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The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl

Author: Amee Wittbrodt
Description:
  • Gain an understanding of the large number of viewers the Super Bowl draws yearly.
  • Explore how much a 30-second ad costs during the game.
  • Analyze why this event is so popular and why advertisers will pay such a high price for 30 seconds of time.
  • Consider the content of Super Bowl ads and analyze why those products appear in the ads.

This packet presents basic information about the Super Bowl and asks students to take a critical look at the price of advertising and the content of those ads. Students will analyze why this event is so popular and think about why advertisers will pay such a high price for only 30 seconds of time.

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Tutorial

Background Information

THE SUPER BOWL normally receives some of the highest ratings of all television programs. Generally, about half of the United States population of 290 million people will watch all or at least part of the Super Bowl each year. This is true even when the teams playing are not the favorite teams of most of the viewers watching. In addition, many people who watch the Super Bowl don’t really even like football, no matter who’s playing.

Advertisers are attracted to this large audience and spend as much as $3 million for thirty seconds of airtime. That $3 million does not include the money that is spent actually producing the commercials, many of which are highly entertaining. In fact, polls tell us that as many as 15% of the people who watch do so solely for the expensive and entertaining commercials that debut during the game.

  • Why does the game get tremendous media attention every year?
  • What makes advertisers want to put their ads on this once-a-year sporting event?
  • Why do the ads cost over $2.7 million for just one 30 second ad?
  • Who decides what order the ads air during the game?
  • How do advertisers create buzz about their ads, even before the game is broadcast?
  • How many ads are for alcohol? Why is this so?
  • How do advertisers make money from their Super Bowl spots?

Discussion Questions

  1. T/F? The Super Bowl normally receives some of the highest ratings of all television programs.
  2. T/F? Every year the Super Bowl is broadcast on a different station.
  3. T/F? Everything advertised during the Super Bowl is healthy and good for you.
  4. T/F? Super Bowl XLV was the most-watched night on any network in at least 20 years.
  5. According to data released by Fox, the 2011 Super Bowl drew a U.S. TV audience of ___________________, topping the 2010 final tally by almost 5 million.
  6. What TV show used the 2011 Super Bowl to help draw in viewers? This show "drew 26.8 million viewers -- more than double its normal TV audience -- for a special episode that aired immediately after the NFL game."
  7. How much money does it cost for a 30-second commercial during the game?
  8. Consider this: In 2007, a 60 second spot cost Revlon $5.2 million just to buy the air time. They also had to pay to produce the commercial and pay Sheryl Crow. Why would Revlon pay extra to have Sheryl Crow in their Super Bowl commercial?
  9. What makes advertisers want to put their ads on this once-a-year sporting event? Why do the ads cost so much money for just one 30 second ad? Explain.
  10. The two most frequently advertised items during the Super Bowl are alcohol and fast food/pop. These items are bad for our health, but are advertised in a fun, positive way. Why does the Super Bowl allow this type of advertising?
  11. According to the article, how is it possible to gain 60 pounds while watching the Super Bowl? Explain.
  12. Generally, about half of the United States population of 290 million people will watch all or at least part of the Super Bowl each year. This is true even when the teams playing are not the favorite teams of most of the viewers watching. In addition, many people who watch the Super Bowl don't really even like football, no matter who's playing. Why is the Super Bowl so popular then? Explain.