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February 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

With the current U.S. population standing at 313 million, the 111.3 million who watched Sunday’s Super Bowl Game represented one out of every three Americans. But that was the “average” number who were watching at any given time during the game. The total number who watched at least some of the game number 166.8 million — or half the American population. That figure is up from the previous record of 162.9 million total viewers for last year’s game. The half-time show starring Madonna also set a new record. Nielsen estimated that it was watched by 98 percent of the people who tuned in to the game versus fewer than 97 percent last year. Analysts, however, had difficulty assessing which advertisers benefited the most from having their $2-4 million commercials air during the game. Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, told today’s (Tuesday) New York Times that there didn’t appear to be any break-out ad spots for the event. “Advertisers clearly played it safe and were careful not to offend, not to push the limits,” he said. But a seemingly innocuous ad for Chrysler voiced by Clint Eastwood, broadcast during halftime, has generated plenty of politically charged debate. Republicans blasted it as an endorsement of President Obama’s bailout of the auto industry. (Eastwood has said in the past that he opposed the bailouts.) Speaking to Fox News, he said, “I am certainly not politically affiliated with Mr. Obama. It was meant to be a message … just about job growth and the spirit of America. I think all politicians will agree with it.” The controversy continued to escalate after published reports observed that the ad, which speaks about the revival of Detroit, was shot in New Orleans and Los Angeles — not Detroit. Adding more fuel to the controversy, the NFL apparently yanked the ad from YouTube. Chrysler’s own website, which posted a link to the ad on YouTube, was forced to display an ad onscreen that read, “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NFL Properties LLC.”