By now you’ve heard about fifteen people tell you they loved the Oprah/Letterman/Leno ad on the Superbowl, and heard the morning-after commentators tell you the winner was Snickers with the lovable Betty White and I-didn’t-know-he-was-still-alive Abe Vigoda.
Any guesses on how many ads ran? Sixty-eight, to be precise. So how many did you remember, and more importantly, did any of them really make you feel any differently about the advertised brand?
If you kept track during the three-plus hour event, you noticed the ads went from memorable (Snicker’s, the ETrade babies) to forgettable to just plain awful (Charles Barkley for Taco Bell).
Interestingly, fashion retailers steered clear of the Superbowl — not that they ever had a strong presence — with only Sketchers and Dockers contributing advertising. The latter went big with an ad that encouraged viewers to log onto their website to win a free pair of pants.
Unfortunately, someone forgot to plan for this and the website crashed within seconds of the ad airing. Good job, boys!
It’s clear that the Superbowl continues to be a kind of flexing of the muscles for advertisers with perhaps little to no expectation in translating that two million or more they spent into building the brand or converting customers.
But then you already knew that, and like me, you just sat back and watched the show: the equivalent to a small country’s gross national product being spent on thirty seconds of hot air.
See the full list of all sixty-eight ads here.