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Armchair Quarterbacking the Super Bowl Ads :: Video

2/6/2012 --

From the sublime to the ridiculous, Christie Nordhielm finds meaning amid the madness.

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ANN ARBOR, Mich.—"For many, many years we've learned the lessons in advertising that you just need babies, puppies, and women in bikinis," says Michigan Ross professor Christie Nordhielm, post-Super Bowl XLVI. "And we had all three this year, as in years past." What's changed this year is the mix of different advertisers, she notes, citing a decline in beer and beverage commercials and a huge increase in automotive spots.

One of the great things about the Super Bowl for advertisers and viewers alike is its mass appeal in drawing together a large percentage of the country's viewers. That is so rare today, which is why advertisers will pay $3.5 million for a 30-second spot.

For this reason, trends in Super Bowl advertising can be viewed as a sort of bellwether, Nordhielm says. "The rise in automotive advertising is a signal that the auto industry is back, and quite possibly that the economy is turning around."

In this video, Nordhielm shares her thoughts on the winners and losers among this year's ads.



For more information, contact:
Bernie DeGroat, (734) 647-1847, bernied@umich.edu