The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

February 9, 2013

Super Bowl ads great, but do we get the point?

By Lynn Saternow

---- — As we battle our way out of a recession, it was encouraging to see that some businesses could afford to pay almost $4 million for a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl.


That’s more than most of us will earn in a lifetime. That’s more than LeBron James makes per game!

The CEOs of those companies complain about a little increase in income tax, but they’ll spend huge amounts of the company’s money to participate in the most hyped event in history.

Consider that with the Academy Awards, the same 30-second slots are going for a mere $2 million each and it shows the impact that the NFL has on America. Then again, I don’t watch the Oscars so that may explain why it costs less.

However, how about a conspiracy theory? Maybe that blackout during the Super Bowl game was orchestrated so they could actually sell more commercials? When you are killing time during a blackout, you can air a lot of ads.

Unfortunately the power was still on during the Beyoncé halftime show. While I’ll admit the dancing was phenomenal, the songs were horrible. How many times can you sing “halo” or whatever it was she kept repeating again and again. But I think she did it live this time instead of lip-syncing.

Still, while companies fork out the $4 million for an ad, some of them are terrific, and of course, the ads are a story in themselves every year. Some years they are far more entertaining than the game itself.

And it’s interesting to see how the advertisers try to grab you. I love the Doritos ads every year because they are pretty darn funny. That one with the goat coming after his owner was great.

With Budweiser, you know what you are going to get every time – Clydesdales. While there have been some humorous ones throughout the years, that one about the baby horse that grew up to pull the Budweiser wagon but still remembers his trainer was very moving.

But I see a major problem with some commercials. The one about the stain that looked like Joe Montana on the 49ers jersey was brilliant, but like several ads every year, I remember the commercial but I can’t remember what it advertises.

I was bored by that ad about farmers that was narrated by Paul Harvey, but again, I fail to recall what truck brand it was advertising.

There’s something about several car or truck ads on TV today that don’t have anything to do with the product itself until the very end when they flash it. I have a hard time believing that those ads are worth the money. Especially $4 million.

The big question I have is this – does anyone really go out and buy a product they see advertised on TV during the Super Bowl? For me it’s the same with all commercials on TV. Just like with the radio, the ads are there for a few seconds and then they are gone.

That’s why newspapers are so great. The ads sit there in front of you and you can come back and find out where the real deals are being offered. And here’s the best part about ads in The Herald:

They don’t cost $4 million!

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for The Opinion Page.