As the Super Bowl approaches, viewers at home can expect to see far fewer commercials promoting woke politics. This year, advertisers are playing it safe and steering clear of controversial topics, fearing backlash from consumers who are already struggling in Joe Biden’s economy.
According to a recent report by Variety, corporations are opting for humor and non-controversial celebrities in their ads, in an attempt to resonate with consumers during these difficult times. Michelle Deignan, vice president of U.S. Oreo operations, part of Mondelez International, stated: “Life generally is more difficult for consumers. They are more constrained. I think you’ll see those brands that lean into nostalgia, humor, emotion at the Super Bowl… those brands will resonate with the consumer.”
It’s no surprise that corporations are more risk-averse than ever when it comes to high-profile marketing campaigns. Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, explained to Variety that advertisers are aware of the potential backlash they could face, thanks to the power of social media. He stated, “Nobody wants to put their career on the line with a certain piece of Super Bowl footage. There is a huge incentive to be cautious.”
This year, a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl costs a whopping $7 million, according to Ad Age. That’s a 75 percent increase compared to the past decade. With such high stakes, corporations are not willing to take any risks that could potentially harm their brand and their bottom line.
Based on what is seen in the commercials released ahead of the game, this year’s crop is avoiding controversy, perhaps due to last year’s backlash against Bud Light over its marketing deal with transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney and the politic of a presidential election year
— Super Bowl 2024 Online Free (@superbowlzone) February 6, 2024
Under Biden’s presidency, American households are facing record prices for necessities such as food, energy, rent, and insurance. The cost of living has significantly increased, leaving many families struggling to make ends meet. This has resulted in a surge in credit card debt as consumers turn to borrowing to cover their expenses.
It’s no wonder that corporations are being cautious with their Super Bowl commercials. The last thing they want is to be associated with any political or social controversies during these tough economic times. Ads that lean into nostalgia and humor are a safer bet, as they are less likely to alienate viewers and potentially damage their brand image.
In previous years, some brands have used the Super Bowl as a platform to promote their political agendas. For example, 84 Lumber’s controversial ad about the border wall sparked a backlash, and Budweiser’s commercial about immigration was met with mixed reviews not to mention there utter failure with trans-activist Dylan Mulvaney. However, this year, it seems that corporations are veering away from making any political statements and instead focusing on entertaining and engaging viewers.
Watch David Schwimmer (Ross) try to jog Jennifer Aniston’s (Rachel) memory in this unforgettable Uber Eats Super Bowl 2024. Watch the full version here: https://t.co/GkmG4okE4a #friends #jenniferaniston pic.twitter.com/6QWQlHxUtp
— Daily Commercials 🌐 (@CommercialsDay) February 7, 2024
As the Super Bowl approaches this Sunday, let’s hope that the commercials live up to expectations and provide a much-needed respite from the turmoil of the past year. Perhaps, this year’s conservative approach to advertisements will serve as a reminder to corporations that their audience’s well-being should always come first.