Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

03 February 2013

Super Bowl Ads are 'Cheap'.

By designating the Super Bowl as the Super Bowl of advertising, Madison Avenue has created something utterly unique: A national media event where people beg the room to quiet down so they can hear branded messages brought to them by multinational corporations.

At $4 million, that's not a rip-off. It's a steal.
- Derek Thompson, "Super Bowl Ads Are Still Super Cheap: $4 Million for 30 Seconds Is a Bargain", The Atlantic

However you justify this cost, and there are many ways to justify it, I still think it's irritating and irresponsible to insist a price as dramatically inflated as that of the Super Bowl is bargain-bin cheap. It's irresponsible in the same way adults used to tell us college is cheap when you consider the reward, even though the United States suffers the world's most inflated and unjustifiable university costs, and living rooms across Manhattan are littered with babysitters bearing law degrees.

I love college and the Super Bowl; there are immense benefits to both if we invest in them wisely and thoughtfully. But to call them cheap, to suggest we should be raring to throw our cash onto the table and partake willy-nilly in some kind of once-in-a-lifetime bull's harvest? Let's not get drunk on our goddamn Kool-Aid. This assertion -- that they're bargains -- makes the expense sound less like a calculated risk, which merits strategic reflection, than an aggressive jeer against those too stingy, too poor or too stupid to leap facefirst into boiling water.

But whatever. Justified or not, for $4M a :30 pop I better have sponsored sparkles in my eyes by the time tonight's game is over. Which is pretty likely, if only because of this:

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