Monday, January 26, 2015

Premature Exhbition

A week from today, the country will be talking about the Big Super Bowl.

And in my sad circle, friends and colleagues will be talking about the Big Super Bowl spots.

Not to crush anybody's spirit, but we'll be the only ones talking about the advertising come next Monday. Our collective naval-gazing has reached epic proportions. And make no mistake, I'm as guilty, if not guiltier, than most.

Of course some smart advertisers are not waiting a week. They'd like you to start forgetting about their marketing extravaganza right this second.

They've labored months, sacrificed weekends and played countless games of Scrabble or Candy Crush during production status meetings, why waste all that human capital on one showing during a football game everyone is too drunk to remember?

So, they've pre-released their spots.

And shot their wad before the big game.

It's better, they'll argue, because all the non-existent buzz they've deluded themselves into believing, can begin earlier. People will have an opportunity to view their content more often. And, and this is a big deal, they can squeeze another extra 100 likes on the youtube channel.

If only I had employed such dexterous logic during my dating days when "getting out to an early start" was not embraced with such enthusiasm.

Call me Old School, but this grizzled 44 year old isn't buying it.

The idea of the Super Bowl spot is to reach through the flat screen TV, stop people in the middle of their Tostitos snack-sharing community moments™, and crack open their heads with 60 seconds of razzle dazzle that will have fans saying:

"That was fucking great. Why can't they make movies as good as they make the commercials?"

For those of you too young to remember, that's the way it was when Apple's 1984 spot first aired.

Or's "When I Grow Up".

Or Miller Lite's "Evil Beaver."

And even more recently, Dodge's "God Made a Farmer."

But now, in the service of social media and the chase for Likes and ReTweets, we've taken the element of surprise out of the hands of art directors and copywriters. It goes right in the dust bin. And sits next to long copy, wit, and intelligence; tools that are no longer useful in today's world of advertising.

If there's any buzz going on this week it's being generated by disgruntled creatives still upset with the redesign of the website or it's young media planners gathered round their supervisor's cubicle…

"Hit the refresh button, see if we reached 7500 views yet." 

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