After serious political forays in 2017 and 2018, ads focused much more on levity in this year’s Super Bowl.
A recent Morning Consult poll showed that two-thirds of Americans don’t think political ads have any place in the Super Bowl. Morning Consult CEO Michael Ramlet said, “The Super Bowl is definitely the wrong place to make a statement.”
He goes on to say, “The biggest disconnect between the general public and [advertising] agencies and companies is this idea that you have to take stands to win Gen Z or millennial. That’s not what the data shows.”
And yet, in a broader sense, marketers are grappling with how and when to be politically and socially engaged in advertising. They’re experimenting with when to be light-hearted and when to be heavy-handed. Whether to take a stand and when to steer clear.
PR agency Edelman released a study that found that 40% of people bought a product for the first time for the reason they appreciated the brand’s position on a controversial societal or political issue. Founder Richard Edelman said, “Consumers expect brands to lead the movement for change and address critical problems.”
How brands navigate these opposing pressures will be interesting to watch.
Here are some other cartoons I’ve drawn about Super Bowl advertising over the years:
“Marketers’ Super Bowl Party” January 2003
“Super Bowl Advertising” February 2007
“The Social Super Bowl” February 2012
“Super Bowl Advertising” February 2018