From sex driven to comedy rooted, the 2012 Super Bowl commercials sparked opinion in students

John Snider

Equinox Staff


Imagine a super model walking up to you and whispering in your ear, “Give and you shall receive.”

This was one of the many commercials in the 2012 super bowl advertisements that promoted a woman wearing less clothing to sell a product; in this case, it was Teleflora Valentine’s Day flowers.

“Women watch these commercials with super models in bikinis and view the materialistic image being shown.”

She sent on to say, “Men act to this image in a positive way and makes women think this is what they need to be,” Julia Rasku said.

Rasku is currently a sophomore at Keene State College.

She is highly involved with the Feminist Collective at KSC and resides in a Feminist LLC suite.

She continued with saying, “A small portion of the population actually look like those images we see on the television, women have the subconscious image to look that way.”

In the 2012 top rated commercials, car companies such as Toyota and Kia incorporated girls in bikinis within their one minute time slots, according to In fact, in the last decade, some of the viewers’ favorite commercials have not been forgotten because of this tactic. In 2003, Britney Spears’ “It’s Pepsi, not Cola” advertisement was a main contributor to Pepsi’s major launch of ads since 1999, according to Pepsi Corporation. The commercial is a time-line of Pepsi drinkers, starting from 1958 and moving through to present day.

It shows Spears in many different generations, while showing a smooth sexy look.

While the trend seems to be sleek and seductive, Spears deliberately uses a main phrase, “Pepsi, for those who think young.”

In this year’s race, some commercials like Fiat’s 500 Abarth show a woman seducing a man.

It starts with her kneeling over a vent having her dress blow up.

Once she notices the man on the sidewalk checking her out, she makes her approach.

Dressed in a small black and red dress, she walks over and slowly starts speaking Italian to him.  After putting the whipped cream from his coffee on his face, she grabs his tie and edges him over to the sidewalk. He eventually opens his eyes and notices a black and red Fiat 500 Abarth.

“Some of this year’s commercials made me upset,” Ashley Kent said.

Kent, a KSC graduate in Communications with a minor in Women’s Studies, currently works in the Department of Corrections, as a substance abuse counselor for female offenders.

Kent continued to say, “You don’t have to use a woman as an object to sell a car.” However, this year’s commercials were not solely based on seduction. Amidst vast quantities of seductive women and moderatism in the Super Bowl advertisements, one commercial represented small town pastoralism in the city of Detroit.

Clint Eastwood’s halftime ad was for a montage of car brands each playing off the central “ethnocentric America” view.

Most of the main themes in other commercials seemed to be revolved around alcohol, cars, soda, chips, Kent added.

“The average person is subjected to roughly 3,000 advertisements a day,”  Alex Mcmorran said.

Mcmorran is a recent graduate of Temple University, in Philadelphia, Penn. He majored in advertising and copy writing.

“Companies first have to look at their SWOT analysis,” Mcmorran stated. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats Analysis is a strategic planning method used by companies to see how their advertisements have done, and what they can do differently in future ads, according to Mcmorran.

Mcmorran continued to say, “With so many ads out there, companies need to find ways to get their image to stick.”

Another major factor companies look to eliminate is noise.

“Noise” is a marketing definition for variables in a commercial or advertisement that push the message or product name away from the advertisement.

Within noise, a major factor that companies have trouble with is the lack of “product identification,” added Mcmorran.

“Three quarters of the commercial could be a scene of a car chase, or sexual appeal, but if the last few seconds only give a brief overview of what their product is or the companies name, the identification to that ad is lost,” Mcmorran remarked.

“This year’s commercials consisted of car and sex appeal based advertisements, but it was through demographics.”

Mcmorran went on to say, “You figure the average age is anywhere from 18-24 with male dominance. That leaves a high volume of sex appeal and power based ads,” Mcmorran said.

Companies pay $3 million for 30 seconds of air time.

Some of the 2012 commercials were up to two minutes, according to

But is it worth it? According to Stephen Master of Nielsen Sports media research, it is. “Sunday night football games have increased to an average of 20.8 million viewers in 2010, up from 18.9 million in 2009 and 16.5 million in 2008,” Master said.

These numbers do not show the number of viewers who watch the Super Bowl. Roughly 112 million viewers were watching this year’s Superbowl, while 160 million watched “some” of the game, according to Sports.

However, as some of the ads were themed around cars and women, companies will look over the SWOT analysis for next year.

“If the commercials were to change themes, meaning no more girls in bikinis or seductive images, how would people react,” Kent remarked.


John Snider can be contacted at

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