From Ads to Action, SB XLVI Dropped The Ball. Like Wes Welker.

Let’s get this out of the way.  The conclusion of Super Bowl XLVI was quite good.  We had back and forth drives.  We had some weird half roll into the endzone in an attempt to keep the clock going.  We got to see Tom Brady lose, which is always fun.  By all accounts it was a reasonably close game with a new conclusion.

Only looking around the web and every social network I have plugged into my brain, eyes and aorta on 24/7 drips, it was clear to see that no one gave a shit.  I’m sorry.  This Super Bowl was forgettable, especially since we saw the exact same game just a few years ago.

I could nit pick and say there were some great moments.  It was interesting to see Indy react to Eli winning while they are in the process of executing his brother in favor of a caveman who snuck off the Geico set.

It was fun to hear Gisele blame the Pats’ wideouts for dropping all of Brady’s passes and moreso, exciting to see a hot model accurately assess a football game.  There’s hope, boys!

It was fun to watch Madonna trip, MIA flick off the free world and to see that weird old woman who kept standing in the shot during the Lombardi Trophy presentation while she looked for a mantle to put the trophy on.

It was fun to see Belichick give up a touchdown and retain a timeout and in the process set the Patriots up for a last minute drive that the Giants were outcoached into giving up.  Then mostly it was fun to see Brady lose.  I know I said that already.

That said, this game was a basketball game.  I could have showed up with 10 minutes on the clock and not missed much, including the commercials.  I’m not saying they were bad commercials, but as I said in the giant super-social conversation on my facebook page the other day, showing the 2.5 minute versions of all these spots really hurt the game.

After seeing the 2.5 minute version of the Seinfeld Acura spot and the Honda Bueller spot, it was hard to watch the short version.  I actually found myself doing things like “going to the bathroom” and “socializing” at commercial breaks because I’d seen everything already in short film form.  It’s like we were expected to get stoked about watching a preview to a movie we already saw.

It’s not even like the ads were that bad.  Until I went into client-side marketing, I had been in advertising my whole career.  I love advertising.  Hell, I am sure one day I’ll be in it again.  The point is, I really hated the direction the industry went this year.

Was it that client money is scarce right now and so to justify the big spend on the short film a pair a creatives never got Hollywood to pick up the tab for, they had to run it all over social outlets for a week to get us “ready” to see it all the while getting more “bang” for their buck?  Was it about more impressions?

I’m sorry, but to me, blowing your load early on YouTube impressions is getting LESS bang for your buck.  Doing this was like buying knockoff Gucci purses in the wholesale district.  There’s nothing wrong with it, but it doesn’t impress a cash-impressed society like just walking into Saks Fifth Avenue with a roll of hundreds and just overpaying.

And that’s what the Super Bowl is.  It’s ABOUT the big spend.  It’s about the finality of a spot.  It’s about this commercial was so good, so expensive and so special, the ONLY place we could run it is during the media event of the year.  This is why seeing every single Super Bowl spot (almost every) last week being passed around like a cast member on Gossip Girl really killed the buzz we all get from seeing these spots.  Sure enough, as I predicted, and I am sure at your house too, people were going “oh I saw this one, it’s good”.

I miss the days were people just read an article about the spot and then we had to wait to see how it turned out.  Instead, we got to see the long form version that was terrific and then got to see the ADHD cocaine speed version during the big game.  Except for Clint Eastwood at halftime with Imported from Detroit.  He took his time because he’s old and hard from fighting fake wars in movies.  That spot was pretty tough and the media buy for the halftime placement was great integration of creative/media.

The only problem was I got so pumped up for America’s second half, I was super bummed that instead of being directed to get up and hit someone I ended up watching Madonna eat shit on the stage and shuffle.  L U V MADONNA.

Ug, it’s not that the game or the ads were bad.  It’s just that none of it panned out.  For the first time in years I didn’t watch Sportscenter after a big championship.  Who cares if Eli won?  Who cares if Brady won?  The best story of the day was about the special teams guy with ALS on the Saints before the game.  That was the emotional high of the day and from then on out, I kind of didn’t care.

Neither did some brands who used recycled spots.  Rule.  If I have seen the ad before the Super Bowl, make a new one.  People EXPECT new, expensive creative commercials during the Super Bowl, not something you have been playing since week 15.

Real quick.  Not saying Adriana Lima isn’t hot (minus when she talks and she shows off her Jewel orthodontics), but she was in 2 huge spots this year about 10 years after she was the ultimate.  There had to be younger, cheaper hot people.  Sorry, so much about this was economics, that just crossed my mind.

I’m not being specific with anything because I have friends that worked on ads all over the country for this big day and I am proud of what they did.  I also suspect many of them feel the same way.  They WANTED to make new spots or WANTED to wait to unveil it at the big game.  Something always gets in the way, doesn’t it.

I said the other day the GENIUS move for next year is just to SAY “CHECK OUT OUR SUPER BOWL SPOT EARLY” on YouTube, get the views and then never buy media during the Super Bowl.  Since we’d seen everything this year, people paid less attention anyway.  A company could simply lie, trade on the equity of the Super Bowl without ponying up.  And when they got called out, if anyone even noticed (I’m not convinced traditional media outlets read blogs, websites or know how to use social media platforms where these things usually come to light), it’s a great PR story.  Just spin it as an experiment in “new media” and “audience testing”.  Innovative and super cheap!  I mean, why buy a ticket to a $10,000 a plate dinner just to wear the same dress you wore on Friday night to Belmont (ew, please stop going there).

A mentor of mine said next year, brands should/will emphasize that they should TUNE IN during the Super Bowl to see our new spot and use this year’s bastardization to their advantage.  That sounds great.  Let’s restore some tradition and look forward to the best ad-world has to offer on the big day.

If you are curious about the effect this had on the ads, check your FB news feed today and think about last year.  The VW Vader spot was every other post.  This year, Gisele chewing out the Pats’ WRs is dominating.  When the story the day after isn’t the game or the ads, you maybe saturated the market.

In any event, congrats to the Giants for winning, the Pats for knowing Tom Brady, Belichick for not losing the Death Star, Coughlin for looking like a pissed off retired Navy guy, the 1st-3rd quarters for providing so many opportune bathroom breaks, the ad peeps that worked all year to put out some high concept ads and LMFAO for proving in America you don’t have to be good looking OR talented to be a star.

That said, without even hearing it Party Rock is stuck in my head.  So there’s egg on my face after all.  See you tomorrow for the Bachelor Recap.  Now that football is truly over, we’re in the dog days of sports waiting for baseball to begin.




Filed under Rants and Musings

8 responses to “From Ads to Action, SB XLVI Dropped The Ball. Like Wes Welker.

  1. Chrysler made my girlfriend cry. They almost made me cry. They killed it. No seeding necessary.

  2. GKoop

    Its the only commercial i even remember…

  3. TMBTrumpet01

    Something tells me the whole thing about releasing the ads early this season was the fact that no one really gave a crap about this crapfest of a game. When I tuned in 4th qtr to hear that manning’s 20+ yard toss was the longest of the game, I groaned, was thankful for not wasting my life on such nonsense, and flipped back to playing xbox. both the college & pro games dropped the ball this year.

  4. My fiance got me hooked on your blog (that’s the likely excuse for someone that’s not a USC fan, right??). Anyway, as much as I like your Bachelor(ette) posts, being an advertising guy, I particularly enjoy your advertising posts #usinghashtags. For the same reason, I personally liked the approach Milwaukee’s Best took for the big game. Buy one of the cheapest local markets in whoknowswhere, Nebraska, and then let the spot spread virally. The future: Will spot Super Bowl buys become more expensive than national?? (No, but still…)

    • Zack Jerome

      I think it was a brilliant play. As for ad posts, I have to be careful as I don’t want to offend my friends. We’ve all made mistakes and if you work in the game long enough, you know you were a part of some of the worst transgressions. That said, more to come 🙂

      • Totally hear ya, and very respectable. Looking forward to more industry posts, but in the meantime I’ll settle for your Bachelor posts. (kidding on the “settle”, your posts are fucking hilarious). Appreciate the response.

  5. Susan

    Wow….this blog title says it all!! Superbowl Sunday is the pinnacle of my sports season and this one certainly fell way short. I run a pretty good football pool in the regular season and an edited version for playoffs…..this game is supposed to be my big send off before I rejoin reality next pre-season. Now I’ll be in therapy wondering what the hell happened. I could have watched the last 10 minutes and done something far more productive with those precious hours that I will never get back!!

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