Column: Tubi’s Super Bowl ad goes viral, but was it for the right reasons?

Sam Nowotnik, Staff Writer

Whether you stay on top of all the recent sports news or even took the time to watch the Super Bowl, the odds are you have heard something about the Tubi commercial. The Tubi advertisement that was supposed to evoke laughter and be a joke on all the fans watching didn’t give everyone a laughable experience and left some in dangerous situations.

For those who haven’t watched the advertisement, it begins with sports commentators on screen, which gets everyone’s attention because they think the game is starting again and the commercials are over. After a few seconds a menu pops up and it seems as if someone opens the menu bar, opens the apps, scrolls and then proceeds to select a show. After a few moments, a Tubi logo pops up showing it was just a commercial and then the Super Bowl continues. Reading this, it may seem like a very short and simple commercial that couldn’t have caused that much damage in only seconds.

Unfortunately, it did as there was a mass panic across the world at that moment. People in bars were lashing out at workers, families were screaming at each other and couples began to argue. Some instances involved couples even breaking up based on how their significant other acted and blamed them. This advertisement didn’t have this effect on everyone, my reaction involved joking with my friend saying he was sitting on the remote, which was probably a common response for many.

With past studies showing that domestic violence occurrences rise during sporting events, Tubi is facing backlash on whether or not they thought this advertisement through. Even during a regular sporting event, it could cause some sort of outburst, but the Super Bowl falls into a whole other category. People tend to be more involved and to bet a lot more money which can raise intensity surrounding the game. With sports betting becoming very prominent, stakes were very high for a lot of people. Even those who are not of age are tending to place high risk bets and joining the community of sport bettors. Also, a lot of people tend to drink and have parties during the Super Bowl which could add to a shorter fuse.

When starting to create an advertisement knowing the audience is key, and I think the creators didn’t fully understand their audience and didn’t think through that the majority wouldn’t take the joke lightly.

The amount of horror stories being spread via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are saddening. It is sad to see bartenders who were not even really focused on the game and just trying to work for the night getting drinks thrown at them by a crowd full of intense fans. I can’t even begin to imagine the feeling that kids felt when they were getting startled and yelled at even though they were probably just as confused at the commercial as everyone else. There is no excuse for the behaviors seen that night and the awkward apologizes afterwards don’t make it right to punch a wall or yell at your family.

Everyone needs to remember that they are just a fan before getting so caught up in the game and putting others in danger or tearing others down around you. I think this ad will be remembered for a while, but not the way Tubi was imagining it would be remembered.