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(I apologize in advance for the rant that is about to take place…)
All of the discussion around the commercials that air during the biggest football game of the year is enough to make me wish I could turn into the Hulk and start smashing everything in sight. Which one was the best? Who missed the mark? Are they just playing it safe? Are they as creative as they used to be? Is the insane cost of them worth it? Grrr…
I HATE YOU SUPER BOWL ADS, I HATE YOU SO MUCH!
Now don’t get me wrong, I like to laugh and be entertained as much as the next guy. (Probably more) So I am certainly not suggesting that if you are entertained by these commercials that you are an idiot. I appreciate the creativity and the humor too. My hatred stems from the idea that the buzz they generate is good marketing.
As Kevin O’Leary is fond of saying on the Shark Tank (and the Dragons Den) “I mourn the good money that is being killed by this nonsense.”
“But everyone is talking about them…”
On the surface yes, it seems like a good thing to have tens of millions of people watching and discussing your commercial. I get the thinking behind it. The problem is they are discussing your commercial, not the benefits of your business, not your products, not your services.
Legend has it that marketing super-genius Gary Halbert used to take the ads he was working on down to a local bar and read them to the patrons. If they said “Hey, that’s a great ad…” he would throw it in the garbage. If the response was “Where can I get that product?” he knew he had a winner. What Gary knew, that these other people don’t get is that the ad is supposed to highlight the offer being made, not attract attention to itself. It’s like the window of a store; the idea is to see the display inside, not the window itself. If you are noticing the window it’s probably dirty.
If everyone is talking about your commercial, guess what?
YOU JUST SPENT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO ENTER YOUR AD AGENCY IN A “CREATIVE AD CONTEST”
If there is an award to be won, it’s the agency that gets it. We aren't trying to win advertising industry awards, we are trying to make money.
Then there is the cost of these things… $3,500,000 just for the air time? Plus the cost of actually creating the ads? Yes there is a huge audience seeing them, but how many of them are currently looking for your product or service?
Do you honestly think that Doritos is going to generate an extra 10 million in profits as a direct result of their advertising on Sunday? Do you know how many chips that is?
Now that I’ve gotten this out and I’m starting to calm down, yes I understand that some of the discussion will help sell some products, (though I can almost guarantee that the ads aren’t profitable) and these big dumb companies can afford to throw the money away anyways…
However it scares me to think that the rest of us with small and medium sized companies are going to see this hype and think blowing the marketing budget on big goofy ads that don’t sell anything is the way to go.
Please don’t be an idiot, stay away from the dark side. Hold your advertising accountable and don’t spend money on things that don’t generate the desired result. (More customers/money…)