Super Bowl- Media Planning in the Controversial Trump Era

Post by Nicole Curry

Super Bowl Media Strategy in the Controversial Trump Era


Media strategy. It encompasses getting the right message to the right person at the right time with the right amount of money to generate the right response.


Well, now more than ever, companies are having difficult meetings across all departments from creative to marketing and finance to communications to better understand what steps they should take for the present moment and future of their company in relation to the recent presidential inauguration.

Media planning and advertising the right messages with the right amount of money to generate the right response is usually detrimental to the Super Bowl. This is because the Super Bowl is a respectable and important channel. It fits perfectly for many companies in fitting the “right time” aspect of media planning.

It can be the outlet that brands look forward to all year. They know that the audiences are huge and the high-priced advertisements are always on the radar for viewers everywhere. However, spending on these campaign releases during the most-watched sporting event of the year has rapidly gone down. Research shows that this is because companies are walking on a tightrope during this political argument taking place nationwide.

This is because the first component of media planning is getting the right message across. However, with the country blatantly split in regards to certain topics, ideas, and perceptions, it has been increasingly complex for companies to advertise their brand personality, image, and ideals, when those categories may not appeal to their entire audience.

Companies like Uber are facing hardships with their messaging because their brand image to the public have been changing very swiftly since the CEO was on Trump’s administration and backed down after the refugee/immigration ban was enforced. Other companies like Expedia, during the Super Bowl, had showed their values by bravely creating a commercial released during Trump’s inauguration showing people how to travel better and become a better citizen of the world by going against prejudices and learning from various cultures.


Budweiser, one of the most influential brands in advertising, launched their Super Bowl commercial with some controversy on whether or not it was subtly pointing to adversity that may be reflected from recent actions of Trump.


The second aspect of media planning is being able to target the right group of people and segmenting those audiences into who is best to sell a brand idea or message to. The Super Bowl can be interesting territory for this because generally the majority of viewers are male. Trump’s recent policies and ideas demonstrated after his election can have people of either gender either side with or not choose to side with what he is displaying as his opinion.

One advertisement from the Super Bowl that played along with this concept had been done by Audi with their launched campaign called #DriveProgress. In this commercial a young daughter competed in a go-cart rate with her father’s narration on how she deserves equal pay. This can also be seen as controversial especially in light after recent societal events like the Women’s March. Some may see this as interesting because the general Super Bowl viewing crowd are males and instead of them getting this message through a commercial directed towards women, Audi targeted the male audience and more so- fathers. Of course with any type of message to the public, there will be positive and negative feedback depending on opinions and viewpoints.


Many other brands had similar Super Bowl advertisements. They all chose the same medium, budget, audience, and time for their messages to be sent. However, they were obviously able to create their own message- one that they hoped would be the “right” one.

Another topic that has been discussed to a large extent in today’s nation is the environment. The president and his administration have taken their stances on the subject by attempting to decimate the EPA. Whether someone chooses to believe in one thing or the other on this topic, Kia decided to speak out during the Super Bowl. They used Melissa McCarthy as a testimonial with her actions like trying to save the ice caps only to fall through and trying to stop trees from being cut down with an enormous chainsaw.


If companies are willing to take risks on how they execute the actual planning out of their media, then they must stick with it. If they do not, they may end up getting into some serious complications like Uber, since they have risked their previous voices for new ones today. Advertising has an incredible power to change beliefs and opinions. Advertising can be passionate, inspiring, and enlightening. It does not need to create a divide.


It does not matter whether one is red or blue, democrat or republican, for Donald Trump or not for him… What is important is compassion and tolerance. Many of the advertisements sported in the recent Super Bowl had demonstrated this, along with boldness and risk-taking.These brands mentioned, along with many others, may understand the potential hazards that could come up by speaking their minds about social issues in today’s world. However, they courageously used their ability to get their message out to whom they want to speak with using the right amount of money to generate what they feel would be the right response. Now that? That’s media planning in 2017.

Contributed by Group 5- Nicole Curry, Marissa Kelly, Jessica Schicke


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