Super Bowl Week: Commercial Appeal

It’s Super Bowl week. For that reason, I’ll be writing about the Super Bowl everyday this week. I think it deserves it. I mean, it is America’s 4th biggest holiday…
Monday – Top Ten Super Bowl Foods

Can you believe that only 3 percent of people watching the Super Bowl said they wish it didn’t have advertising (according to Harris Interactive)? This is the age of Netflix-streaming entire TV seasons, DVR fast-forwarding, and saying “screw this” as you click away from a YouTube clip that makes you watch a 15-second ad ahead of time. And we’re actually pro-advertising during the fourth biggest holiday in America (1. Christmahanukwanzica…kidding. No one celebrates Kwanzaa. 2. Thanksgiving 3. 4th of July….I’d bump Super Bowl up to number 3 if we got a day of paid time off at work for it)?

I mostly get it. How many of us care that much about the outcome of the game (Answer: However many true Patriots/Giants fans and gamblers are watching)? I’ll bet at least a quarter of the people enjoying the Super Bowl don’t care about football at all. They just love the party. At the end of the day (I’m allowing myself sports cliches this week), the Super Bowl is more of a shared social event than anything else, so it makes sense that the commercials–a huge focal point of the event for as long as this 26-year-old can remember–have become nearly as anticipated as the game.

Since the Internet makes it nearly impossible to keep a secret, here’s a list of commercials that will be airing in 2012. Personally, I’ve refused to watch them. I don’t open my presents before Christmas, I don’t eat Cheez-its made with immature cheese and I’m not spoiling my Super Bowl ads. But you can feel free. Instead, let’s look at what made last year’s top 5 such a big hit (ads are ranked by CNBC-TV18 in Indiana because they mysteriously won the “easiest to find our rankings on YouTube” award…click to the 3:20 mark on the YouTube clip below if you just want the top 5):

5. Richard Lewis and Roseanne for Snickers – I’ve been complaining about this commercial for a month…when I saw it here at #5, I felt like kicking myself in the nuts (seriously tough to do. Try it). I’m probably to blame for its ranking, and to be honest, you probably are too. When you saw this spot the first time, you probably reacted exactly like me by thinking, “When I was a kid, I sat there begrudgingly powerless to change the channel as the jokes on Roseanne flew over my head. I told my dad the show sucked, and since he didn’t trust my opinion, I trusted his. I grew up and watched a few Roseanne re-runs, and it turns out I was right. It did suck. So much time wasted…but it’s okay now. Roseanne just got drilled by a log! It. Felt. So. Good. I love you for this, Snickers! I forgive you, Dad! I will never get sick of that commercial. Up yours, Roseanne!” Well, guys, we were wrong. Let this commercial be a lesson to us. No matter how happy we feel about any of this year’s ads, we can’t show it too much, or we’ll still be watching them in January 2013.

4. Darth Vader Kid for Volkswagen – Little kid playing dress-up as a universal tyrant has his faith in the supernatural upheld by his father’s use of a remote starter. Can’t-miss concept really. I’m going to ignore the fact that I could just install a remote starter for way less money than a new car, and I’m going instead focus on the real reason this commercial is a big hit. It’s a giant head on a tiny body. We all saw Spaceballz (or should have). And have you ever watched a 4th grade Pop Warner game? C’mon…who isn’t intrigued by this entire scenario? How does he not fall over? How heavy is that helmet? On a sunny day, would you appreciate the dark shades or hate the heat inside? It all ties back to an important question in advertising. Are we sold by what we know, or by what we wish to know?

3. Miss Evely for the Chevy Camaro – Was this a commercial for men or women? It felt like men. Men creating, men lusting, action scenes…but the main character was a seemingly independent woman who was confident in her sexuality while holding down the nurturing, sensible position of schoolteacher (she may have some issues with punctuality…that’s unclear, so we’ll overlook it). One more thing: Hey Chevy, teachers that drive brand new Camaros moonlight as strippers. We all saw Varsity Blues.

2. First Date for Pepsi Max – Didn’t remember it. Got bored watching it. Have nothing else to say about it. Can you still buy Pepsi Max?

1. “You hit reply all” for Bridgestone – Funny and relatable…I don’t think there was another commercial better primed to get forwarded around the office with an “I can’t wait to read this email” subject line like, “DON’T HIT REPLY ALL”. You can’t underrate the importance of the question “How likely are people to watch and share this commercial at work the next day?” A few reasons: 1) The Super Bowl spot is expensive. YouTube replays are free. 2) Most people watch the Super Bowl at a party, usually with too much talking (or booze) to get the full message of a spot. 3) When I sold TV ads at NBC, we were taught that a viewer needs to see a spot at least 3 times for it to have an impact on their decision-making. You nailed it, Bridgestone. Now you’re more to me than the dirty golf balls I fish out of the water at cheap par 3’s so I don’t have to buy balls.

Thanks again Bridgestone,
Dusty “I have balls” Riedesel

4 responses to “Super Bowl Week: Commercial Appeal

  1. As an expat, my Superbowl experience tends to be a huge party that starts sometime around 10pm (as the game airs at 11pm in London). Last year, we ordered the Sky Sports package with the full US coverage of the game. This year, I doubt I’ll watch the game, because while you can find it on TV, you can’t find it with the commercials – there’s some sort of copyrighting, licensing, we have to make money for this red tape. And let’s face it, who really wants to watch a Giants/Pats game without the adverts?

  2. Pingback: Super Bowl Week: Lana Del Rey Should Hook Up with Rob Gronkowski and Other Things to Talk About During the Game | Writing Bareback

  3. Pingback: Super Bowl Week: 5 Reasons to Root for Eli over Brady | Writing Bareback

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