After enduring a stereotypical midwest winter filled with icy streets and sub-zero temperatures, it’s impossible not to appreciate warm weather to an elevated extent. When you’ve spent three months fiddling your thumbs trying to figure out what to do inside all day (a feeling that became even more exaggerated from the pandemic and working from home), it starts to feel criminal not to be outside once the temperature hits 60 degrees or higher.
This year’s March Madness tournament represented a distraction from the pandemic and a beacon of hope to regain a tradition that 2020 stole. Both fans and brands were exceptionally excited for the 2021 March Madness tournament to commence after last year’s had to be abruptly canceled when our country entered a state of lockdown and fear. Let’s take a closer look at a few of this year’s top March Madness Ads.
Part of the gig of being a college student is the constant struggle to save money. This means eating a lot of Trader Joe’s frozen food and budgeting all week long because we don’t want to spend our valuable money unless it’s at one of Madison’s college bars or on a 30 rack of beer every weekend. It’s for these reasons that coupons, loyalty programs, and promos are such an effective marketing tactic to build strong student loyalty. As students, it makes us feel good when we perceive we’re saving money or getting a good deal.
For better or for worse, advertising is extremely powerful. It has the ability to communicate norms to massive audiences in a way that can have a huge impact on shaping societal values. Unfortunately, advertising has traditionally dragged behind social revolutions. This was noticeable after the Women’s Rights Movements of the 60s and 70s when women continued to be objectified and depicted as less capable than men. Now, with the Black Lives Matter Movement moving more into the spotlight than ever before, it makes us reflect more on how well the advertising industry is representing people of color and other diverse audiences.
With Nov. 3 right around the corner and arguably one of our country’s most important elections, I find myself surrounded by a media presence urging me to go vote. Social media, paired with our current political climate, has led college kids to be extremely engaged and invested with the social, environmental, and economic issues our country’s leadership holds in its hands.