Besides the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers competing in a highly anticipated football game this Sunday, the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg are also facing off in the form of Super Bowl ads. Super Bowl ad placements are some of the most expensive TV ad slots, and both Bloomberg and Trump have reportedly each spent $10 million for 60 seconds of airtime during the game. For Bloomberg, this spending piles even more on the $27 million he’s already spent on political ads with Google, with the former mayor pledging $1 billion of his own money to finance his run.
The two candidates have each released one of the two ads they plan to run, and both campaigns have a very different style. Trump’s ad takes credit for low unemployment numbers, which are currently at 3.5%, although these numbers have already been steadily on the decline for the last 10 years. It also claims the best wage growth in a decade, which factually is true, although it is difficult to quantify the actual impact that has on inflation-adjusted quality of life.
Bloomberg Takes a More Somber Approach
Bloomberg’s ad tackles gun control, telling a somber story of a a young victim of gun violence that was shot and killed in Texas in 2013, which leads into a promotion of Bloomberg’s strict gun policy and an endorsement of the candidate. The ad cites statistics of gun violence against children, and while any violent crime is appalling, especially when committed against a minor, the victim in the ad was actually an adult.
It is difficult to measure the impact of political television ads during the Super Bowl, but research indicates that ads that stimulate an emotional response have a wider brand impact. However, the vast majority of ads employ humor during what is largely a festive event, so it remains to be seen what the reaction is to this battle between businessmen.