UA students given chance to choose Super Bowl commercial

By: Molly Gase

This culmination of the National Football League’s season brings hoards of students together in front of their televisions. There is also a common knowledge that this athletic event is more than a game for the enjoyment of its massive audience.

The Super Bowl offers advertisers of all sorts the opportunity to push their products to the entire nation. These commercials vary from the very funny to the very informative, all aiming to persuade their audience in some way. The University of Akron enters into this fray with a Super Bowl advertisement of its own.

The Super Bowl commercial for UA typically features the positive points of the campus and of our programs. Our past commercials have highlighted different programs, from the sciences in the Polymer building to the arts in Guzzetta Hall. Students are shown on the campus and the atmosphere is set, enabling potential students to picture themselves as a Zip.

The website presents a dual purpose. When first arriving at the webpage from the UA home page, visitors are first confronted by large text that tells them to “Pick our Super Bowl AD” followed by the three options of commercials.

Commercial One features new research that has created a contact lens specifically for diabetics. The lens changes color within the wearer’s eye as their sugar levels drop.

Commercial Two showcases research involving the imitation of nature to improve our technology. Both spiders and geckos are featured, the latter of which has sparked research of the adhesive properties of gecko’s feet.

Commercial Three features research of clean energy along with the creation of new technology to combat corrosion in bridges and roads. This research could increase the safety and longevity of these important structures.

Visitors of the website can view each of the three commercial options and then cast their vote for this year’s Super Bowl commercial underneath the video of their choice. Beneath the three commercials are six options that visitors can click on to view more on each specific topic.

Once selected, the viewer can read more about the research being conducted and can even view interviews with the researchers behind the new technologies that are featured in the potential Super Bowl commercials.

This webpage offers a great deal of information and allows visitors to interact with the image of the University in a very direct way.

Wayne Hill, associate vice president and chief marketing officer, has worked extensively with the creation of this opportunity to increase community awareness of what is happening at UA.

Hill established that the goal of the commercial vote is to increase the amount of information people know about the research occurring here.

Hill emphasized that this was all part of “creating a better understanding” and that the “Super Bowl spot is part of the much larger picture.” Through the voting, communication can be established between the students and community and the administration.

“Two-way communication is the most important communication, and as we go forward looking for ways to hear and engage, it will remain so,” Hill said.

The three potential commercials all have a major focus on the science and technology developing at UA.

“The University of Akron is known for a wide number of things but the sciences are most well-known,” Hill said. He expressed how these commercials provide a jumping point for more research from other fields at the University to be shared to the public.

The website includes a section that invites UA faculty to contact them with information about their own work.

“We are encouraging other researchers to tell us about their work,” Hill said.

The University of Akron’s homepage is not the only place that awareness for both the Super Bowl commercial and the new research are being showcased. Local billboards will feature the three potential advertisements, along with small cards to be distributed around campus. These are being distributed with the assistance of the undergraduate student government and graduate

student government. A countdown clock also exists on with a link back to the voting site.

Hill expressed that this is a start and that this is all a part of the “continuing effort to tell the many stories from The University of Akron.”