Super Bowl Ads Bring Students to Class

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For most college students, Super Bowl Sunday means football, food and beer. But for a certain group of University of South Carolina students, it means commercials.

Sixty USC undergrads go to class on Tuesdays and Thursdays not to study Calculus or History, but to study Super Bowl commercials.

On Super Bowl Sunday, the students in the class become legitimate pollsters. They gather in a media lab with professional statisticians on hand and wait for the coveted commercial breaks. They rank each ad electronically based on likability, persuasiveness and brand identity. By the end of the evening, they are able to determine which ad was the most successful.

The winners of the annual “Cocky Award” will come and speak to the students about the process of putting together the ad: the creative minds, technology, and innovation it takes to execute a Super Bowl ad.