Search the Site

Why It's Good to Get Your Commercial Banned From the Super Bowl

Not many people have a lot of money to throw around these days, so how is the recession affecting ad spending on the super-expensive Super Bowl?
Even after NBC lowered its ad prices, reports the Associated Press, FedEx and General Motors pulled their TV commercials, and Playboy isn’t having its annual Super Bowl party.
A 30-second Super Bowl commercial can cost $3 million. Worse yet, a new study by Stephen Blessing, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Tampa, challenges the effectiveness of such ads. After questioning Super Bowl viewers from past years, he found that:

While an advertisement may be particularly funny or strike some other emotional chord, viewers frequently misidentified the exact product that each ad was promoting, or the specific brand.

Maybe G.M. should try the same ad strategy as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): get your commercial banned from the Super Bowl. PETA made a sexually explicit commercial that NBC wasn’t comfortable with — one that, just maybe, PETA knew NBC wouldn’t be comfortable with? — and got lots of press without having to actually run the ad.
The PETA commercial claims that vegetarians have better sex. It doesn’t fit NBC’s standards, nor does it fit The Times‘s; but here’s Whoopi Goldberg‘s PG-rated reenactment on the The View: