Could an advertisement supporting marijuana legalization grab one of the most-watched commercial spots on television?
A United States pro-marijuana group is attempting to make it happen.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is ramping up support to win an online contest for their pot legalization commercial to be featured during the Super Bowl XLVIII. NORML has received the most votes in the first round of a contest sponsored by Intuit, the New York Daily News reported. The winner of the contest will nab a coveted ad slot during the game.
"Together, we the people, are ending the U.S. war on pot. With the last election and with the recent announcement from the attorney general in Washington, D.C., we are beautifully positioned to make sure a responsible, adult American citizen is never again arrested for enjoying the beauties of recreational marijuana," NORML wrote on its website. "But this doesn't just happen. Please take a moment of your time to support our campaign to bring the message of legalization to the masses with this Super Bowl Ad."
Intuit, a company that offers services to small businesses, watched as votes came streaming in for NORML. Although Intuit representatives seemed wary of supporting the commercial, they might have to follow voting results and air the ad.
"Intuit leadership is surely wringing their collective hands over the matter," Peter Madden, brand analyst, told CNBC. "Though marijuana isn't as taboo a subject since its legal approval in varying states, it is the equivalent to a scarlet letter - albeit one tainted green - that their brand is now forced to wear. Such is the danger to brands who go the contest route."
But in the end, Fox, the television network showing the game this year, will decide whether they can air the ad on Super Bowl Sunday. NORML hopes that the high number of votes they've received will allow Fox and Intuit to award the winning commercial accordingly.
"We hope Intuit will give NORML the same fair chance as any other entrant," communications director for NORML, Erik Altieri, stated. "Our victory would be a win for all parties involved: Intuit gets lots of media coverage and good will for themselves and their contest, Fox would bring in hundreds of thousands of new viewers who would otherwise not watch the Super Bowl, and NORML gets to take our message about the tragic failings of marijuana prohibition to the masses."
Super Bowl commercials are a big deal almost every year - they're considered pop-culture icons, cost millions of dollars to make and reach an enormous audience.
In 2011, 111 million Americans watched the Super Bowl, according to How Stuff Works.