Super Bowl LII aired this past Sunday evening, February 4th. While the game itself was immensely entertaining, many tuned in to watch what happened off the field, throughout the commercial breaks.
After all, while the Super Bowl is the pinnacle of success for professional football players, NFL coaches, and team owners, it’s also a great opportunity for marketing and advertising professionals along with the companies who pay for Super Bowl ads to run during the game.
Sadly, this opportunity was denied to genuine American heroes.
The American Veterans organization submitted a powerful Super Bowl ad that they intended to run during the game. Unfortunately, the NFL refused to allow the ad to be shown.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, after hearing that the ad entitled #PleaseStand was refused, proclaimed the day “Stand for the Flag Super Bowl Sunday.” He went on to encourage all South Carolina residents to stand for the national anthem, wherever they happen to be when watching the Super Bowl. Several organizations also started petitions or issued statements about the NFLs refusal to air the patriotic ad.
According to one petition, the ad was rejected because “The NFL caved to liberal pressure and is now REFUSING to run it.” The American Family Association called the NFLs action “blatant hypocrisy.” The NFL’s stated reason for rejecting the ad had to do with the organization’s policy against “political statements.”
Some found a way to get around the NFL’s refusal. Rep. Diane Blank of Tennessee ran an ad within the Volunteer State during the Super Bowl pregame. It “Urged all fans to stand for the national anthem.”
“It’s too bad the league does not respect the patriotism of the national anthem, ”she said during the ad. “All year players refused to stand for the national anthem and the league refused to accept an ad from the American Veterans urging everyone to stand.”
Ironically, the NFL’s refusal to run the American Veteran’s ad has likely given it more publicity than it might have enjoyed otherwise.
“If all things had worked out as intended, the ad would have probably quietly run in the program. It may not have ever left the stadium,” the spokesman for American Veterans said.
Although the petitions the rejection prompted as well as the statements from political leaders probably gave the ad #PleaseStand more attention than a simple airing, it seems the NFL still should have allowed the commercial to run because it was not “political” in nature according to American Veterans director Joe Chenelly.
“It simply asked people to choose to stand,” Chenelly said. “ The NFL made it harshly clear that it does not want veterans delivering this message anywhere near its biggest game. We think that’s wrong.”
From the inception of the Super Bowl in 1967, commercials have been a part of the televised game. The amount of money invested in these ads has of course gone up exponentially. In 2017, the cost for a 30-second ad to run during the big game was an unreal $5.02 million. This immense price tag means there is a great deal of pressure on advertising and marketing companies to come up with an entertaining, meaningful, funny or awe-inspiring ad that everyone will continue to talk about long after the final whistle of the game has blown.
This year’s game featured some ads that fit the bill. The commercials included funny and entertaining entries. Some of the best were Tide’s comical knock on all other commercials. Doritos and Mountain Dew also featured a pretty funny advertisement and was considered one of the best of the night.
The NFL even got into the act with an entertaining spoof on a classic movie dance scene featuring New York Giants players Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.
~ 1776 Christian