How the Colin Kaepernick Effect Has Changed the Conversation Around the Super Bowl
After news broke last week that Rihanna and Pink turned down offers by CBS and the NFL to perform at the Super Bowl, comedian Amy Schumer took to Instagram to announce that she too would be taking a stand and, in a show of support for Colin Kaepernick, would not accept any Super Bowl commercial gigs this year. (In 2016, Schumer co-starred in a Bud Light spot.)
It was the latest signal that advertising during the Big Game is no longer a politically neutral move for marketers, say analysts, who agree that while it’s too early to tell what will actually shake out this year. It’s clear that Kaepernick will continue to have a major impact on the perception of the NFL and the Super Bowl.
Arthur Greene, VP of strategy and innovation at Carat U.S., says “Given the NFL’s already massive cultural importance to the country, it would be naive to suggest that this year’s Super Bowl won’t continue to be impacted by the kneeling discussion. The Super Bowl has evolved from a display of pure athleticism to an opportunity for people and brands alike to show what they’re made of, celebrate what they stand for and fight for the beliefs and values on the largest stage in the world.”
While brands’ marketing during the Super Bowl has arguably been more politically charged in recent years, the kickoff of the football season coupled with Nike’s recent show of support for Kaepernick in its 30th anniversary campaign has reminded fans that “this issue is still unresolved and contentious,” noted Quynh Mai, founder of digital agency Moving Image and Content. “In addition, the NFL’s response has been murky and vague, fueling debate and frustration on both sides,” Mai said.
Anthony Cospito, head of strategy at digital agency Moving Image and Content, noted that “studies show consumers prefer it when brands support social causes, and it’s a cultural bonding opportunity for brands to show how their principles align with their consumers.
But even with Nike’s sales boost, “it is difficult to quantify the direct effect of Kaepernick on advertising spend or on Super Bowl ratings,” said Stephen Sharma, vp of strategy and planning at iCrossing.
Source: Monllos, K. (2018, October 26). How the Colin Kaepernick Effect Has Changed the Conversation Around the Super Bowl. Adweek.
Editor’s Note: Perspectives on brands taking a stand on social and political issues (notably on the Super Bowl and NFL).