The Super Bowl attracts millions of viewers who care little about the game itself, showing up for the experience and the ads in what remains the media’s greatest marketing showcase, with advertisers paying roughly $5.5 million for each 30-second spot. As always, the host network also sought to leverage the millions of eyeballs trained on the TV to promote an array of assets from its parent company, ViacomCBS, foremost among them the streaming service Paramount+. If even a fraction of viewers return, that qualifies as a major win.
So what worked best, and what didn’t, in the context of a very unusual Super Bowl? Here are some highlights and lowlights from the game coverage, as well as a few of the pregame moments:
A message from the Boss.
Commercials don’t really belong in this conversation, but nothing better addressed the politics of the moment than Jeep’s ad featuring Bruce Springsteen, who offered an understated but sobering message regarding unity and common ground. “Fear has never been the best of who we are,” Springsteen said poignantly. For some, a commercial might not be the ideal venue to tackle that, but it was the most direct attempt to acknowledge the dark clouds that have swirled over America in the lead-up to the game.
Amanda Gorman scores again.
Frankly, there was room for skepticism about the poet — who dazzled at the presidential inauguration — being enlisted for the Super Bowl as well, but her ode to essential workers provided the perfect garnish to the pre-kickoff festivities.
The NFL’s anti-racism PSA.
The NFL delivered a strong public-service announcement regarding its financial commitment to a campaign against systemic racism, but the failure to make any reference to Colin Kaepernick — the outspoken quarterback who hasn’t found a home in the league — felt like a glaring oversight.
Vince Lombardi returns … for a pep talk.
For no particular reason the NFL brought out a creepy-looking computer-generated version of the legendary Green Bay Packers coach to deliver a rousing speech about overcoming adversity. The coach himself would have benched whoever came up with the idea.
Too many Flags penalties
Although penalties happen throughout a football game the flags were one sided and was given to mostly the Kansas city chiefs it became clear that they favored the other team and instead of letting them show their talent and play the game out it did not seem fair.
Overall the Superbowl usually adds a sense of togetherness but this year seemed strange and unfair to say the least.
chiefs 9-31 Tampa bay