The Super Bowl is the one time a year when all of America gathers around the television to watch... commercials. It's no wonder a 30-second spot sells for as much as three million dollars. But while we wait in anticipation to check out the latest GoDaddy girl, there are a few ads we won't be viewing this Sunday.
There has been a recent spike of ads deemed too controversial for the big game, and the advertisers are loving every minute of it. Last year animal rights activist organization PETA submitted an ad portraying lingerie-clad women with vegetables. As PETA gleefully relayed on their website, "NBC rejected the video because of concerns over 'rubbing pelvic region with pumpkin.'" This year, PETA submitted a new ad culled from the casting calls for the original spot. To the surprise of no one it was negged, and now lives on a special page on the PETA website dedicated to rejected ads.
Another ad deemed "not acceptable" by FOX's Broadcast Standards and Principals board came from a conservative comedy website "Jesus Hates Obama". It pictures a stare-down between Jesus and Obama bobble-heads. Extramarital dating website, AshleyMadison.com, submitted an ad featuring porn star Savanna Samson which was also banned from this year's game.
While each of these organizations purports to be up in arms that their commercials were rejected, they sure are lapping up the publicity that came with getting Heismaned. Shortly after the "Jesus Hates Obama" ad was banned, it was picked by major news outlets, passed around the internet and received almost 300,000 hits on YouTube. So today's marketing lesson, my friend: if you want some free advertising, just make an ad in poor taste and have the networks turn down your money!