Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Poll: Is a Fraternity/Sorority Super Bowl Ad a Good Idea?

Occasionally, entities like the NIC, NPC, NPHC, or NALFO get asked to consider purchasing a Super Bowl ad in order to change public perception of Greek-letter organizations. This has become symbolic for the attitude that many carry that we need to use high-profile advertising mechanisms to improve our image and/or recruit new members.

The opposing view is that it would be a waste of money and that advertising techniques will have little to no effect on public perception. Many argue that only a change in behavior will make the difference.

What are your thoughts? Companies spend millions on Super Bowl ads and traditional advertising, so it must have some sort of positive impact, right? Should the fraternity movement try this technique, or are our limited resources better used elsewhere? Take the poll and please add your comments.

By the way, In 2010, the average cost of a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl was approximately $3.01 million.


  1. The idea of putting Brotherhood on TV amongst corporate greed and materialism is sacrilegious. I know that the best advertising is doing good and making a name for yourself in the community. It works great for my chapter and others should follow suit; not resort to pointless ads and gimmicks. Actions speak the loudest words, so in order to change the Greek image we need to start acting like we want to be seen.

  2. There are pros and cons to having a Greek Life ad. First off, @Ryan Marquette makes an excellent point about putting "brotherhood on TV amongst corporate greed." I wouldn't necessarily say those exact words; that is a bit extreme. I will, however, duly note that the vast majority of Superbowl ads have some sort of relation to alcoholic consumption, partying, aggressive behavior which may contribute to the "fratty" and "animal house" stereotype. On a positive note, having some sort of nationally recognized advertising for Greek Life (not necessarily during Superbowl Sunday) but possibly on Badge Day would be a great way to reinforce the positive, philanthropic, and sisterhood/brotherhood aspects that Greek life offers. To put this idea into the works, it's probably best to start off with local news in nearby college towns, and from there and seeing the ratings/success, work towards getting it aired on national networks.

    Great idea for visibility.

  3. However, wouldn't it be interesting if the magnitude of people saw fraternity and sorority life for what it's purposes and ideals are rather than what the perception is of our organizations today. I would be intrigued how members would respond if we made a bold statement that real fraternity men and women treat each other with respect, hold ourselves to greater standards that the rest of society and contribute to the betterment of mankind. Do you think that young men and women who are the hazers, addicts, apathetic/complacent members would have an "ah-ha" moment?

  4. As much as I wish it weren't true, improving greek life's image is an uphill battle that a superbowl ad can't fix. I think in general some positive advertising focusing on awesome examples of greek life might start to open some peoples' minds, but I can already picture the way that a bunch of very drunk guys all excited for football would rip apart a commercial trying to demonstrate the values of a sorority amid lewd and sarcastic cheers.

    I think there's much better audiences to target than those watching the superbowl.

  5. Michael Lewis has some interesting analysis on the PR worth of Super Bowl ads and explains them in the context of the internet star-up boom if the late 90's in his book Panic.

    However in my opinion the real impact of Greek Life needs to be put in the face of as many Americans as possible. I will forever be tired of explaining I am not Otter, and why that is antithetical to why we exist.

  6. I think its a great idea but I wonder if the money spent for one commercial would be better used for one to two commercials that play throughout the entire season and possibly college. I know "everybody and their brother" watches the super bowl but I think you might be able to get more support under it if you had the opportunity to extend the timeline.

    I know that financially it would be difficult to perform but I think it would pay off over time by working to change public opinion as well as possibly increasing recruitment/ fraternity & sorority life on campuses by proving greek life is worth investing in or a least considering. Im picturing something similar to the NFL play 60 or the NBA Cares type of philanthropy/ community service. Whenever public opinion of each wanes, a commercial like that is visible and physical evidence that athletes genuinely care about their community.

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  8. Spend your money saving these sad adolescents from themselves. Teach them to think as individuals. Teach them to treat all people with respect and teach them to socialize without being blind drunk. Accept minorities in number that are representative of the campus population. Accept girls who are smart, funny and good but also.... ugly and overweight. Effectively discourage drinking (no really) and drug use. If you can't do that, then, for god's sake, stop intervening to protect these retrograde brats from the consequences of their actions,the widespread dislike of their fellow students and the understandable concerns of parents.