Social Bowl 2024: Taylor, Ads & Conspiracy Theories

By: Kelly Morrin

Being born and raised in Philadelphia means a lot of things…it means that you’ve had your fair share of Wawa hoagies, you hate being asked where your favorite cheesesteak is from, and you probably have a pretty mouthy accent which local legend Tina Fey has masterfully captured in several SNL skits.

Although all of these things represent bits and pieces of what it feels like to grow up here, there is one thing that brings us all together as quickly as it can tear us all apart.

We all just want the Birds to win.

Now that Taylor Swift…sorry, the Chiefs…are Super Bowl champs once again and we’re forced to move on to a new Eagles season full of hope and promise, there’s one last item of business any self-respecting marketing agency must cross off the list to officially bring this season to a close.

You guessed it…a discussion of the chaos behind the marketing and media of the Biggest Football Game of the Year!

On average, a 30-second ad during the game will cost $7 million in 2024, whereas in 2002, it cost around $2.2 million. It’s safe to say that this broadcast is one of the most crucial moments for brands to get their message across the world.

Although this may seem like a steep price, according to a report on Statista, a survey revealed that 79% of viewers see these commercials as entertainment, and many viewers will go out of their way to search for these commercials. In 2019, audiences spent 641k hours watching these ads on YouTube. Now that we have the world at our literal fingertips, I wonder how these numbers will increase?

As we know, every year, we get a chance to watch the commercials, the Puppy Bowl, and, of course, the musical guest during half-time. But this year, we had something extra special to keep our eyes on the prize.

The enticing world of social media brought out various conspiracy theories and, of course, neverending Travis and Taylor content.

I, for one, am lucky to be a Swiftie during these times because I absolutely love their love and everything the media is chucking at us; I am happily scooping up this social media content like a bouquet at a Kelce wedding. The photo ops, the click-bait articles, the New Heights podcast clips. I love it all. 

And the “Taylor Bump” is real.

I especially love that, according to Marketwatch, “Swift’s association with the NFL has boosted the league’s brand value by over $122 million in just a few months. Her impact on female viewership is staggering: a 53% increase among those aged 12-17, a 34% rise in those over 35, and 24% in the 18-24 demographic.” What a time to be alive! 

Women who support other women are tuning in to the game, and this impact is actually bringing families back together. A former player on the Chargers reported to CBS8 that ​​”My wife and daughter are Swifties. When I retire, next thing I know, she turns on Chiefs games in hopes to see Taylor. She has brought my wife back to football,” how absolutely incredible is that?

But as I mentioned before, this game also has a way of tearing people apart.

According to certain critics, this relationship was just “part of a plot to rig the NFL’s championship game.”

And there are also several other conspiracy theories out there that include some serious political allegations that we definitely do not have the time to get into right now.

Right now, we are going to talk about my favorite conspiracy inspired by this time of year: the one that suggested that the logo reveals the two teams that would compete!

This all started in 2021 when the NFL decided to bring some color into the mix for their logo design. These colors were supposed to represent the tones and atmosphere of which location would be hosting the game; that year, the game was held in Los Angeles for the first time since 1993 and included warm yellow and orange tones and a faded backdrop of palm trees – very fitting for the location!

It just so happened that the Los Angeles Rams, who wear yellow pants, went up against the orange-and-black-themed Cincinnati Bengals. 

This somehow seemed to fly under the radar, and so when the NFL rolled out a green and red, desert-themed logo for SBLVII in Glendale, Arizona, no one seemed to notice that the Kansas City Chiefs wear red and the Philadelphia Eagles wear green. 

So, when a tweet showcasing these last 2 logos and how the colors of the final two teams were “accidentally” represented in the colors of that year’s logo, we all started scratching our heads.

For this year’s game, SBLVIII, the logo was a mix of purple and red which brought into question…would we be watching the San Francisco 49ers up against the Baltimore Ravens?

It turns out that wasn’t the case, and in reality, how would the Chiefs be the center of attention if the Ravens made it to the final two?

These conspiracy theorists really have to get their heads in the game.

Overall, we all had a lot to look forward to this year, whether you’re a fan of Taylor Swift (or you absolutely hate her and want to watch the memes), a fan of conspiracy theories, or you just really love the game. Master classes should be taught about Nickelodeon’s live coverage of the game.

We’ll dig into the Slice Squad’s reactions to the ads themselves in a future post, but one thing can’t be disputed: the game lived up to the hype and people definitely tuned in to make it the most-watched program in TV history.

“According to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics, the Kansas City Chiefs25-22 overtime victory versus the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday averaged 123.7 million viewers across television and streaming platforms. That shattered last year’s mark of 115.1 million for Kansas City’s last-play victory over the Philadelphia Eagles with a 7% increase.”

(Way to rub our noses in it, ESPN.)

Oh, well.


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