Much was made during the Super Bowl and in this morning’s write-ups that the cluster of advertisements was lackluster. They were made predominantly for males, ignoring the demographics that showed the significant number of women who also watch this particular game. Others noted that they felt old school and traditional, the majority portraying nuclear families as if the last few decades of demographic shifting has not happened.
Some studios went all in with their films, notably Disney with The Lone Ranger, Iron Man 3, and Oz the Great and Powerful. Other studios, Warner Bros and Sony among them, stayed away from the expensive (roughly $3.8 million a slot) territory.
When Volkswagen teased their Darth Vader ad in advance a few years ago, it created the buzz days before the game and since then we’ve been seeing the ads prior to the game or, worse, teaser ads for the ads so we are no longer generally shocked and surprised. As a result, the biggest surprises last night might well have been Beyoncé actually singing live and her being outshone by Alicia Keys.
Another interesting trend emerged during the blackout. While my geek pals filled the feed with comments about Bane or the clever product placement from Star Trek Into Darkness, I noted that smart and savvy social media staffers were alertly pimping their wares, making far better use of the interruption than CBS. Instead, they reran a block of ads fearing their customers would be annoyed of the audience’s distraction and then their on-air crew fumbled the opportunity to say anything of substance.
PBS cheekily posted, “This might be a good time to think about alternative programming. #SuperBowlBlackOut #WeHaveDownton”; while Nabisco tweeted, “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.” Personally, I loved Major League Baseball chiming in with, “We thought we’d take this brief pause to remind you pitchers and catchers report in 8 days.”
An article in Forbes today also remarked that some companies were snarkily tweeting about their competitors right after their ads ran. We’re definitely in a new world of marketing and social media outreach. Now, if only Madison Avenue were to wise up and get a little smarter with the people seen in the ads.
Personally, the ads I enjoyed the most were the Steve Wonder Bud bits, Sketchers, and, Cars.com; the Ram ad was a great tribute to farmers and Willem Dafoe as the devil was great fun. Kaley Cuoco was the star of the night given her amusing work in the Priceline and Rav 4 ads, actually beating out Amy Poehler’s hilarious Best Buy spot.
The Tide ad that got a lot of commentary didn’t do anything for me. I also liked the teen empowerment ad on the surface, until Laura Ann Gilman reminded me that would constitute sexual assault and should not be encouraged. Point to her.