For many, the Super Bowl is the culmination of a long season of hard core games with two teams battling for the bragging rights of the best team in the league. For others, the real game comes between the football action while the commercials are airing.
This year, I joined the more than 100 million viewers of the game and was completely let down by the quality and creativity companies displayed with their advertisements. The cutting edge humor was just missing. Gone are the days where Budweiser had three frogs croaking, “Bud” “Weis” “Err” and guys sitting around asking, “What are you doing?” Those were days when the commercials were funny.
Now we’ve moved on to Bud Light commercials with guys jumping out of airplanes chasing a six-pack of beer. Where’s the humor? The laughter? That’s what I thought.
I don’t even want to speak on the Pepsi commercials with P. Diddy riding around the country chasing celebrities in Pepsi trucks. To be quite honest, I don’t even know if that’s what the commercial was about. I just sat dumbfounded because they didn’t make any sense.
The saddest part of all is that companies spent such a large amount of money on these commercials for them to not be funny or reap sales rewards.
According to http://www.superbowl-info.com, the 2001 game aired 69 commercials, all of which cost $2 million per spot for airtime. Of those 69, only 17 were formatted for closed-captioning so millions of people couldn’t even enjoy them.
The cost for Sunday’s commercials was raised to $2.4 million. This amount does not even include production costs.
This year, Anheuser Busch actually had more than 15 commercials made for its 10 spots and then chose which ones it actually wanted to air. In fact, Anheuser-Busch spends $100 million a year on NFL advertising. I certainly hope their sales rise drastically after spending so much money on 30 seconds.
The commercial game was not a complete flop because there were a few that caught my eye. Though I’d never heard of Ameriquest before the game, I now know exactly who they are. Their commercials were by far the best. One was about a guy shopping while talking into his cell phone’s earpiece about a person getting robbed with their mortgage. The store’s cashier thought he was talking about his store getting robbed and proceeded to pepper spray and beat the guy with a bat.
Their other commercial depicted a woman walking in on her boyfriend while he his holding his cat by the neck with a knife in his one hand and tomato sauce or “blood” spilled on the floor.
Another commercial that was quite hilarious was by Bud Light with two guys teasing their friend about not being at the basketball game. The friend, however, had the upper hand as he sent them a picture showing him not just with his own Bud Light, but also with the friend’s girlfriend.
The ads were also more conservative than normal, due largely in part to 2004’s infamous wardrobe malfunction.
The only provocative commercial I saw was for http://www.GoDaddy.com. It had little meaning, other than to make fun of last year’s incident, and was actually a little degrading to show a well-endowed woman spilling out all over the table.
Because the game was not as exciting as it could have been, I was surely looking to the commercials to keep the energy and attention span high. In the end, they both let me down because the Eagles lost and the commercials were sub-par.
Perhaps next year the advertisers can step up their game and not hide behind the “wardrobe malfunction” of 2004. Instead, take a risk and actually be creative. Everyone realizes the error and is apologetic but that doesn’t mean everyone should shirk away from the excitement of a provocative or funny commercial.
Dominique Drake is a third-year professional MBA student from Cleveland. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org