Super Bowl 2021: It's Not Just The Game, It's The Total Picture

Focus on the Super Bowl TV viewer -- typically, around 100 million or more show up each year. Could this bowl game, scheduled for February 7, see changes for viewers and for advertisers?

Big Super Bowl advertisers, including Anheuser-Busch, Pringles and Toyota, are back in the game. Other regular Super Bowl marketers are also returning, including TurboTax, M&M’s and WeatherTech.

But some categories might be lacking.

Think movie studios -- typically a significant Super Bowl category -- will advertise big wide-release films, now that WarnerMedia says its entire slate of 17 movies for 2021 will be release in theaters and on streaming platforms simultaneously?

Does that mean the same big TV marketing push -- or way less? There are probably a few bets placed on the latter.

Reports suggest CBS has yet to totally book all its inventory in the game -- now with seven weeks to go. In the past, TV networks airing the Super Bowl have sold out inventory by now. A year ago, Fox did just that in late November.



Marketers might also be concerned about the price tag -- $5.5 million for a 30-second commercial -- as well as other factors outside their control. Like the quality of play on the field. What if, like the regular season, key players come down with COVID-19?

Remember earlier in the year, a bunch of games had to be postponed/rescheduled because of team outbreaks. If such a outbreak happens in the biggest NFL game of the year, could that put pressure on the league to reschedule the game -- or just go ahead with the players left standing?

The NFL has already weathered setbacks.

Viewership so far this year is down around 7% -- which isn’t bad compared to other sports, which were down 20% to 30% due to postponements of entire parts of their playing seasons. Later, they rescheduled those games into head-to-head action against sports, fighting for sports-starved TV viewers.

NFL proponents of the Super Bowl talk up major home-media-watching trends, which are skyrocketing during the pandemic. Perhaps in seven weeks time, some semblance of TV normalcy might arise.

Still, what about projected fewer Super Bowl parties? Will they still be a thing this year, maybe virtually via computer screens in full Zoom mode? At least you won't have to share chicken wings.

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