In a time when we are constantly bombarded by advertisements and media messages, Super Bowl Sunday is perhaps the one day a year when commercial breaks don’t automatically mean it’s time to get off the couch and rush to finish some small task before the television program comes back on.
In fact, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most watched and highly anticipated days of television in the United States; this year, an estimated average of 108 million people watched the Super Bowl.
Knowing that the Super Bowl always draws a huge audience, advertisers dished out millions of dollars for the opportunity to make an impression upon viewers. Reports say that a 30-second television commercial cost companies upwards of $3.8 million to air during this year’s Super Bowl — a price tag that excludes the cost of production.
Because companies were spending a record amount of money to advertise during the Super Bowl, they tried to create memorable commercials that audiences would enjoy, with varying success.
Perhaps the most buzzed about commercial this year is Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser “Brotherhood” ad, in which a Budweiser Clydesdale horse is reunited with his owner after years of separation.
Anheuser-Busch, and more specifically Budweiser, was already receiving attention for the ad before it officially aired in the Super Bowl. The commercial was released early online, and Good Morning America even ran a special preview on Feb. 2, heralding it as possibly the “most heartwarming ad ever.”
The commercial quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. It is not only ranking high in countless lists of this year’s top Super Bowl commercials, but it is also close to setting new records. According to TIME, “Brotherhood” is the most shared commercial of Super Bowl 2013 and the third most shared commercial of all time.
Other commercials were less successful in their endeavors to gain audience’s favor.
One Go Daddy commercial featured supermodel Bar Refaeli locking lips with geeky actor Jesse Heiman. This commercial has been a particularly hot topic. People across social media have complained about numerous aspects of the ad, from the objectification of women to the sheer discomfort of witnessing one of the most awkward commercial kisses of all time.
“It’s disgusting. I’m repulsed by it,” said Amanda Cirino ’16. “It made me want to turn away from the television and change the channel.”
Cirino’s feelings were shared by the majority of people who watched the Super Bowl: The ad ranked dead last in USA Today’s Ad Meter survey of Super Bowl 2013 commercials.
There was also controversy in late January over the Volkswagen commercial featuring the Jamaican-sounding white corporate employee who just wants to cheer up his coworkers and the “boss man” with a ride in his Beetle. New York Times columnist Charles Blow denounced the commercial as “blackface with words,” but it still retained enough popularity to rank within the top 20 of USA Today’s Ad Meter.
And in spite of it’s winning Budweiser ad, Anheuser-Busch’s Black Crown and Beck’s Sapphire commercials left audiences cold, claiming three of the bottom five spots in the USA Today Ad Meter survey.
Of course, the commercials are not the only reason why many non-football fans watched the Super Bowl: Beyoncé’s highly anticipated halftime show wowed audiences and was generally lauded across social media and news websites.
According to Twitter analysts, 5.5 million tweets during the Super Bowl were about Beyoncé’s halftime show, during which she performed numbers such as “Single Ladies” and “Halo,” all while dancing with an energy and stamina that could make Olympic athletes jealous. The surprise Destiny’s Child reunion, which had been rumored prior to the Super Bowl but denied, was also an exciting treat for longtime fans.
Beyoncé spent much of her time on stage dancing rather than singing, but this certainly did not detract from the entertainment value of the halftime show. The visuals were also stunning, incorporating lights, pyrotechnics and smoke machines to create a visual experience that will be difficult to rival in the future.
Senior Julie Colangelo said of the performance, “I loved it! I thought she was beautiful and just so talented.
The choreography was wonderful, and who could not love a Destiny’s Child reunion?”
Junior Erin Sullivan agreed, saying Beyoncé’s performance highlighted the evening: “Super Bowl was not as exciting as last year but still a good game; but Beyoncé stole the show in my mind.”
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