Paul Hebert made a point on Twitter that this year was one of those rare years that the game itself was more exciting than the commercials. I would argue that the Giants' defeat of the Patriots a couple of years ago could make the same case. However, I believe a trend is at stake here:
Is the rise of social media and viral marketing watering down Super Bowl ads?
I may be alone in this thinking but I believe the quality of Super Bowl ads has seen a gradual decline in the past five years. Not that there aren't a few diamonds in the rough but there seems to be a trend in increasing disappointment every year for the past few years. More companies have spent so much time with their viral marketing that traditional advertising has seen less priority.
Pepsi made the bold decision to not advertise in the Super Bowl this year. Being a typical heavy hitter on Super Bowl Sunday, this made big news and drew the Pepsi brand more buzz than its multi-millions spent on ads would have. Pepsi's move was either a genius marketing idea or a pioneering move of trends to come. With so much creative effort going into social media campaigns, is that taking away from the creative going into Super Bowl ads?
It's like Carmax wasn't even trying. Using the dramatic chipmunk clip from YouTube from several years ago, it created a series of several ads using the same concept, same tagline, just a different animal every time. They spent several million dollars on something that really had no original thought or creative thinking. The other underlying theme in many commercials was the concept of no pants. I seriously saw back-to-back commercials with the main joke based on no pants.
I did like a few though. The Snicker's commercial with Betty White and Abe Vigoda were hilarious. David Letterman showed his genius by using Jay Leno and Oprah in a promotion for his show. The Dodge Charger ad about "Man's Last Stand" hit home in a way and I liked the concept of the small business highlight done by Miller High Life. These were great creative concepts that one typically expects from the Super Bowl. If you're paying several million dollars for a spot, I would think a brand would throw its best stuff out there.
What do you all think? Do you believe we are just in a temporary slump regarding Super Bowl ads? Will there still be the hype for advertising on Super Bowl Sunday five years from now?