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Are the Super Bowl Commercials Still Relevant?

Published February 18, 2014 at 8:25 am

When it comes to advertising, everyone knows about the power and mythos behind the Super Bowl Commercial. It’s a rare time when ads are super-expensive and all eyes are thought to be trained on the same screen.

For decades, now, there’s been a long American tradition of commercials that try everything in this spot to be worthy of that prestigious title and airtime, from big-name guest stars to special effects and anticipated movie trailer debuts.

However, with the proliferation of other forms of media, is the Super Bowl Commercial more of a relic? True, last night’s game was certainly well-viewed, although only the fifth-highest rated of all time, according to

But the bigger question is whether the internet is really surpassing the capabilities of the once-unassailable Super Bowl timeslot for ads.

These days, even the spots that do run during the game sometimes appear on YouTube beforehand to drum up views, and some of the commercials ended with links to web content anyway. Others, such as a mini-episode of Seinfeld, received considerable online speculation as game day drew near.

Furthermore, multiple sources have noted that this year’s round of commercials seemed in direct opposition to the sort of envelope-pushing, questionable content noticed in the past. Instead of the perhaps unintentional racism of Groupon or the almost certainly intentional sexism of GoDaddy, the focus this year seemed to be almost entirely on pro-American imagery and generic family-friendly laughs, as the Associated Press reports. In contrast to this, advertisers might find freedom in online channels anyway.

It’s doubtful that this American ad institution is going to go anywhere anytime soon, but it’s still interesting to note the way things seem to be changing and what the potential ramifications could be later on.

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