Part of the communal entertainment of the Super Bowl are watching the creative commercials. For many years now, it’s become a tradition of sorts.
In 2021, the tradition is facing an unusual — to say the least — business environment.
It’s no secret those ad spots are very expensive, costing millions for seconds of airplay. It’s a valuable captive audience, but this year is the first with a pandemic bearing down on businesses like the sun over a valley.
And Budweiser, Coca-cola and Pepsi, at least with their signature brands, are cutting back.
Budweiser isn’t the only big company skipping this year’s game. Coca-Cola (KO) and Pepsi (PEP) both announced in recent weeks they won’t be buying ads during Super Bowl LV. The sports spectacle has been “struggling to attract the degree of advertising demand it usually draws” because of the pandemic’s economic affects on company’s bottom lines, said research firm eMarketer. For example, Coca-Cola recently slashed 2,000 jobs as it grapples with a decline in revenue from lost sales in restaurants. Pepsi said it would rather focus its marketing efforts on its sponsored Super Bowl halftime show.Budweiser is skipping the Super Bowl for the first time in nearly four decades – CNN
Can you blame these businesses for reducing their ad buying? There is another angle. How many people will be watching on traditional TV in 2021? How many are watching through streaming TV? How will these viewing numbers compare to prior years?
These are all good questions, and we don’t have the answers. My suspicion is that the number of viewers has been declining. Perhaps the ad spends aren’t just being cut from the Super Bowl but from traditional television in general.
This isn’t to say that this year’s Super Bowl — and honestly I don’t even know as I’m writing this who will be competing this year (that’s how invested I am in the NFL these days — hey, the Seahawks are out, that’s all I know!).
Ok, I felt guilty in that last paragraph so I just googled the answer: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
No wonder a west coaster like me doesn’t know who’s in it 😉 You planning on tuning into the big game this year? Any commercials you’re looking forward to watching?