Saturday, November 20, 2010

Is A $3 Million Super Bowl Ad Irresponsible?

The final numbers are in ... the cost of one 30-second television commercial during this year's Super Bowl XLV is $3 million. (Reuters)

$3 million is quite a bit of money during the best of times; but in today's beleaguered economy, when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics gauges the current rate of unemployment at 9.6%, it may feel irresponsible to some.

The Super Bowl is not just a football game … it is a cultural phenomenon that reaches far and wide within the United States. Last year’s game was watched by over 106 million people (Huffington Post) and 20 million attended a Super Bowl party where they consumed 28 million pounds of potato chips, 1 billion chicken wings, 53.5 million pounds of avocadoes and 325.5 million gallons of beer (Despardes).

Clearly, the Super Bowl is big money; money that many advertisers believe is well spent. But, the value of investing $3 million on Super Bowl advertising this year may be considered irresponsible when one considers the health of our current economy.

One might ask: How could we use that $3 million in a more humanitarian way? Below are a few ways that advertisers could redirect those ad dollars to extend a helping hand to our neighbors.

• Feed 21,000,000 men, women and children facing hunger (Feeding America)
• Collect and care for 5,000 marine birds after an oil spill (Discovery News)
• Screen 30,000 women for breast cancer (Cost Helper)
• Introduce the joy of reading to 1,500,000 children (First Book)
• Provide 3,000,000 people clean water for one year (Charity Water)
• Support 20,000 young men in Boy Scouts for one year (Boy Scouts)
• Offer food and shelter to 60,000 people for one day (Red Cross)
• Train 150 guide dogs to assist blind individuals (Service Dog Central)
• Save 52,930 acres of Amazon Rainforest (Ecology Fund)
• Grant 600 students a $5,000 scholarship

With 14.8 million U.S. citizens out of work, is an advertiser being irresponsible when they buy ad time during the most expensive time slot of the year? 

Many might argue yes.

Check out the Super Bowl infographic at:

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