Commentary

Super Bowl: In A Blowout, Snow-Out Could Have Helped Dense Pack Of Commercials

In contrast to the Seattle Seahawks vs. the Denver Broncos, this year’s Super Bowl brought a closely fought battle among some 50 or more marketers looking for big attention -- as well as for some Fox shows, old and new, looking to make hay.  

Good news for marketers: The game was a blow-out, leaving viewers desperate for some real entertainment. Too bad snow didn’t come in the New York City area for the first Super Bowl on Ice.

Smart marketers got the jump early as a record number of teaser spots before the game made their messaging last longer. It was like a two-episode limited series.

More marketers also spoofed or offered up the inside world of commercials for savvy viewers.

For example, a Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt bromance commercial featured “Full House” stars John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier.  “Seinfeld” stars in their sitcom personas appeared in a commercial for Crackle’s Jerry Seinfeld-hosted “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” online series.

Fox ran promos for current series “The Following,” “New Girl,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “American Idol”; for a new show “24: Live Another Day”; for a limited series, “Cosmos”; and for its cable channel Fox Sports 1.

P.Diddy hosted a Time Warner Cable spot featuring an assortment of characters including new “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon. Former NFL player Tim Tebow, still without a football contract, found work with T-Mobile as a new kind of action star.

More marketers joined the parade of having viewers either producing or choosing their Super Bowl commercials.

Software maker Intuit gave small businesses around the country a chance to tout themselves -- GoldieBlox, a girl-targeted toy company, was a winner.

Apparel retailer H&M offered retired soccer star David Beckham in a choice of ‘covered” or “uncovered” possibilities; and snack maker Doritos continued to give wannabe commercial producers the chance for big stardom in its “Crash The Super Bowl” marketing effort.

If all this wasn’t inside-TV enough, right after the game ended, John Krasinski fronted an Esurance spot saying the company had saved some $1.5 million -- 30% -- off the regular Super Bowl price for a 30-second commercial. (Only $2.5 million. What a deal!). The insurance company promised consumers similar product savings.

All this inside-TV stuff  had better be entertaining when the Super Bowl’s a blowout.

Some 130 million views of Super Bowl commercials took place before the game.  They they received real exposure from the 110 million viewers who watched the actual game.

Good news: 70% of viewers will remember brands associated with commercials, but only 40% will yield business-related engagement. Worse still -- 30% of advertising will get lost in all the buzz.

In a blow-out game? Not too sure about those metrics. We need to go back to 2003 when Tampa Bay won easily over the Oakland Raiders, 48-21, or 2001 when the Baltimore Ravens pushed aside the New York Giants, 34-7.

With the NFL feeling out the market to air more national TV games, marketers will need more room to distinguish themselves.  In this Super Bowl, they got the chance to stand out against some dulling football action.  

So what was really missing this year? The weather, of course. A snowstorm with players sliding around the field, battling the elements, would have been the biggest entertainment of this Super Bowl.

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