Get the latest in kids’ media, tech, and news right to your inbox
Follow Common Sense
Super Bowl Ads 2014: Bare-Chested Men, Beckham's Bod, and Beer Tweets
If you want your brand to get noticed at the Super Bowl, go small -- as in, screen size. Online activity -- shares, views, hashtags, posts, comments -- are the new measures of a Super Bowl ad's success. According to Unruly Media, the top 10 most shared ads from Super Bowl 2013 generated a total of 10.2 million shares across Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere. Of course, big, splashy TV commercials are still a driving force behind Super Bowl Sunday. What better way to get viewers to Tweet about your ad than with David Beckham's bare bod or Danica Patrick in a muscle suit?
Take a look at these examples:
Super Bowl movie trailers (not age-appropriate for younger kids) -- from Transformers 4 to Amazing Spider-Man 2 -- have been running on YouTube, racking up likes and shares in advance of their releases.
Lots of these commercials are fun, and let's face it: they're a part of our cultural conversation. But they also make viewers -- and kids -- a part of the product-selling cycle. According to Common Sense Media's new white paper, traditional advertising and its effects on kids has been well researched, but no one knows the impact of these new-media platforms on kids. And the lack of research has implications for kids' health and well-being.
It's not only that many of the Super Bowl advertisements are for junk food, beer, age-inappropriate movies, and violent video games, it's also that the new marketing is insidious. Advertising to children and youth used to consist primarily of 30-second TV ads; now it includes product placements, immersive websites, advergaming, viral marketing, mobile ads, social-media marketing, and precise behavioral and location targeting. More than ever before, advertising and entertainment are inextricably linked. And when these ads are for products that aren't age-appropriate -- like this year' s Anheuser-Busch Bud Light ads -- it's really difficult for parents to manage kids' interactions.
These new methods mean that parents will have to re-strategize to help kids develop ad awareness. No longer can you simply hit the mute button during beer commercials or fast-forward through the Viagra ads. Now, teaching your kids to view media critically -- to understand what's being sold and what methods are used to sell products -- is an essential skill. With Game Day advertiser revenue climbing to $300 million, Super Bowl Sunday seems like the perfect time to start. Learn how to begin the conversation.