Did you hear about the product called Airborne that wanted to advertise? In the quirky spot appears none other than quirky Mickey Rooney. It seems the ole chap is on a sauna (cringe) in a towel, someone coughs and the towel drops only to see his bare bottom. Well guess what? It got banned. Perhaps there's a little paranoia of one of the funniest/finest (depending what camp you are in) TiVo moments where Justin Timberlake pulled at Janet Jackson's "costume" and her boob popped out. And to think the online ad world seems like the only one accused of being intrusive.
Advertisers are still spending record-breaking prices for spots broadcast by Fox on Feb 6. They average $2.4 million for each 30 seconds, up 4.3 percent from the average price of $2.3 million that advertisers paid CBS for Super Bowl XXXVIII.
To no surprise, you'll see ads from Anheuser-Busch, Ford, General Motors, and McDonald's. What I think you won't see is the campy, less-than-mature stunts of last year's ads after the Jackson incident. Let me refresh your memory: The elderly couple physically fighting over a bag of chips, a man who had a bikini wax by mistake, a flatulent horse, a crotch-biting dog, the Scot with nothing under his kilt... the list goes on.
So were these ads funny? Do you remember them? If so, do you remember the brands they were advertising? Maybe they were funny but then quickly considered tasteless due to the "wardrobe malfunction?"
Let's face it; everyone wants a moment to shine during the Super Bowl. Some of the ads will never air again. This year I think the advertising will be a bit on the "safe" side.
They'll be ads for credit cards and banks, Frito-Lay, Pepsi-Cola Co., and Procter & Gamble Co. as well as some newbies from CareerBuilder.com, Novartis (Ciba Vision), and a company that registers domain names called Godaddy.com.
A company called Intelliseek will be watching as Americans hit their computers after the Internet. It said it will conduct a real-time analysis of messages and opinions expressed in millions of Internet Web logs, or blogs, message boards, online communities, and sports enthusiast sites to see if ads were creative enough to trigger discussion. The company will rank buzz by volume, emotion, appeal factors, and penetration among influential consumers.
"Marketers consistently rely on 'water-cooler' effect, which until now couldn't really be measured," said Chief Marketing Officer Pete Blackshaw in a news release. "Intelliseek will audit these ads to see whether they are generating incremental buzz, and we'll carefully monitor whether game-related events or incidents help or hurt advertisers' perceptions among consumers."
Intelliseek also said it is putting together a special panel of consumer bloggers that will critique the ads during the game for a group of participating clients.
Intelliseek operates BlogPulse, which tracks and analyzes more than 3.5 million blogs a day.
As an online advertiser, I salivate at the thought of having the budget spent for one 30-second spot reallocated to a digital marketing campaign. There'd be SEO and paid placement listings, large impact units, integrated messaging online and offline, a contest, a way to garner leads, branding studies... ahh we could do so many things with that kind of cash. Heck, we could probably get months of advertising and impressions with that kind of money. I guess its wishful thinking on my part.
So I'll be geared up with a premier spot on the sofa, surrounded by my friends, munching on low-fat popcorn, ready for the game and the ads. Until then, what do you predict will happen? Do you think last year had enough impact to stifle and/or regulate some of the creativity just dying to come out? Post to the SPIN board and at least one thing is for sure -- we don't have to be exposed to Mickey Rooney's bare behind.