Advertising’s big night is a big bust

There aren’t a lot of occasions when TV viewers are eager to watch commercials. With that in mind, the Super Bowl is pretty special, and a rare chance to show people how creative advertising can be.

Well, that didn’t happen this year.

I’m not going walk through each spot and analyze its nuances, because it’s really not worth talking about. This year’s ads, for the most part, featured tired concepts or were otherwise mediocre. We had the usual talking babies, the same old crap from Go Daddy and the polar bears Coca-Cola always uses when it can’t come up with anything more interesting.

The one ad that seems to be getting the most positive buzz is the Chrysler “It’s Halftime, America” spot. My take is that it was OK, but quite a step down from last year’s Chrysler spot, which introduced the “Imported From Detroit” tagline. It’s notable, too, that the brand people are talking about this morning is the spot’s star, Clint Eastwood, and not Chrysler.

This is at least the second year in a row of sub par Super Bowl spots. If this is the best advertisers can do, it’s likely that the audience will stop paying attention and start reacting to Super Bowl spots in the same way they often do every other day of the year–by going elsewhere for content that’s worthy of their time and attention.

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4 Responses to Advertising’s big night is a big bust

  1. Cathy says:

    I don’t think it helps that nearly all the ads are ‘previewed’ or ‘leaked’ before the show.

    • ajjuliano says:

      I agree. If half the battle is the element of surprise, then it’s twice as hard to get a visceral reaction from something that the audience has already seen.

  2. Andy Welfle says:

    I was amused this year — I saw that Honda released a “teaser” of the Ferris Bueller commercial. When I clicked the link to watch it, I first had to watch a paid advertisement, and that’s when the realization hit me, along with a wave of nausea: I just had to watch a commercial in order to see a teaser for another commercial. Ick.


  3. Jon Swerens says:

    I agree, Anthony. I mean, I really think the best spot was the one for NBC’s “The Voice,” starring Betty White. And the “Celebrity Apprentice” ones are funny, yet still promote the show well. So: The best spots were two network promos? Really?

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