Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Super Bowl Mania

While it always amazes me what control popular culture holds over many Americans, I am even more amazed by the fact that the Super Bowl so many viewings. I realize how popular football is in America, but it is crazy how many people watch the Super Bowl who have no clue about football. What makes this game so popular amongst people who care less about football the other 364 or 365 days of the year? I believe that this phenomenon can be largely attributed to the fact that the Super Bowl has become more than a football game; it has become a national institution. Some schools in Indiana have even considered canceling classes the day after the Super Bowl because the Colts are in it. You do not need to know much about football to appreciate the spectacle that has been built around the game. Some people even watch simply to see the sometimes innovative, sometimes controversial, but always entertaining commercials. Some people might watch just to see the half-time show (although given the past few half-time shows, I was less than impressed). Some people watch just so they won't be totally ignorant around the watercooler or office photocopier. There is nothing worse than being the only person in the office who has no idea that the Steelers beat the Cardinals last year. Also, the Super Bowl means camaraderie; how many other times throughout the year do you get to have all your friends over, eat the amazing food, and all share a single focus for about three hours. What has this single football game able to rise above the traditional boundaries of its market and appeal to a vast majority of people? I do not really know how to answer this; I would say, however, that the Super Bowl is a beautiful example of viral marketing. You need to know about the game, or you will be the only one or at least one of the few. Granted, the Super Bowl does spend a lot of money on direct advertising, but this feeling of necessity to watch the game seems to show similar trends with viral marketing strategies. If a buzz can be created surrounding an event so that everyone needs to know about it, the event will be successful. The Super Bowl is extraordinarily successful; they have discovered how to get all of society talking. I know I'll be watching the Super Bowl, and I hope that the rest of the country will catch the great feeling surrounding this game of all games.

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