Super-ish Bowl Commercials

February 9, 2022by Sean Mullen

They’re still expensive. They’re still the best way to reach a massive audience and, they’re still going to be full of celebrities and funny animals. They’re also still fun to watch–but, let’s admit it, not as fun as they used to be.

Sure, there’s still some hype around them. It’s just not the same.

We used to look forward to the commercials almost as much as the game itself. We talked about them with our family, friends and co-workers.

Many, like the Budweiser Frogs, Apple’s 1984 or the e-trade Baby went on to be cultural moments that transcended Super Bowl Sunday– and influenced trends in marketing.

So, what happened?

Well, our collective fractured attention span, digital distribution, and the need for brands to meet their customers “where they are” have simply taken some of the air out of those “big reveal” commercial moments of past Super Bowls.

Let’s break it down:

We’re not just 100% focused on our TVs anymore. We’ve got our phones. Checking our social media. Texting friends. Catching up on the tea – you name it. The commercials are no longer our only form of entertainment during the game. We’ve become habitual attention traders seeking whomever or whatever can engage us – even if momentarily. It’s hard to compete with a universe of possibilities in the literal palm of our hand.

Second, we don’t need to wait. With the internet we’re being fed clues, teasers and sometimes, the entire commercials before the games. Brands don’t just spend big money on the media, they spend big money on the commercial’s productions as well. It just makes sense that they want those dollars to go as far as possible, to get the work out there sooner and have it stick around longer.

Lastly, the smartest brands are meeting their audience where they are. The on-demand nature of information and entertainment these days means your customers aren’t passively awaiting your message nor are they captive to the time and place you want to unveil it. They’re doing their thing on their time at their convenience – you need to show up when they’re open to your message. On a couch in front of a TV is not their only option anymore.

Here’s the good news: A great idea, that’s built on solid insight and well-executed, will demand attention no matter when or where your audience experiences it.

Enjoy the game commercials!

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