The day on which the Super Bowl is played, now considered by some a de facto American national holiday, is called "Super Bowl Sunday". It is the second-largest day for U.S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving Day. In addition, the Super Bowl has frequently been the most watched American television broadcast of the year; the four most-watched broadcasts in U.S. television history are Super Bowls. In 2011, Super Bowl XLV became the most-watched American television program in history with an average audience of 111 million viewers, surpassing the previous year's Super Bowl, which itself had taken over the number-one spot held for 28 years by the final episode of M*A*S*H. The game has also inspired various counterprogramming traditions, such as The Puppy Bowl.
Because of the high viewership, commercial airtime during the Super Bowl broadcast is the most expensive of the year, leading to companies regularly developing their most expensive advertisements for this broadcast. As a result, watching and discussing the broadcast's commercials has become a significant aspect of the event. The Muppets have appeared in several Super Bowl spots throughout the years selling Lays Potato Chips, the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Toyota Highlander, and appeared with Jessica Simpson in Pizza Hut commercials for three consecutive Super Bowls.
In addition to the high-profile ads, popular singers and musicians including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Beyoncé, Destiny's Child, Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Cee Lo Green, The Blues Brothers, James Brown, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, ZZ Top, Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Gloria Estefan, Patti LaBelle, Aerosmith, *NSYNC, Tina Turner, Phil Collins, Queen Latifah, Savion Glover, Al Hirt, Carol Channing, Andy Williams, Tony Bennett, The Blues Brothers, Indiana Jones, and Cirque du Soleil have performed during the event's halftime ceremonies.
The NFL restricts the use of its "Super Bowl" trademark; it is frequently called the "Big Game" or other generic terms by non-sponsoring corporations.
In 2014, Muppets Most Wanted was sponsor of the game's pre-show, dubbed "The Muppets Most Wanted Pregame Show." Additionally, in conjunction with their appearance in a Toyota ad that year, the Muppets live-Tweeted the game.
In 2018, the Muppets social media accounts posted a video of a group text message conversation between the Muppet characters as they prepare for Scooter's annual "Big Game" party. (Facebook Twitter Instagram)
At the start of Super Bowl 50 in 2016, Big Bird appeared in a game-opening montage of celebrities commenting on their favorite Super Bowl memories and sharing advice for the players; other celebrities in the montage included: Tyra Banks, Jack Black, Garth Brooks, Bugs Bunny, Anna Faris, Jamie Foxx, Lady Gaga, Ron Howard, LL Cool J, Larry King, David Letterman, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, John Travolta and Betty White.