They played the Super Bowl last night. Surprisingly I found myself watching. Not for the game, but for the commercials.
I generally find four-down footbal boring, though I will admit it has gotten more interesting in recent years with a greater emphasis on passing. Still I don’t watch the regular season, and I pretty much ignore the playoffs. So why watch the championship?
Partly it was because, for the firt time in five years, the game hasn’t been played in the middle of my night. When I lived in Germany there was no way I would lose sleep to watch a game where I didn’t much care for the outcome.
More though it was to see what creative ads were on display. Companies pay millions for one 30-second spot during the big game, which means they also spend millions on production.
But they don’t always have to. Possibly the most compelling commercial was one that probably cost about $50 to make.
That one was a QR code, bouncing on your TV screen like a screen saver. I think it was a 30-second spot, with nothing except the QR code for the first 27 seconds. At the end there as a graphic saying who sponsored the commercial.
By that point I already knew what the commercial was about. After about 15 seconds I had grabbed my phone and held it up to the television screen. Anything that gets me to move off the couch that quickly is impressive.
Or there was the car ad featuring two Greek gods. I will admit, I couldn’t fugure out what the product was until about the 45-second mark.
And then there was what I thought at first was a toy commercial. I was surprised that toymaker Mattel was targeting the Super Bowl audience. But it wasn’t Mattell, they just benefit from another company’s desire to use one of their iconic products.
None of the various beer/chip ads made any impact on me. Not even the ones with celebrities. This may be because I’m not all that tuned into popular culture. Even if I know who the celbrities are, I don’t care. The exception may be the Planet Fitness ad that featured a cameo from William Shatner. I feel I have a relationship with him, even though we have never met.
One trend I noticed, a sign of our changing times, was that all the automotive ads featured electric vehicles. The big question from my perspective remains one of charging such vehicles. I can drive 700 kilometres on a tank of gas.
Please car manufacturers, tell me in your ads how far I can go on a charges – and where I can charge in unfamilar cities. (I have a friend who drives a Tesla, and his car does tell him that. Maybe they all do.)
The use of old pop tunes also seemed quite common. What if you are one of those who didn’t like the song when it was a hit? Does that affect your liking of the product?
I have to admit though that by the time the third quarter ended I was done. Done with commercials and done with the football game. I didn’t care who won and I wasn’t going to buy any of the products.
I wonder if that makes me in the majority or minority. What about you – did you watch the game? What did you think – of the game and the commercials?