Despite a Call for More Authenticity, Super Bowls Are So Far Feeling Largely Purposeless

The majority of teasers released aren’t prioritizing a specific value

A sun in the middle; people pointing their fingers in every which direction
At risk of coming across too controversial, many Super Bowl ads so far seem to be falling flat. Getty Images

In one of the first-ever Super Bowl commercials, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath’s face was “creamed” by Farrah Fawcett in a salacious spot for Noxzema. Joe’s celebrity status soared after leading the Jets to victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. More surprising was how the face of a celebrity became the new way to turn a brand into a household name.

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Bill Oberlander is co-founder and executive creative director of Oberland, a purpose-driven agency based in New York.
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