According to Nielsen Media Research, this Super Bowl was the most-watched ever, with a record 97.5 million viewers. This kind of audience does not get lost on advertisers, of course, and explains their readiness to spend $2.7 million dollars for a 30 seconds spot. Fox tried to maintain a semblance of objectivity and declared early on that it would decline ads from political candidates. It should be noted however that about 15 to 20 percent of Super Bowl ads go towards promoting the network’s own programs, or an equivalent of $46 million in ad spending. . .
In true Super Bowl tradition, I thought I would join the lineup of ad reviewers here and here and here, and provide my own rating of Super Bowl 2008 ads, based on an environmental scorecard. The results are not pretty. I was looking for heroes, but found villains mostly, and only one hero. Here is the list, nine altogether, of the Super Bowl 2008 Ads Environmental Villains:
- Bridgestone: When is driving fast good for the environment? Where is the 55 mph recommended speed limit?
- Audi: Power, speed, money, shoudn’t car manufacturers start selling something else?
- SobeLife Water: The Pepsi folks should know better than to sell bottled water masquerading as vitamins.
- Hyundai Genesis: More horsepower, macho advertising; you would not know global warming is happening.
- Toshiba HD DVD: No reason to cheer on my book. Does the world need yet another big toy?
- Toyota Al New 2008 Sequoia: What happens when only one person drives the thing? I am sorry but I can’t stand seeing one more SUV commercial, even from Toyota.
- GM Yukon: It’s a hybrid, but it’s still an SUV
- Shaq Vitamin Water: Coke, you are no better than Pepsi.
- Ford: Of course, you are part of the big guys’ club . . . Tough, your car can take anything.
The file for the Not So Green Exposure Project keeps getting fatter and fatter.
As for the hero, I would like to compliment Barack Obama for making the environment a prominent part of his Super Bowl ad:
The Obama ad did not appear on Fox network, but in television markets serving the 24 markets that are in play on Super Tuesday and beyond.
If you were to rate the Super Bowl ads would your scorecard look any different?