February 08, 2016

The First Sexless Super Bowl

Well, the annual Festival of Excess is over and here are some thoughts. 

Where Was The Sex?
This may have been the first sexless Super Bowl. We are usually treated to an abundance of middle school-style leering and double entendres in Super Bowl ads. Not this year. Has the politics of sex become so oppressive that even advertisers are afraid to be juvenile? 

That's Entertainment
Every creative director and cmo with a functioning brain knows one thing about Super Bowl advertising -- success has nothing to do with effectiveness.

Your success or failure will be judged on how well people liked your spot and nothing else.

The reason is simple -- unless you're a direct marketer (which no Super Bowl advertiser is) it's pretty much impossible to calculate the effectiveness of one spot at one time.

So popularity always stands as a proxy for effectiveness.

People liked your spot? You win.

People didn't like your spot? You lose.

End of story.

The Phrase That Pays
If there's one line of copy from this year's crop that could be remembered, it might be this one from the "Walken Closet."
"Punch it, Richard."
Critiquing The Critics
I followed the tweets of the advertising "experts" from Ad Age and Adweek during the game. In large part they were embarrassingly misguided. Makes you wonder if any of them ever worked in advertising.
What Happened To Social Media?
It seemed to me that in the weeks before the game there was a lot less social media chatter about Super Bowl advertising than in previous years.

Also there were a large  number of major brands that did not release their Super Bowl spots the week or month before the game.

Could it be that advertisers are finally waking up?

One of the critical aspects of effective advertising is impact. There is no better place to register advertising impact than on the Super Bowl. There is no better way to waste the impact of a Super Bowl spot than to have everyone see it for weeks before the game.

"Oh, yeah, I saw that one," is not the reaction you're paying $5 million for.

The Big and Dumb Award
This award is presented every year to the company that spends the most money and makes the most hysterical and pointless commercial. This year it's a tie between Coke "Hulk/Ant-Man" and Prius "Bank Robbers."

The Award of Desperation
This year it goes to CBS for their relentless and embarrassing promo-ing of Stephen Colbert.

Every Ad Related To Technology Or Online Commerce...

The Spot That Actually Made Me Want Something:
I really wanted that hamburger in Helen Mirren's Budweiser ad.

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