Be quiet! The commercials are on

Zach Rever, R2 Op-Ed Editor

Super Bowl LIV is right around the corner and while many Americans will have no interest in the outcome of the game, we can all root for one thing: good commercials.

According to The Wall Street Journal, in the last decade, the cost for a 30-second Super Bowl commercial has nearly doubled, reaching the steep price of $5.6 million for this upcoming game.

While the price for a commercial has grown steadily, the amount of people watching the big game has decreased, with the 2019 Super Bowl having the lowest number of viewers in the last 10 years. This information, combined with the recent rise in social media advertising, raises the question: Is paying for Super Bowl commercials worth it?

The simple answer to this question is yes, but it’s far more complicated than that. The real reason why these commercials are so effective is because of what happens off the big screen. The use of social media has allowed Super Bowl commercials to last much longer than the 30 seconds that they’re on TV. Super Bowl ads posted on YouTube and other social media platforms (either before or after the big game) generate even more viewers than the ones who just see them live on TV. This makes the price of a Super Bowl commercial more valuable than ever, despite the increase in price.

Ads that have benefited from social media platforms include the Stella Artois “Change Up the Usual” ad which had 48 million views on online video platforms the Monday after last year’s Super Bowl, and Pepsi and Doritos ads had 72 thousand and 30 thousand mentions on Twitter, respectively, during the game. With the emergence of social media, the marketing power of a Super Bowl commercial is  far more influential than ever before.

Another important thing that gives Super Bowl commercials an edge over traditional commercials or social media advertising is that people look forward to watching commercials. When people watch habitual TV, commercial breaks become the perfect time to grab a snack, check your phone or go to the bathroom, but during the Super Bowl, fans intently watch the commercials, giving the commercials more power.

The National Retail Federation reported that 23 percent of people consider the commercials the most important part of the Super Bowl and that 76 percent see Super Bowl ads as entertainment. The overall positive attitude of viewers towards Super Bowl commercials makes these commercials more effective because people are actually excited to view them.

The price of a Super Bowl commercial does not show any signs of declining in the future, and while social media advertising has become more popular and less costly than a commercial for the big game, the relationship between Super Bowl commercials and social media makes a commercial more valuable than ever before.