No Funny Beer Ads for Super Bowl?

This year's Super Bowl Sunday might just be the best of the worst of times for advertisers. As the industry faces one of their most dismal years ever, agencies still need to deliver the high quality entertainment expected during their 30-second spots (which run $3 million this year) while trying not to alienate consumers by pushing their most expensive products. "Advertisers have to strike a delicate balance this year," said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University, adding, "You don't want to seem tone-deaf" regarding the recession. At least two ads for Denny's and the Universal Orlando Resort will reference the economy through savings offers, and the Anheuser-Busch beer commercials (with those trotting Clydesdales) will have lighthearted tones.