Saying that Super Bowl LIII was uneventful when compared to last year’s is putting it mildly — and that’s not even considering the actual game, which even non sports fans realized was boring. I mean, last year the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots were neck and neck, racing up, scoring touchdown after touchdown… this year the first touchdown wasn’t even made until the fourth quarter.
However, what was more disappointing to a number of viewers were the commercials (and the famed halftime show, which would have been made significantly better if they had even just played out the “Spongebob” scene). Last year, a number of companies created funny, amusing or impactful, but regardless beautifully created commercials to air during the time slots which, Forbes reports, cost $5 billion per 30 second interval. These ranged from the hilarious Travel Australia “it’s not a movie” advertisement starring Danny McBride and the dual Doritos’ and Mountain Dew commercials featuring a lip sync battle between Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage, to the serious comments on the political climate made by T-Mobile in their commercial for equality. This is a trend that has followed for years, and there are many people who only watch the Super Bowl for those unforgettable commercials. This year’s commercials did not keep with the trend. The most outrage heard was over the 30 second CBS trailer for their show, “NCIS” where they blatantly hinted that a fan-favorite character who died several seasons ago (just before many stopped watching) is actually alive. At the most excitement seemed to come over the new “Avengers: Endgame” and “Captain Marvel” trailers which aired.
I don’t know why companies decided to do this. Yes, many of their commercials have been controversial, like the one on immigration Budweiser released in 2017, and caused some rage at the companies that create them. However, those commercials spark debate and discussion that needs to happen, hopefully in a non-violent manner where people with differences in opinion can sit and discuss why they feel differently. By cutting out those controversial commercials, not only are companies not taking a stand for what they believe (or at least making a truly memorable and amusing commercial that we can pull up on YouTube for years to come), they’re also wasting money. These companies should realize that people do not remember the commercials they paid $5 million to air during primetime Super Bowl hours. At all. The trailers were fun, but would have gotten just as many hits off-air, and shout out to Amazon’s Alexa commercial, which brought on a few chuckles. But, otherwise, certain commercials were only memorable to specific groups of people, like the Bubly commercial targeting fans of Michael Bublé or the Olay commercial pulling on the heart strings of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fans. Or, of course, The Washington Post commercial which The Mirror, as a news organization, found both honest and breathtaking; but again, even we’ll admit it only targeted a certain niche. Limited, targeted audiences, but none that could really touch everyone or make everyone, regardless of their walk of life, truly remember them.