By all accounts, this year's Super Bowl will be a mixed bag of advertisements, enticing its audience in ways both provocative -- and playful. From suggestive ads from Cialis to Visa spots featuring super heroes, there will be a little bit for every member of the family.
Spider-Man and Captain America for Visa. The Muppets for Pizza Hut. Marketers this year are making an effort to put some wholesomeness back into the big game after the Janet Jackson peep show, according to a recent Reuters article. And for good reason. CBS received major backlash for the wardrobe snafu during last year's game. More recently, ABC was admonished for Nicollette Sheridan's towel dropping scene in an advertisement during a Monday Night football game.
But not all is good and pure. According to a recent USA Today story, the Cialis and Unilever ads are sure to raise a few eyebrows. Cialis will air an ad for its erectile dysfunction product, and the Unilever ad for Degree for Men will include GI Joe-like action figures "showing a 'Mama's Boy' doll being pushed around by his Mama doll." Thankfully, Fox did reject a Super Bowl ad which reveals a shot of Mickey Rooney's derriere, something I think we can all agree was a good thing.
Super Bowl advertising is just about as important as the game itself to marketers who spend big bucks to reach the enormous audience the game attracts. This year 30-second spots are selling for an average of $2.4 million. It's tough to turn away that kind of money if you're Fox, even if the content of an ad might be questionable to some viewers. And you can't fault the advertisers who see huge opportunities during the event.
One day we'll probably be able to choose the "version" of the SuperBowl we want to watch: Click here for G-rated, or choose the "For Adults Only" event. (Now, there's money in that idea.) Until then, there's always TiVO.