Every year we make time and gather for the Big Game and a uniquely American cultural experience.
Whether you’re a party person or like to watch the game alone, we all know we’ll see the same commercials from most of the same brands: companies with unlimited budgets. In most cases, though, the work presented is heartfelt and humble. Cue the Polar Bears, Clydesdales, and your ordinary Joe crunching triangle-shaped chips.
But here’s the thing: There’s zero chance of exposure during the Super Bowl for smaller advertisers and lesser-known brands. The Super Bowl is one of the most watched television events in the United States, pulling in millions and millions of viewers through TV -- but also, these days, through online streaming platforms. The opportunity for brands, businesses, and small businesses to reach consumers in one fell swoop, generate brand awareness, and make an impact, is tremendous.
The NFL has faced a myriad of challenges over the last few years, but somehow, despite so many issues, the football juggernaut marches on unscathed. The NFL as a brand is confronting many long-term challenges, from concussions and player safety to misbehaving players. These are real issues fans care about, and they must be addressed. And there’s no better moment for the NFL to address the issues than during the Big Game.
Here’s what I’d like to see:
While the Super Bowl does support the local economy of the host city each year, there’s also an opportunity for the NFL to support smaller companies, especially Black -and minority-owned businesses. Why not partner with the networks to give them free airtime as an investment in their future and business? Let them make their own commercial, whether it’s shot on a cell phone or a video camera.
It’s an opportunity for smaller brands to be part of a national conversation. It would also go a long way toward building goodwill with local business owners and community members.
Issue a call for creative submissions from small businesses and entrepreneurs, offering them the chance of a lifetime. Allow them to tell their story.
The NFL has an opportunity to play a part in changing lives, but we continue to see the same household names as part of the Super Bowl ad game. It’s time to elevate our communities. Let’s open up things up to the people. We’re all storytellers.
So where’s the next “wasssappppppp”?