put it to a song and perform an act of repetition. A marketer Steve Olenski at Forbes explains that a tagline or a jingle is important, or a memorable character. It’s safe to say that song and repetition is important to remembering things.

Some popular commercial was Post Malone commercial advertising Bud Light’s new seltzer which was easy to remember because the basis of the commercial was Post deciding between normal Bud Light or the Seltzer. Olenski also found that humor is often described to what makes a memorable commercial. 

Well possibly no one can ever truly predict how well an audience will receive something. According to USA Today Ad Meter, essentially the Rotten Tomatoes for Super Bowl ads, ranked (an up and coming pet supply chain) 3rd in their top five commercials from the year 2000. Yet the pet chain went out of business and went bankrupt not long after. Super Bowl commercials are a huge gamble a company can make. One sophomore more thinks they are “well thought out and well planned, and very expensive.” They also agreed that a memorable commercial they have to be “funny or unexpected” although it doesn’t always help with remembering the brand itself. They explain that “something familiar with the brand or it’s repetitive” helps them remember. 


“Are well thought out and well planned and very expensive” 

“Funny or unexpected… something familiar with the brand or repetitive.”