TVL Happy Super Bowl Weekend! Even if you are not a fan of football, you can’t help but be sucked into the vortex that has become Super Bowl marketing. From the commercials to the half-time show to this year’s #deflategate scandal, it is easy to forget the actual reason this event exists – to play a championship football game!

Media plays a large role in many of our lives today. Over 116 million homes in the United States have a television and last year 111.5 million people watched the Super Bowl! In addition, last year 61% of Super Bowl viewers also owned smart phones. When asked how they planned to use their phones during the Super Bowl, men and women answered similarly, looking up products from commercials, speaking with family/friends, posting pictures.

Speaking of commercials…did you know in order for companies to run a 30 second advertisement during the Super Bowl this year, they will dish out $4.5 million dollars? For just 30 seconds – that’s $150,000 per second! And since they only have your attention for a short period of time, many brands often resort to using sex to sell. Who typically plays the sex symbol or the less intelligent person? You guessed it, women! Here are some perfect examples. How do these commercials make you feel? Do they impact your self-esteem and body image? If not, can you understand why they might make others feel less confident?

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, “Numerous correlational and experimental studies have linked exposure to the thin ideal in mass media to body dissatisfaction, internalization of the thin ideal, and disordered eating among women.” On average, women view 400-600 advertisements per day and a lot of these ads probably don’t make females feel great about themselves.

There is no doubt in my mind that we will see examples of sexiest advertising during Super Bowl weekend.  But, the good news is that today females make up almost 50% of Super Bowl viewership, so this change in viewer demographics may force the media to change their selling tactics.  It’s about time!

So how can you tackle maintaining your self-esteem this weekend when you tune in to watch the game or maybe just catch the half-time show? Remember that it is all a game. Marketers play to our weaknesses in order to tempt us to buy their products. But we have a choice. If you don’t agree with a message portrayed in an advertisement, send an email, write a letter, change the channel, leave that webpage or don’t buy the product. Take the power back!

Now let’s play some football. Go Patriots!

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About the author:

kristinKristin Brawn is the Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations at Walden Behavioral Care.  In this role she is responsible for developing and executing proactive community relations strategies that raise awareness of the programs and services Walden offers to the communities we serve. To achieve this, Ms. Brawn works closely with Walden staff including Executives, Program Directors, and Marketing and Community Relations Associates to promote programs, events and new initiatives.  She also maintains close relationships with crisis centers, mental health providers, dietitians and doctors in the New England community and leverages regional and national partnerships with key eating disorder organizations.  She loves sports, especially Boston sports teams.