Super Bowl's Rejected Ads: 'No' Can Mean Marketing 'Yes' : The Two-Way This is, of course, Super Bowl XLIV weekend which means many of us will be watching for the unveiling of some of the year's cleverest, funniest ads. And we say that with certainty even though it's only February. And where there are Super Bowl ads,...
NPR logo Super Bowl's Rejected Ads: 'No' Can Mean Marketing 'Yes'

Super Bowl's Rejected Ads: 'No' Can Mean Marketing 'Yes'

This is, of course, Super Bowl XLIV weekend which means many of us will be watching for the unveiling of some of the year's cleverest, funniest ads. And we say that with certainty even though it's only February.

And where there are Super Bowl ads, there must be ads rejected by the network broadcasting the game.

All Things Considered had a segment Thursday in which Sam Sanders reported a story for NPR about the by now infamous homosexual-kiss ad for gay online dating service Mancrunch.com.

CBS rejected the ad but the website has definitely gotten more exposure in free publicity than it could have ever hoped to pay for in terms of paid advertising.

Many of us suspect that's what these advertisers were after in the first place. It's a case of "no" meaning "yes" at least in terms of free publicity. And on YouTube, it's a rather simple proposition for an ad to go from banned on the networks to viral online.

The money passage of the story, as far as I'm concerned, is at the piece's end.

In fact, Brad Adgate, an advertising expert at Horizon Media, says that some corporations submit ads they know will be denied for the Super Bowl, just for the publicity of the rejection.

"Once in a while, you see companies who wanna get more bang for their investment in the Super Bowl by putting on ads they know are not gonna be accepted by the standards and practices of the network," said Adgate. But often, it's difficult to ever definitively know what an advertiser's motives really are.

Adgate says the big game is one of the last TV shows to reach men and women of all ages. He expects that upward of 100 million people will be watching the Super Bowl this Sunday. And even a denial, with an audience that big, can be good for business.

So, ManCrunch might not have it that bad after all. In fact, since the ad's rejection, Web information company Alexa says Web traffic to ManCrunch.com has almost doubled.

The Daily Beast has compiled some of the banned ads from this and earlier years. Some are quite funny.

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