On game day, don’t play politics

Politicians who want to run campaign ads during the Super Bowl should know their audience.

by Maddie Eaton

This year’s most anticipated sports event has come and gone, but certainly not without a bang. With 30-second national advertisement spots running at more than $4 million apiece during the Super Bowl, there’s no doubt that campaign strategists have to put their best foot forward in order to make the most of their money. After all, more than 111 million television viewers watched the Super Bowl and its commercials this year.
Because of the high costs of advertising, it isn’t overly common for political candidates to buy national or local time during the Super Bowl. However, this year, a select few politicians — Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush — had advertisements airing during the game. While their ads only aired in two states, New Hampshire and South Carolina, we should consider their impact due to the upcoming primaries. 
Because of the humorous nature of typical Super Bowl advertisements, many people felt skeptical about the inclusion of informational political ads within the normal regimen — and rightly so.
After viewing all of these ads, I feel that none of them were particularly effective. Bush uses his brother as a spokesperson, Cruz childishly attacks Rubio by insulting him for playing fantasy football and Rubio bashes Bush for having a failed campaign. 
Not one candidate took a new approach in an attempt to create a more typical Super Bowl ad. Instead, they resorted to the same, arguably unsuccessful tactics politicians have relied on in the past. But politics don’t belong in the Super Bowl — it’s game day, not election day. 
Maddie Eaton welcomes comments at [email protected].