In a rather unprecedented move, President Donald Trump and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg have both shelled out millions of dollars to air campaign ads during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. Unsurprisingly, people had a lot to say on both ads. (It is politics, after all.) But these tweets about Mike Bloomberg's Super Bowl 2020 ad had some very specific complaints.
According to USA Today, this is the first time that two dueling national campaign ads have aired during the big game since at least 1989, which was when USA Today started tracking ads. The ad features a woman named Calandrian Simpson Kemp, whose son George was shot and killed in Richmond, Texas, back in 2013. In the ad, Kemp recalled her son's passion for football. George was an aspiring football player from the age of 4, Kemp said, and wanted to play in the NFL some day — but because of gun violence, he wasn't able to make this dream a reality.
"Lives are being lost every day," Kemp added. "[Gun violence] is a national crisis." Kemp went on to endorse Bloomberg, who told ABC News in a statement that he has prioritized gun violence as a core issue in his campaign.
Despite the seriousness of the topic, many people were focused on something not featured in the ad at all — namely, its hefty price tag. The 60-second ad reportedly cost around $10 million, per Politico, and that's just a ballpark. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a 30-second spot can run around $5.6 million, meaning the cost of the 60-second ad could have topped $11 million. Given that Bloomberg only entered the presidential race in November 2019, and is self-funding his campaign, a lot of people were focused on the wild truth that, for Bloomberg, who has a reported net worth of $60 billion, that’s a mere 0.018 of his worth. Basically, some pointed out that buying the Super Bowl ad, the most expensive advertising of the year, was the equivalent of buying a coffee.
While the responses to Bloomberg's ability to buy an ad were mixed, some praised the focus of the ad. The former New York City mayor and billionaire media mogul founded the anti-gun violence Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which became part of Everytown for Gun Safety in 2013. As a presidential candidate, Bloomberg has released sweeping gun control policy proposals, per Reuters. According to ABC News, Kemp is an active volunteer with Moms Demand Action, which is a part of Everytown for Gun Safety.
"I chose to devote the entire 60 second ad to gun safety because it matters to communities across the country and it will be a top priority for me as president,” Bloomberg told ABC. “Calandrian’s story is a powerful reminder of the urgency of this issue and the failure of Washington to address it. People will be rooting for different teams in the Super Bowl, but virtually all Americans — including people in both parties and a majority of gun owners — support universal background checks and other common sense gun laws.”
Airing a political campaign ad during the Super Bowl is an unusual move, but Trump and Bloomberg appeared to have no qualms making such a move. Whereas Bloomberg's ad highlighted the tragedy of gun violence in the United States, Trump's first ad of the night praised the president for his action on criminal justice reform. However, it didn’t go over much better than Bloomberg’s — many people criticized the president’s ad as well. Maybe the lesson here is, don’t get people who are already riled up thinking about politics? You may not like the results.