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The Super Bowl was really super this year. Sure it was a fun game to watch – and more people watched the telecast than any other television show in history – and the commercials are always part of the entertainment value. But what struck me this year was all of the Monday morning quarterbacking of those ads by new media sources. No longer is the USA Today Ad Meter survey the only source to judge which spots scored a touchdown and which drew a penalty. In my read around the web over the past few days, sources such as Tivo, Hulu.com, YouTube were used to measure success. The amount of negative chatter on Facebook and Twitter was reported in judging spots that failed; Social Media analysts were quoted as experts. And even the stronghold by top ad agencies to produce the game’s ads was undercut by a slew of user-generated and in-house produced ads – many of which scored most favorably with viewers.
It was truly a super Super Bowl because the game, the commercials, the entertainment of it all has evolved as new media has emerged. It is a more interactive experience and it is truly a spectacle for the people. I think this is exciting change: change that allows new media to play a more significant role and consumers to be a part of the action – whether you are a Nielsen family or not. Children I watched the game with discussed the merits of the spots and whether they could have done better. And next year, maybe they can and have their spot air. It isn’t out of the question. In fact, the Doritos ‘Underdog’ spot which came in second place in the annual USA Today survey won the 24-year old ‘creator’ $600,000 on a spot that cost him $200 to produce. What aspiring commercial director doesn’t like that return on investment?