The Daily Gamecock

Class studies intricacies of Super Bowl advertisements

Journalism students to vote for best commercials

It’s no secret that Super Bowl ads can be extravagant and costly. Annually, they take up coveted airtime during the biggest football game of the year. Many fans watch them casually, but Professor Bonnie Drewniany’s “Super Bowl of Advertising”class looks for a deeper meaning.

After each Super Bowl, 100 students and faculty from the Journalism 463 class conduct an ad poll and vote on which commercial should be awarded the Cocky Award. Each commercial is judged on three criteria: likability, persuasiveness and brand identity.

“We look at ads from the early ’80s up to today. We look at behind-the-scenes stories of how the commercial is made, and each year the creators of the winning ad come to campus to accept the award,” Drewniany said.

Classmates will view the Super Bowl together at WIS-TV and pause after each national commercial to cast their vote via iclicker. The votes are tallied electronically, and a winner is selected following the game.

Outlined in Drewniany’s class expectations, the focus of the class is on topics that include “the way different groups are portrayed, the strategy behind the commercials and how creative tactics have evolved over time.” The class looks at the ads over time to see what they say about the progression of American society and culture.

This will be the ninth year for the Cocky Award. Previous winners include Volkswagen, Doritos, Staples, Bud Light and Diet Pepsi.

Voting is not restricted to Drewniany’s students. Others can cast their vote on the class website until 10 a.m. the day after the game.

“Outside votes will be factored in. Last year’s poll broke a tie between two commercials, but we’ll have a good sense at the end of the evening who is winning,” Drewniany said.

You can also follow the class’s thoughts on Twitter at #uofscadpoll.