Making Sense of the Super Bowl Hype – Robert Thompson – 2/08/24

Making Sense of the Super Bowl Hype – Robert Thompson – 2/08/24

It annually is the biggest American television program of the year.  (Not even counting the global audience.)

It’s commercials are anticipated, reviewed, over-analyzed, and cost $7,000,000 for 30 seconds.

Even even non-football-fans get drawn into the hype.

Businesses and churches and groups adjust their schedules to avoid conflicting with one of the nation’s hugest non-holiday holidays.

The Super Bowl has come to have a massive influence on American society. For perspectives on how the game became so big, Family Life’s Greg Gillispie talks with Robert Thompson, an expert of television and its effects on culture. Among the topics:

  • How the calendar and the NFL’s creativity have moved Super Bowl Sunday to such a national festival day
  • What is it that makes Super Bowl commercials such a topic of conversation
  • Why those advertisers see enough value to make it worth paying so much to buy the ad slot and produce a “film-festival-worthy” commercial
  • How the Super Bowl has become one of the few “shared experiences” Americans have, in our fractured media landscape


Robert Thompson is director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University.  He teaches courses on the impact of media and has written five books and edited an ongoing series about television and society.



Also from Family Life’s News Podcasts:  Paul Asay of “Plugged In” offers his insights on Super Bowls — including a Christian angle on the widespread popularity of the Super Bowl as a national event, how we need a few shared experiences across a wide swath of the culture, and how Christian messages like “HeGetsUs” can share the Gospel with millions in a single broadcast. Listen for that additional interview here.

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