The Controversy of Super Bowl Adverts

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The Dilemma of Marketing and Ideologies

The article discusses the dilemma that occurs in marketing concerning whether a company should stand for particular ideologies or be neutral. The author exemplifies Super Bowl adverts which were struck by Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to do an ad hence suggesting that the advertising stage for many brands and marketers is increasingly becoming political (Ives, 2018). The Super Bowl adverts elicit partisan positions, for instance, the 2017 Budweiser advert which was talking about the brand’s immigration origin. The advert was cited as critiquing President Trump’s policies on immigration. The article argues that such controversial adverts are most likely to become fraught even when brand does not take a particular stand (Ives, 2018). Such adverts put promoters to either stand for something or be against something and make or not make money.

The Impact of Ethics on Marketing

Business ethics, especially in marketing, has been a complicated and controversial topic (Andrews, 2017). It is all about the decision to do the right thing and making money. Ethical marketing is more or less a philosophy informing marketing efforts rather than it being a strategy in marketing. In the case of the article, ethics is impacting the marketing for Super Bowl. For example, the implication of ethics played out when Mr. Kaepernick was thrown out of the league by National Football League (NFL) owners due to his protests. The politics and controversy in advertising with Super Bowl would get more fraught for whichever brand regardless of whether they support the particular stand or not. Initially, the endorsements supporting the NFL and the cultural role of the Super Bowl in the community targeted proud Middle America but has since created divided narratives.

The Need for Ethical Branding in Advertising

The situation made it harder for various marketers to plan the extent of a general project’s neutrality. The need for marketing ethics will force people into having to choose sides and identify with certain stands against others. For example, while some brands will decline to advertise in the Super Bowl because they do not identify with the behavior of NFL, some people will be more than happy to advertise with them. However, it would be so hard for some of the brands declining the adverts to get to many people as possible as it would have been the case of the Super Bowl. Therefore, staying away from advertising with such a popular platform may not achieve the results that you want since the Super Bowl remains one of the most significant advertising events. When one brand quits for an ethical reason, undoubtedly there will be another one waiting to get onto the spot.

Global Advertising and Identifying with Events

Just like Super Bowl and NFL, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia was a hot cake for various brands that could ethically identify with the event. When a Chinese electronic company Hisense got into partnership with FIFA for the official sponsorship of the 2018 Russia World Cup, it was evident that the company identifies with some of the ideologies of the event organizers. The company engaged in global advertising and marketing activities for FIFA World Cup both on and off the field (, 2017). The partnership made Hisense gain more international brand publicity. Moreover, FIFA had previously had corruption scandals which resulted in the withdrawal of some top-level sponsors such as Emirates Airlines and Sony for fear of their image. For the 2018 global event, the event organizer attracted other companies like Hisense and Wanda both from China.


Andrews, J. C., & Shimp, T. A. (2017). Advertising, promotion, and other aspects of integrated        marketing communications. Nelson Education. (2017, April 5). 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ - News - Hisense becomes Official            Sponsor of 2018 FIFA World Cup™. Retrieved November 4, 2018, from          world-cuptm-2878703

Ives, N. (2018, October 24). Just Advertising During the Super Bowl Could Appear Political for     Brands. Retrieved November 4, 2018, from    advertising-during-the-super-bowl-could-appear-political-for-brands-1540395917

September 18, 2023

Business Sports


Corporations Marketing

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