Traditionally one of the most-watched programs on American television each year, the Super Bowl is viewed by millions of people, not only for the football game, but also for the entertaining, big-budget commercials.
This year, when the Broncos and Seahawks take the field Sunday, Feb. 2, faculty from MSU's Advertising + Public Relations department will be ready and watching from Pizza House in East Lansing, Mich., where they will analyze Super Bowl XLVIII advertisements and share that analysis with media outlets. It will mark the department's 17th consecutive Super Bowl ad rating party.
"We started the party 17 years ago because media would call our department asking then chair Bruce VandenBerg which ads he liked, and the press was calling me, too," said Robert Kolt, instructor and co-creator of the Super Bowl ad rating party. "We decided maybe we should watch the game together. We invited other faculty and formally rated the ads. The party became popular with media and faculty, so like the Super Bowl, the event has grown into an MSU tradition."
Faculty will judge each commercial on creativity, production and overall quality, and like years past, the data will be sent to media outlets to use during the post-bowl news cycle. With this year's 30-second Super Bowl commercials estimated at having a $4-million price tag, faculty will evaluate what companies they feel received the best bang for their buck.
"We are looking forward to a good year of Super Bowl ads. GM is back in the game along with most all the major auto companies," Kolt said. "Along with humor and animated animals, Super Bowl ads are becoming more like short films with productions spending millions to make great ads. Even at $4 million for a 30-second spot, the Super Bowl delivers more viewers across all demographic audiences than any other American TV event and it's a good buy for companies."
What Kolt doesn't mention above is how in demand he is for interviews by major media outlets around the country in the week prior to and after the Super Bowl. He has become one of the most sought-after experts on Super Bowl ads in the country. On Super Bowl Sunday, you will find a guest column about the ads written by Kolt in the Lansing State Journal.
If you would like to learn more about Kolt's take on this year's Super Bowl ads, you can hear him speak at the Mid-Michigan Spartans MSU Alumni Club meeting on Thursday, Jan. 30, at the MSU Federal Credit Union Farm Lane Branch. Refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6 p.m. Seats are going quickly so if you would like to attend, register here.
Last year's top five Super Bowl ad picks by MSU's advertising faculty included:
In comparison, the top five picks by students were:
You, too, can join in the conversation and tweet your thoughts beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday using #MSUperBowl. To check out all the buzz about our faculty's ad ratings, see MSU's Alumni Association's Knowledge Network page that aggregates all the MSU-related Super Bowl news coverage.