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Super Bowl Super Ads?

Posted by Drew Conklin on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 @ 09:01 AM

As we all know, the Super Bowl is a spectacle. Even if your team isn't playing (sadly my team won't be playing...again), you always watch...mainly for the commercials. Sometimes it is all about the commercials, but in recent years the ads have been, in this bloggers opinion, not very good.

There was a time when it seemed like every commercial was great, but in recent years we only seem to get maybe 3 or 4 that are good and the rest are just mediocre. Now advertisers tease the ads even before gameday, so why spend $4.5M on placement if you are just going to show it before it airs in the game? There is even a website dedicated to showcasing this year's Super Bowl advertisers. It is that big of a deal.

Have we as a society come to expect Super Bowl ads to be so good that we have become so critical of each one now?  As I've been in the Advertising industry for close to two decades, I know I am very critical of commercials, even the everyday ones I see. Should we just enjoy them as they are and not over think them? Nah, that is what Super Bowl commercials are all about. These are supposed to be the best of the best. Are creative folks over-thinking the ads to such a point that what they produce just aren't as good as ones in the past? Are all the good, creative ideas for the WOW ads all dried up? I doubt that, so perhaps they are just to obsessed with trying to make that perfect commercial. 

Some of the best commercials are just simple and memorable. Budweiser is a perfect example of those simple, but memorable commercials. 

With all the political talk over the past year, you would hope these commercials would not take a political stand, but first time Super Bowl advertiser, 84 Lumber, is seeing their spot rejected because it is being viewed as too political. Have we not learned from celebrities that people are starting to reject their political grandstanding? This is not the first time an ad has been rejected by the network and I am sure it won't be the last. It will be interesting to see what 84 Lumber does with their spot to get it approved.

So as we sit down and watch Super Bowl LI lets not be too critical of the ads that we see. Take them for what they are--just commercials--and perhaps stop putting so much emphasis on them. As a media guy, I just want you to watch the commercial and buy my client's product because I bought that spot for my client to increase their share in the marketplace. 

Now this is just one media buyers opinion, comment below if you have a different take.

Topics: Super Bowl advertising, commercials

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