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You Gotta Pay To Play

Over 97 million people will watch the super bowl this Sunday.  Some just sitting in front of their sets, others attending a party of a friend who happens to own a gigantic, humongous HD, Plasma, super sized, it-takes-up-one-whole-wall-TV.  There will undoubtedly be lots of subs, beer, chips and dip consumed.  There will be hooting and hollering and boos and jeers.  People around the country will bet on winners, losers, point spreads and everything in between.  Oh yeah, it promises to be a typical Super Bowl Sunday. Including the commercials.  Traditionally, this is the one Sunday where advertisers go for broke in more ways than one.  This is the day where advertisers will premiere the most talked about, controversial, off the charts advertising for the entire year.  Who can forget Apple’s iconic ‘1984’ commercial directed by Ridley Scott, or the sexy ‘hoochie’ mamas GoDaddy paraded around during the 2006 Super Bowl. Hell, I’ve watched super bowls just to see the commercials.

Becoming a member of the illustrious group of Super Bowl advertisers is for those with either thick pockets or big dreams, because this year it will cost 3 million dollars for 30 seconds of air time.  Seems a bit absurd don’t you think?  I mean it’s just a tad gross to ask anyone to pay that much money (unless you’re the collective American public and you’re handing over a large bailout to big corporate executives for their bonuses).  Nevertheless, NBC who hasn’t aired a Super Bowl in eleven years is asking advertisers to cough it up, or they’ll be left out on the sidelines.

I imagine the brass over at the peacock isn’t ripping open the bag of chips and mixing up the dip out of a jar – no, they’re cracking open the bubbly and they’ve got a shit eating grin on their collective faces.  Because advertisers will pay. Why?  There are 97 million people poised to tune in.  The Super Bowl is a freaking national event. And if that’s not enough of a reason, in these troubled times, people want to be entertained, and they want to be entertained in the cheapest possible manner.  Network TV is as cheap as it gets for most Americans. The network knows it and so do the advertisers.  So the Network says pay up, and advertisers stand at the line of scrimmage waiting to pay, because they don’t believe they will ever get 97 million pairs of eyeballs to line up all at once to sample their product.  I’m thinking they’re right.

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