Michael Bloomberg has no intention of letting President Trump dominate the political side of Super Bowl ads this year. The two candidates have spent at least $10 million each on commercials during the Super Bowl, which expects about 100 million viewers (the year’s largest TV audience) when it airs on Fox tomorrow evening.
30-second spots for this year’s game have sold for up to $5.6 million and Bloomberg is running a one-minute ad while Trump has two 30-second ads. The inclusion of national political ads during the Super Bowl is being called unprecedented. It is the first time that a presidential candidate, in this case, two candidates, has purchased ads in the Super Bowl.
The very presence of national campaign ads during the Super Bowl is unprecedented, said Charles Taylor, a marketing professor at Villanova University. January is usually too early for national politics, given that the presidential election isn’t until November. But this year, “taking out a Super Bowl ad in this context can be viewed as a show of strength or signal of confidence,” he said.
This year’s championship game is wedged between some big days in politics, though, so maybe it isn’t so unusual for politics to seep into the advertising spots. It’s a sign of the times where politics has become inescapable, no matter what the activity. The president has been impeached by the House, his impeachment trial in the Senate is ongoing, the Iowa caucuses will be held Monday, and the impeachment trial reconvenes on Wednesday.
The battle between Bloomberg and Trump will be epic if Bloomberg remains in the primary race. Bloomberg has pledged to spend up to $2B to take out Trump. Trump has a huge war chest thanks to some extraordinary fundraising by the RNC, besides his own campaign operation. Both men released ads Thursday so we can get a sneak peek. To prove the competitiveness of the two New York billionaires, Bloomberg released his 60-minute ad first, then one of the 30-second ads was released by the Trump campaign just hours later.
The Bloomberg ad will run after half-time and it is all about gun control. The ad doesn’t mention Trump, however, and Bloomberg isn’t in the ad himself.
100 Americans die from gun violence every single day.
— Team Bloomberg (@Mike2020) January 30, 2020
Bloomberg released a statement explaining his choice of subject of the ad.
“I chose to devote the entire 60-second ad to gun safety because it matters to communities across the country and it will be a top priority for me as president,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “People will be rooting for different teams in the Super Bowl, but virtually all Americans—including people in both parties and a majority of gun owners—support universal background checks and other common sense gun laws.”
The ad, which cost a little north of $10 million, is just the most recent from Bloomberg, who is running on a slogan of “Fighting for our future” and only joined the presidential race in November. But what he’s lacked in time building up a national organization of volunteers like his other Democratic candidates, he has made up for in advertising, spending $100 million over the last month.
The Trump campaign released one of its two 30-second ads titled “Stronger, Safer, More Prosperous”. Instead of a single, divisive issue, this ad focuses on the president’s economic accomplishments.
And, if that isn’t enough for you, Bloomberg has put advertisements on Google to compete with those seeking out the Trump ad.
When a user searches on Google for “donald trump super bowl ad,” a paid advertisement from Bloomberg’s campaign appears with the heading: “Trump’s Broken Promises | Enough Is Enough.” The link redirects users to the former New York mayor’s campaign website, featuring his own Super Bowl ad.
Let’s face it – viewers tune in for Super Bowl ads. I know it is at least a bit of fun to watch them, especially if the team I prefer is losing or if I don’t really care about either team – which is the case for me this year. Sorry, Chiefs and 49er fans. Thankfully, most of the ads will be politics-free. Companies know that consumers are just plain tired of all the noise and want to tune out and watch the ultimate football game event of the season. One exception will be Saucony. That company will run an ad about a biodegradable shoe as a nod to climate change.
Saucony will take a big step toward growing its national footprint with its first Super Bowl ad this year. The Lexington-based athletic shoe maker will air a 30-second spot about its efforts to develop a biodegradable shoe, which will be made from natural materials and renewable resources.
“What if the shoes we threw away actually went away?” a voiceover asks, as dozens, then hundreds of shoes begin floating in the air.
My favorite of the ones I’ve seen so far is one from WeatherTech. It tells the story of cancer survival and a very good boy.