Obviously there was one thing that was way overhyped this year. That would be Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg's face was everywhere and the announcement of the new advertising platform and its privacy violations have been a dominant topic ever since, but let's be honest... this model will work and the model will survive. I liked it the first time I heard about it; back when it was just called behavioral targeting and I could buy it from an ad network.
The Google/Doubleclick merger was pretty over-hyped, which is amazing because as of Monday it still wasn't approved! The rumor is that it should be approved this week and that the merger will move forward. I can't understand why this one was such a big deal, whereas the merger between Microsoft and Aquantive wasn't? I guess buying a company with the second largest paid ad-server doesn't get the attention of the "powers that be" as much as the top ad-server does. Sorry, Microsoft; less press for you.
The Geico-originated "Cavemen" TV show was way over-hyped and (imagine that) it underwhelmed. The show is actually pretty funny (assuming you have not mastered the English language yet). I hope they make it into a full-length movie and promote it online featuring webisodes and mobisodes and buy ad-space on Facebook and target me with... Ahhh, forget it. It won't last.
The movie "300" was over-hyped, as was "The Bee Movie" from Jerry Seinfeld. Both films were amazing examples of what technology can do when you use it to push the boundaries of entertainment. "300" was all computer-generated imaging and beautiful set designs, and "The Bee Movie" was an animated movie... about a bee. OK, so maybe they were overhyped because there wasn't much else out at the time? I don't know. It was pre-writer's strike, so I really don't have an explanation.
The iPhone was a bit over-hyped, but for once someone delivered a product with very few bugs and which almost (read: almost) lived up to the hype. Of course, the iPhone hasn't been seen in any hip-hop videos yet. You haven't really "made it" until 50 Cent is seen carrying three of them all "up in da club." I think Apple's marketing people need to get out there and pimp-ify Steve Jobs. I bet by MacWorld we see Gangsta Jobs pushing the new iPhone 2.0!
David Beckham was over-hyped, especially for a guy who only played in a few of the games this season. For those sorry souls who bought the "Beckham Package" upfront from the L.A. Galaxy, I must apologize on behalf of Major League Soccer. Beck was marketable, though; anyone see that Disney ad where he rode the horse like a knight in shining armor? Nice.
Of course nothing beats Britney Spears for being over-hyped. Britney stole all the headlines, and maybe all the Twinkies in Los Angeles this year. Of course Britney is just one example of the horrible trend of celebri-papparazzi that has gripped our nation. Why do we spend sooo much time focusing on what these people do? Is it the decline of Western civilization? Are our minds becoming mush from all the overexposure and the complexities of the day? Maybe steroids are the answer (see Barry Bonds)?
Maybe this will strengthen our resolve and we will all move in the direction of Major League Baseball, with everyone juicing our minds and trying to knock marketing plans out of the park, hitting a home run for all of our clients every day! Or maybe, just maybe, we'll get tired of this mindless banter and get back to doing something useful with our days? Maybe we can focus our attention towards better topics and utilize a slightly higher portion of our brains?
Or maybe we should just smile and say that we're looking forward to the New Year and the hype of the new Amazon Kindle? Maybe more ads with dancing aliens promoting mortgage loans?
What do you think was over-hyped this year?