Selling to our Souls during the Super Bowl


An estimated 189 million people will tune into the television tonight to watch the 50th Super Bowl. During commercial breaks 46 advertisements, at a cost of $4.6 million – $5 million per 30 or 60 second spot, will be broadcast around the world.

This is a minimum of $211,600,000 in advertising revenue for the network. It is also $211,600,000 in money spent by the companies – with the exception of the six noted below (if not already previewed, until they air, I can only go by the report of the expected content of commercial) – with the sole purpose to encourage consumers to part with money to buy products or services.

I wonder what would happen throughout the world if even a portion of the advertising dollars was directed to promoting good will/deeds, or responsible/compassionate acts/behaviour, to make the world a better place?  Instead, while many are humourous and entertaining,  most focus on trying to sell items, in most cases, that we don’t need. We are a consumer driven society and until that changes the world will not change.

In reviewing the list of commercials on the website Advertising Age, it appears only two of the 46 deliver public service announcements:

  • Budweiser (drinking and driving); and
  • No More (domestic violence).

Three of the 46 will deliver (what seems  from the write-up) positive lifestyle messages:

  • Colgate (conserve water);
  • Marmot (go outside and enjoy nature); and
  • The Pokémon Company International (encouraging kids to pursue goals and dreams).

One of the 46, by the NFL, is purely for fun. Although in its current format it could not be done respectfully, if done differently it could be a way to promote responsible drinking of alcohol, and abstinence or using protection during sex for heterosexual couples to promote the prevention of FASD.

The following descriptions and links are from the Advertising Age website.

Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser)

For one of its Super Bowl ads, Budweiser has tapped Helen Mirren to deliver an anti-drunk driving message. The brewer will be supporting the ad with a microsite called that will allow people to do zip code searches and get a list of available ride services in their area.

Users can also take a pledge to #GiveADamn and share it on social media, selecting from phrases inspired by the ad, such as “I will not be a selfish pile of poop.”

Bud promises to donate $1 on safe ride programs for every time the hashtag is used until 11:59 p.m. Sunday night (up to $1 million). The use of the hashtag will also create an emoji that shows a Bud bottle beside the image of a hand dropping a set of car keys.

Click here to view Budweiser Give A Damn Commercial 

No More

No More, a group formed to combat domestic violence and sexual assault, returns to the game with a spot depicting a text message conversation in which one woman can’t quite answer “Are you OK”?

The NFL — which was under fire last year for how it handled player domestic violence cases — has once again donated airtime in the Super Bowl for an anti-domestic violence public service announcement.

Click here to view the No More Are You Okay Commercial

Colgate (Colgate-Palmolive)

The ad, called “Save Water,” is an adaptation of a minute-long spot out of Latin America urging consumers to turn off the water while they brush their teeth.

Marmot (Newell Rubbermaid)

The company’s furry mascot will help a man fall in love with the outdoors.

The Pokémon Company International

In the spot, actually an extended version of the 30-second ad that will air during the third quarter of Super Bowl 50, young people in Rio de Janeiro test the limits of their passions, telling themselves “I can do that.”

Click here to view The Pokémon Company International Commercial

The last of the 46 commercials, the one that relates to pregnancy and a different type of nine months message, belongs to the National Football League. It did make me smile, but with no disrespect to the individuals portrayed, I wonder if any of these super bowl babies have FASD.


The ad, called “Super Bowl Babies Choir,” features what the league calls “the biggest collection of Super Bowl Babies: fans born in winning cities approximately nine months after the game.” Because winning the big one, apparently, is a major turn on — at least according to the NFL

The ad, by Grey New York, features the so-called Super Bowl Babies representing fans of eight teams: Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The fans — who range from 49-year-old Green Bay Packer babies to 1-year-old Seattle Seahawks babies — form a choir that sings a remake of “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal, who makes a cameo in the ad.

The NFL will also run a native ad on Buzzfeed that includes a quiz called “Are You A Super Bowl Baby?” so that “fans of all 19 Super Bowl-winning teams have the opportunity to discover whether they are part of this football family,” according to the NFL.

Click here to view the Super Bowl Singing Babies Commercial 

As a side note the 049 as the cover image for this post is not related to the Super Bowl (which is 50 this year, not 49) but rather a tag for 0 alcohol 4 (four) 9 months during pregnancy.

At least a few of these companies with millions of dollars to spend are selling a message to our souls. Perhaps as time goes on, more companies, and society, will become more conscious of the responsibility we all play in making our world a better, kinder, more sacred place.

2 thoughts on “Selling to our Souls during the Super Bowl

    • our sacred breath says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I didn’t watch the Super Bowl so haven’t seen the rest of the ads – but even if one or two more were not direct selling – I’m sure most were pushing products or a lifestyle we don’t need.