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Why no Superbowl fast food ads?

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Someone broached the question to me during the game, in almost a disappointed tone. Fast food is supposed to be as integral as puppies, talking babies, celebrity endorsements, etc. to Superbowl marketing. So why didn't we see any? A legitimate question, though not quite fair to Subway. Subway bought in last minute to promote their chicken enchilada sub, as a number of other companies were pulling out their bids. It wasn't a spectacular commercial, but it was there, and personally made me want to check out the new sandwich.

Yet compare that lackluster effort to how many car and beer commercials appeared? That's not quite a fair comparison. Cars and beer have a healthy, historic marriage with football commercial time. Possible suggestions arise: that the fast food chains are already well known staples, so have no need to raise awareness, or that their profit margins run too slim to throw money into advertising. Both of these won't satisfy, however, because then companies like Coca Cola and Budweiser would have no reason to appear.

No easy answers here. No matter how you look at it, Superbowl advertising is a gamble, like high risk stocks. The upside could be tremendous, alternatively, you could just be out a lot of money. In the worst imaginable scenario, the company's commercial is received neither positively or negatively, and thus generates no response, no buzz, no controversy, and like Subway's pitch this year, is virtually forgotten. At around $4 million for 30 seconds, that's a tough financial pill to swallow.

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