These Brands Said No to Running Super Bowl Commercials

Stella Artois, Burger King and other companies have decided against showing their wares on the year’s most-watched broadcast.

Comments: 40

  1. And for any marketer who has worked on Super Bowl ad, it is far more than about the "ad" and outdated notion it about just attracting eyeballs for those watching the game. Smart marketers leverage their SB ad investment through PR (and earning coverage and conversation, much like this story), digital feeds and re-use of the ad itself post-Super Bowl. Those who look at it as "spending $5M for people to see an ad" in hopes it is all about one time, in-game only, are wasting their money. Most will get more than attention and ROI for earned attention and organic. It is truly the one time of year people actually care about - and don't want to do everything they can to avoid - ads.

  2. Stella Artois? Never heard of it. Love the Clydesdales, but wouldn’t buy that beer, either. Give me Hooligans (WA state) or Black Butte beer. And they didn’t need a Super Bowl ad. I watch the Super Bowl ads for their uniqueness- not their products. The rest of the year, the mute button. More and more with these targeted ads. Online ads...I scroll past them. Too many, too repetitive, too glitzy with no real info on the product. Good luck Stella- smart move.

  3. @Jo Williams My first thought was "never heard of Stella Artois?" until I saw your mention of Black Butte. Now I understand!

  4. @mja Yes, but can Jo find Belgium on a map?

  5. The ads are entertainment that has become more suspenseful than both the game and the half-time show. I think that speaks more to the common lack of drama in the game and to the cheezy glitziness of the usual half-time show. Having said that, If forty or so ads run and four are memorable that's a 10% win ratio. Which will not get you into any Hall of Fame except the Advertising Hall of Fame, where the bar is set so low an ant could pole vault it.

  6. The last Super Bowl I watched was also the first called that. My team was upset and I just saw that a 30 second commercial cost $55,000.00 (yes, the comma and period are in the correct place !) for that game. I will Google the final score of this year’s match up, thanks.

  7. A good time to remind everyone that sports are about money. Remember when LeBron James tweeted "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," then decided that wasn't true when it came to those fighting injustice in Hong Kong because it threatened...LeBron's financial interests? It's only a game? Not anymore.

  8. @JohnBarleycorn It is overly hyped entertainment, like the old Roman Coliseum. If it works for you great. Me, I will sit it out and do something that I enjoy more.

  9. I haven't seen an ad on TV (not counting the muted monitors I catch a glimpse of at the gym) in 5 years since cutting the cable and switching to streaming. Super Bowl viewership, like award show audiences, has declined each year for the past decade. My last Bowl was 2014. It's become a drawn-out, over-hyped bore.

  10. i start watching about 45 after kickoff and fwd through these ads. The game is better for sure this way.

  11. The end of Western civilization commenced when the first advertisement hit Television some 70 years ago.

  12. I suspect more and more people are muting or fast forwarding through even the Super Bowl ads, as happens with all other times of the year. Probably a smart move to decline.

  13. Stella, yuck. Belgian Budweiser.

  14. @Michael J You give it too much credit! I've heard than in it's home land it's like PBR here. Lower end blue collar beer.

  15. 1. The Stella campaign sounds much more fun. 2. I can’t imagine how a Facebook ad will look, but I won’t bother watching.

  16. About half the money spent on ads is wasted. The problem is, no one knows which half is wasted.

  17. @Tahuaya Armijo “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.” John Wanamaker (1838-1922) was a very successful United States merchant, religious leader and political figure, considered by some to be a "pioneer in marketing”.

  18. @Tahuaya Armijo Nice "one" even if it's not yours. Can you say, "John Wanamaker"? That's the story anyway.

  19. 10 minutes of football and 35 minutes of ads in 4 hours. And that's the biggest cultural event in the American calendar.

  20. @eirsatz Nicely said!

  21. I drink only craft IPAs. How do I decide which one? I try them and if I like it, I buy it again. What a concept!

  22. And here I was hoping they said No because the sport is harming players and risking their lives.

  23. $42 Billion in TV advertising and falling? The crowds have been leaving broadcast TV for all the right reasons;' its one way top down 'communication' with no feedback. Isn't that the way most large corporations work? Does that mean they would get the message?

  24. Gee does this mean that maybe we'll actually be able to see more than one play at a time before the next commercial?

  25. I've grown immune to TV ads. They are so prolific and repetitive that I get so angered by their intrusion into whatever I am watching that I vow to never support their product or service.

  26. What is lost in the conversation i, we, the consumers, pay for this. We pay for everything. We pay for the relentless brain washing that convinces us that our impulsive wants, triggered by clever propaganda, are actually needs. Bah! Back in the early to mid 50s Mom said that getting a television was inviting the enemy into your living room. Ain't nothing contradicted that in the intervening years. Lived without tv until I married at 49, and would happily trash it now, but there is another person to consider.

  27. What is this "Super Bowl" I've been hearing so much about?

  28. @Chicago Guy It's uh.. when uh.. your team wins matche.. ahh never mind. I give up. It's hard to explain SuperBowl to a Chicagoan, coz them Bears ain't seen one!

  29. Thank you for not buying ads, use the funds for a social good.

  30. I don't know anyone who stays in the room to watch commercials. Dead space and waste of $.

  31. I seriously hope the Winona ad is better than the linked to here; that ad is pathetic and in no way makes me way to try out the website builder. I have noticed that a lot of the Super Bowl ads have gone down in quality. They used to be very quirky and funny (remember the Wassup ads from Budweiser?), but in the last Super Bowl most of them were trying to be politically correct and drive home broader social messages. That's a major turn off for me.

  32. @PK Your comment raises an interesting question for me: When entertainment/merchandising efforts are at odds with fundamental principles, which should win out? Certainly the world would be a dull place if the former always took a back seat to the latter. And I agree that the Superbowl broadcast is an entertainment event, not a civic exercise. I do think, though, that even in the realm of government many people put entertainment ahead of principle. That's why the front page reads like a sports page these days.

  33. In our home we call it “Badvertizing” and endeavor not to buy the product. Ever.

  34. We typically switch to Puppy Bowl during ad breaks and halftime in the game. Anyway, ads in football games are for actually talking to your friends who have gathered, getting another beer, returning the previous beer in the bathroom, and refilling your bowl with chili. Then the next day, we can watch the commercials that got the best reviews on YouTube. If we feel like it. With the mouse hovering over Fast Forward.

  35. I confess to feeling hopeful, when I saw the headline, that these decisions were based on some humanitarian principle - opposition to brain damage and to screen addiction came to mind as possibilities. No foul can be called on these companies because the thinking was purely economic, of course, but the story did leave me feeling as deflated as some footballs I once heard about (but that's an old story, as inapplicable here as altruistic ideals).

  36. I note that Donald Trump will have two ads during the Super Bowl. Paying back Fox for over three years of intensely biased support on its “news” cable channel.

  37. @Steve Projan Paying them back with campaign money - not his own, per his style.

  38. It's still just a football game, right?

  39. The super what? Not interested.

  40. I could care less. I sick of American football's massive marketing of this "event". This bunch of human growth hormone added, steroid-pumped up animals playing with all their pads and protection is nothing when compared to the World's finest (and most popular) team sport: Football. I mean soccer, of course.