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Companies opt out of Super Bowl commercial airtime in favor of charitable acts
Claudie Mcmichael |

One of the most popular sports events, the Super Bowl, looked a little different this year, but not just because of coronavirus restrictions. Many brands and companies have decided to not air Super Bowl commercials during the big football event.

The Covid-19 pandemic cut sales from advertisers for the Super Bowl, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Advertising was not the only change to happen due to coronavirus.

Brands that are known for airing memorable Super Bowl commercials during the big game have opted out due to the pandemic. Advertisers are having a difficult time creating content that does not ignore the unsettling climate created as a result of not just COVID-19, but the divided political climate and social justice movement from 2020.

Some of the companies not airing commercials include Coca-Cola and Hyundai, who have decided to put their advertising money toward charity instead.

Hyundai has had a long history of running its ads during the Super Bowl, having done so for 12 of the 13 past Super Bowls. Coca-Cola released a statement in regard to their decision. “This difficult choice was made to ensure we are investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times,” Coca-Cola said.

Budweiser, also joined brands sitting out of the Super Bowl this year.Monica Rutsgi, Budweiser’s vice president of marketing, said that the brand is still calculating how it would spend money on vaccine awareness but did acknowledge that it will be a “multi-million dollar” mission that includes giving ad time away to the nonprofit, Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative.

So far, the company has pledged to donate $5.6 million to vaccination awareness campaigns.

Little Caesars Enterprises Inc., Ford Motor Co., and Planters Nut & Chocolate Company also chose not to buy ads this year.

The famous snack company planned to instead donate over $5 million toward charitable acts, calling them “acts of substance.” The plan to position their brand “as a substantive alternative to other snacks,” according to CNBC.

Avocados From Mexico is ending its six year advertising streak, saying it is “reinventing” itself in time for the next Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is known for being a big money-making event. The cost of a 30-second in-game advertisement went up 9% from the last five years to $5.25 million. The 2020 Super Bowl generated 448.7 million in ad revenue.

Despite brands deciding to not air their traditional commercials, CBS is selling out on Super Bowl ad time, Variety reports.

CBS requested $5.5 million for a 30 second in-game advertisement.

There are still many companies willing to pay the price to air their ads during the Super Bowl, however, the untraditional shifts in marketing strategies of some companies were remarkable.

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Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant
Jahlil Rush is a Production Assistant to The Ticker.

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