Published 2 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
Image: First LEGO League/Facebook
Advertising is a critical element for business success; and successful businesses are better positioned to give back to society. But we believe the societal impact of $6.5M can do far more to authentically connect
stakeholders with brands than a half-minute of airtime.
The Super Bowl may be losing its luster — for advertisers, at least. 2021’s
edition of the
saw several major advertisers slim down their spending on airtime or pull out
entirely. The most notable absence was Budweiser, which sat out the game for
the first time in 37 years and reallocated its ad dollars to
At the time, Marketing Dive
noted that Budweiser was the first major advertiser to “publicly divert its
big-game media spend to a purpose-driven effort.” Also absent from last year’s
edition of the game were Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Ford and Hyundai —
all long-time Super Bowl ad buyers. This year, more big brands are following
suit — but none have made public commitments to reallocate their advertising
dollars toward purpose
Mars Wrigley is choosing to “show up in new, big ways for our
elsewhere; Procter & Gamble’s
brand is opting to “focus storytelling efforts on other media and events
Coca-Cola is skipping both the Super Bowl and the Beijing
and State Farm, which aired its first Super Bowl ad in 2021, is forgoing an
ad to engage audiences via
Kraft Heinz, Jaguar, Lexus and Hyundai have also announced that they
won’t be advertising this year.
That puts at least $6.5
(per 30 seconds of air time) back into the pockets of these brands — a record
price tag, up from $5.6 million in 2021. And that’s before the cost of
producing the advertisements themselves.
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Last year, we shared alternative ways to spend the funds
would otherwise put toward their Super Bowl ads. While they might not reach the
estimated 100 million US football fans that make up the Super Bowl’s audience,
they could have a far more meaningful societal impact (especially given that 80
percent of Super Bowl commercials apparently fail to change consumer opinions
about a brand, anyway).
Action Against Hunger could expand
COVID-19 vaccine distribution in vulnerable communities in Ethiopia and
South Sudan, where less than 1 percent of the population is protected
against the pandemic.
Experience Camps could send 1,000 grieving
children who have lost a parent, sibling or caregiver to a special week-long
camp and provide resources to reach 5.3 million more bereaved kids, deeply
supporting children in their grief.
FIRST LEGO League could provide its
hands-on STEM program to 72,000 students and 9,000 teachers.
Habitat for Humanity could outfit approximately
1,083 homes with
and energy-saving technologies or outfit approximately 325 homes with solar
Shatterproof could bring
TreatmentATLAS.org — an addiction
treatment locator, assessment and standards platform — into 20 new states,
reaching 9 million people whose lives could be saved with quality addiction
Federation could prevent more than 400 tons
of styrofoam from filling up landfills by providing reusable takeout
containers on college campuses, or fund innovative conservation research by
1,000 students — both through its EcoLeaders program.
Green Bronx Machine could provide health
and nutrition curriculum to 1,300 classrooms.
The Frederick Literary Council could
cover the cost of all educational materials for 216,500 adult learners.
My Special Aflac Duck could be
provided to 29,000 children with cancer and sickle cell anemia.
Unreasonable Group could support three
years of development for more than 50 established social ventures in the
areas of food and water, energy and the environment, and education.
Kiva could facilitate a $25 microloan to an
additional 260,000 people within its network.
Advertising is a critical element for business success; and successful
businesses are better positioned to give back to society. With that said, we
believe the societal impact of $6.5 million can do far more to authentically
connect stakeholders with brands than a half-minute of airtime.
When next year’s Super Bowl rolls around, we hope to see more brands sitting out
the game — and not because they’re investing in TikTok instead. We hope they
choose instead to invest their millions in their employees, communities and
society at large.
Published Feb 9, 2022 7am EST / 4am PST / 12pm GMT / 1pm CET
Carol is internationally recognized for her work in Purpose and CSR. Carol Cone ON PURPOSE is the return to her entrepreneurial roots and life’s passion: to educate, inspire and accelerate purpose programs and impacts for organizations, nonprofits and individuals around the globe.