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Super-Size It

3 February 2010 6 Comments

So Sunday’s the big day. The day when we watch brief segments of America’s most popular sport, sandwiched between lots and lots of ads.

It is perhaps our industry’s biggest day. But is it our finest hour?

In some ways, it is. At no other time do people genuinely look forward to the messages we put out there. People who otherwise detest advertising will actually tell people to ‘shut up, the commercials are on!’

And that’s quite an accomplishment.

Lucy-FootballBut what is it they are watching, exactly? For the most part, it is an endless stream of ball jokes, fake boobs and trained monkeys.

We could do better.

But the good thing is that people are working like crazy on these ads. The subject matter may be misguided, there may be too much emphasis on the ‘insta-poll’ results from viewers and there may be some downright awful executions. But the end goal of creating a splash and getting noticed drives everyone involved to work their freakin’ tails off.

And isn’t that what we should always be doing?

Shouldn’t we be treating every piece of communication with the sense of urgency and importance that we place on super bowl advertising?

If we did, then maybe people wouldn’t spend the remaining 364 days of the year trying to ignore our creations.

Go Saints!

- TJ Bennett

6 Comments »

  • Jon Goop said:

    You’re right. But from a viewer’s perspective, it’s gotten to the point that people are annoyed with the Super Bowl commercials if they are not funny and entertaining. You better show me something during the commercial breaks that’s going to make me put my nachos and wings down to pay attention. The easy way out is to show Three Stooges humor and scantily clad people. Obviously that’s not the most creative though.

  • Laurel said:

    Point well made TJ. SuperBowlesque work should be our daily goal. And what about Pepsi this year? Big news. Sign of the times. Maybe Pepsiesque work should be our daily goal.

  • John Stevenson said:

    I would love to treat every assignment like it’s the Super Bowl – just not sure how that will go over with the client who needs 5 new print ads in the next 10 minutes. Or the pharma client who mandates that 52 seconds of the :60 is legal copy.

  • George Lynch said:

    We’ve come a long way from Apple’s 1984. Now it’s all about the Dorito’s Girl, the Go Daddy girl, or old couples popping Viagra like it’s Pez. This lack of creativity is one of the reasons why people fast forward through the commercials on TiVo. If we paid more attention to the ads we’re creating now as you suggest, maybe this wouldn’t be the case.

  • Craig Cooper said:

    The people I know — the ones I like, anyway — do “treat every piece of communication with the sense of urgency and importance placed on super bowl advertising.”

    Sadly, it’s the clients that often do not.

    And I agree — the fart jokes et al, are not good advertising.

    Maybe everybody is aware of GoDaddy now, but we’ve also all heard of Hitler.

    And just ’cause we know of you, doesn’t mean we like you.

  • TJ said:

    Craig, I agree that the good ones try and treat every project like it’s a big deal, but I know a lot of people who do not. And even those that want every project to be great aren’t always given the support within the agency like they are when working on high-profile super bowl ads. I think it’s less an individual critique than an industry-wide issue. But I don’t think it’s just the clients fault; agencies are quite good at enabling those clients.

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