Super Bowl XLIV isn’t until Sunday, but there’s already been a lot of talk about the Super Bowl commercials. Companies spend millions of dollars just to get their ads on the highest-rated telecast every year, and the commercials usually end up being more memorable than the game itself. In fact, many attribute the game’s high ratings to people watching it just for the commercials. In years past, most of the talk and controversy around the ads usually came after they aired, but thanks to the Internet and the Information Age, we are getting juicy bits much earlier.
First come the banned commercials. There are a lot of reasons a network may not accept an ad provided by a company. Usually if it’s too risque or political, they pass. Apparently any commercials dealing with homosexuality hit both those marks, and are automatically shot. First, we have a banned GoDaddy commercial featuring race car driver and spokeswoman Danica Patrick. The web hosting site is pretty familiar with banned and controversial Super Bowl ads, but this will be the first time it’s not because it’s hot babes and lewd metaphors. Take a look:
On a similar note, CBS (host of SuperBowl 44) has also banned an ad from ManCrunch.com, a male gay dating website. Possibly the man-on-man kissing had something to do with it.
So, is CBS anti-gay? I wouldn’t go that far, but they at least seem to be tailoring to their older audience by being on the right side of the political spectrum. A perfect example of this is the controversial Super Bowl ad they DID allow, featuring University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. The pro-life ad is getting a lot of pro-choice groups and individuals riled up, as the networks usually don’t allow advocacy ads. CBS has apparently changed their position on such commercials, but that doesn’t seem to calm the fires.
Aside from the hypocrisy of allowing beer ads with sexuality but not these seemingly tame commercials, the interesting story here may be the positive side of having your ad banned from the Super Bowl. GoDaddy seems to relish having their ads banned, as Internet goers naturally want to see what was so bad. It’s human nature to be curious about what other tell you to avoid. This could be a new marketing strategy for companies, though a few million hits on your website can’t match up to 95 million views during the telecast.
Super Bowl XLIV airs Sunday February 7th live at 6:25 ET, 9:25 PT on CBS.