The DMDS Team Blog

3Feb/140

Superbowl Blues

By Sarah Foss
President, Advertising

Superbowl BluesLike many across the country—dare I say world?—I gathered with friends and family to watch the Big Game yesterday.  And, like everyone else, I was watching to see a good game—and witness the spectacle of advertising madness that is now as much part of the event as the game is.

But, halfway through, I started feeling a bit, well, down.  Deflated.  Blue.  And, no, I’m not a Denver fan.

As each spot was aired, I realized that the excitement and anticipation was gone.  I had already seen the ads!  Even my non-industry buddies had seen most of them.  And, earlier in the day, I had a long conversation with a dear friend who unilaterally declared she wasn’t even going to watch as “…I’ve already seen the ones that would interest me.  David Beckham, Bud’s crazy night out, you know, the good ones.”  (And, she’s in telecom.)

Don’t get me wrong, if I was spending millions on a fleeting 30-seconds, I would also try to maximize it!  But, what used to be industry hype and fodder—cloaked in secrecy—has evolved into a mad rush for viral videos views before the game.  All of a sudden, the post-game ad analysis has winners being declared based on YouTube…not on post-game debate, discussion, fodder and watercooler smack talk.  (Sure, we can declare that Budweiser is the champion with two interesting efforts and viral chatter, but really, isn’t the most important question why Don Cheadle had a llama?)

I just was sad.   The mystery of the creative process has been so exposed that even our biggest ad day is now lacking surprise.  Or, it’s architected surprise.  (Thankfully, Arnold and Stephen created good teaser spots that at least pretended to have some element of the unknown.)

Now, I wonder, will I actually feel the same desire to watch the whole game?  In the past, when the games were blowouts, there was always the need to see every spot in real-time.  I like the Seahawks—I grew up in the Pacific Northwest; but it’s highly suspect I would have stayed tuned-in for all four quarters of horrifying play by the Broncos.

Call me a fuddy-duddy or old-fashioned.  I liked it when I didn’t know the stars of each spot, the well-architected, feel-good moments, and the surprise endings of commercials.  I relished in the mystery…and it’s clear those days are done.

Goodbye, Superbowl surprises.  I mourn you this AM…and will have to count on the PuppyBowl to surprise and delight me with sponsorships now.