Why This Year’s Super Bowl Ads Were ‘Meh’

If the Super Bowl is the culmination of a year of great football, then Super Bowl commercials are the pinnacle of great marketing. At least they should be. But the ads for this year’s big game, which cost a reported $5 million per 30-second spot, were decidedly lackluster (a word many also used to describe the game, the lowest scoring in the event’s history).

Sure, there was some humor and a sprinkling of celebrities, but critics said the commercials were largely devoid of the creative edginess that has become the signature of great Super Bowl ads. The result was a collective “meh” from consumers who took to social media to make fun of the commercials.

“I think there were a lot of good ads, I’m just not sure they were very good Super Bowl ads,” Wharton marketing professor Patti Williams said. “Many of the ads themselves were competent. They did what they needed to do, but they didn’t really fit with the sort of stupendousness of the moment. They kind of played it safe, low key.”

Williams joined Wharton marketing professor Americus Reed to offer a critical analysis of the 2019 Super Bowl ads for the Knowledge@Wharton radio show on SiriusXM.

Read More and listen to the podcast here.

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