The Super Bowl is one of the events that everyone in the United States seems to watch, and millions outside of the country tune in as well. However, while what happens on the field is often the focus of most viewers watching the game, the commercials and the halftime show are equally important to the Super Bowl program. The halftime performance coupled with the comedic, heartfelt and sometimes odd commercials are, by now, characteristic of the big game. Besides their economic significance, they give viewers that aren’t interested in the actual game something to pay attention to.
Thus, Super Bowl LIV had high expectations to meet in this regard, especially with the announced performers promising hype, spectacle and entertainment. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, two explosive, dynamic performers with world-renowned, instantly recognizable music and uncanny dancing abilities, gave a memorable and entertaining halftime show.
Furthermore, with classic Super Bowl advertisers expected to bring their best game for the big game, Doritos, Budweiser and Tide among them fans watching the game for the advertisements had expectations as well. From a media standpoint, Super Bowl LIV looked poised to deliver on both fronts and create an entertainment spectacle off the field that would be equally memorable as the game itself.
With all this hype, it would have been easy for J-Lo and Shakira to ease off the gas and deliver an underwhelming performance lacking the entertainment both performers can give to fans. However, with a cultural, diverse and energetic set from both artists, capping their halftime show with an electric dance performance, many viewers, notably including former presidential candidate Jeb Bush, have called the performance one of the best of all-time.
On the commercial front, the advertisements of the night were varied in tone, from Doritos’ “Old Town Road”-influenced commercial with Lil Nas X and “A Star Is Born”’s Sam Elliott, to tear-inducing advertisements such as Google’s Loretta spot. Some advertisements took a new route and avoided directly selling a product, such as WeatherTech’s CEO crafting an advertisement to commemorate the University of Wisconsin’s veterinary services for saving his dog’s life.
Overall, as a mass media event with a level of spectacle that surpasses perhaps any other event in the world at this point in time, the Super Bowl always has high expectations to match both as a football game and as a piece of entertainment. However, with J-Lo and Shakira’s high-energy performance and advertisements that added something for all viewers, Super Bowl LIV made a media splash that satisfied many viewers, no matter how high their expectations may have been.