MediaFile

Post Super Bowl: Ads, ads and more ads

February 8, 2010

It’s tempting, as a media reporter, to become incredibly cynical as the Super Bowl rolls around each February. Endless pitches, endless studies, endless clips sent by public relations departments in the days leading up the the game.

Here’s the thing though: Advertisers aren’t dummies. The $3 million they shell out for Super Bowl ads often pays off. Just think of all the stories that ran before the game in your local newspaper or on your local TV newscast (or here at Reuters.com). Or consider the party you attended yesterday — most people probably stayed in front of the TV set during timeouts. Hear much talk about Super Bowl ads today around the water cooler? Thought so.

A ton of polls are out today rating the best and worst Super Bowl commercials. Snickers and Doritos seem to be faring well.  Focus on the Family? Ahhh, that ad didn’t seem to knock anybody’s socks off. Then again, it didn’t have to. Do a Google News search and look at how much was written about the group’s advertisement long before it aired. That’s good marketing.

Like anything creative, advertising is a highly subjective. We had people over to watch the game — and the spots that our group liked can’t be found near the top of most polls (for the record, Cars.com, Monster.com and Dove Men + Care were popular in our living room). Beyond our little group, I had one advertising expert tell me it was the best group of advertisements he’d seen in years; another was highly unimpressed by the lot of them.

As for polls, they may not be scientific, and they may not reflect your reaction to the commercials, but they do matter. If nothing else, they create even more buzz, gets the spots watched for the second, third, or fourth time, and, presumably, drive traffic to the advertisers’ web site.

Below is the spot from Snickers, which seems to be the most often atop today’s polls:

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