Are Early Super Bowl Ads Socially Stunted?
I love the Super Bowl. I can remember the first one (not called the Super Bowl), which was very special for this then very young Green Bay Packer fan. I pretty much enjoy everything connected to the event including the food, time shared with friends and family, hours of pre-game shows, the halftime entertainment, the commercials and, yes, usually the game itself (except for SB XXXII when the Packers lost).
In recent years, one thing I haven’t enjoyed is the early hype around the commercials intended for the game now aired days if not weeks before the kickoff. It may sound funny to some, but it takes away from the game when you’ve seen most of the spots before the broadcast. It also seems, at least to me, that not watching the commercials together with others during the game makes the spots less memorable. Shared laughs always beat those experienced alone.
I get the rationale behind trying to get spots to go viral with the pre-game publicity. Advertisers spend millions of dollars on the production and placement of the spots for the game and they want to get the most from their investment. Social is, after all, the name of the game these days.
But then I wonder: what’s more social than millions of people (broken up into mostly small groups) enjoying a commercial together for the first time and sharing a laugh or groan together in the same room? That has to count for something and isn’t it a more powerful act of social engagement than sharing "likes" on YouTube or sending out a tweet on Twitter?
Are brands missing out on the key social opportunity connected to the Super Bowl by airing commercials before the game? How would you plan advertising activity around the Super Bowl if you were managing a brand’s budget?