Watched a (air quotes gesture) special, and I use the term incredibly loosely, last night on the CBS television network (home of Super Bowl XLVII). I believe the title of the program was, “Let’s Kill an Hour of Prime Time Showing Nothing But Television Commercials of Advertisers Who will be Spending Millions of Dollars on Sunday to Run Their Commercials in the Super Bowl but We Won’t Charge Them Anything to Run Their Old Commercials in This Show and We’ll Have Generally Talented Actors Failing Miserably to Act Cool While Reading Inanely Written Scripts Telling the Viewers That These are the Best Super Bowl Commercials Ever.” Yes, it’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back.
It used to be that companies would do everything they could to keep their Super Bowl commercials a big secret, build the hype to a fevered pitch and then spring the big surprise on an unsuspecting football watching crowd on a Sunday afternoon. And then all day Monday at the office all you’d hear would be, “Did you see the one where the guy feeds the candy bar to the cobra and the cobra eats him anyway?” “Did you see the one where the guy drinks a bunch of beer and makes fun of his wife because she calls a couch a davenport?” “Did you see the one where the guy throws up in his wife’s suitcase and then she gets busted at the airport because it’s more than three ounces of liquid?” Ah, those were the days.
Now, you can go online to any number of sites and see virtually every commercial that’s going to run during the fifteen hours of Super Bowl coverage on Sunday. If you can’t see a commercial then usually you can find a teaser commercial for that commercial, especially if it’s one of the rare ads that’s going to introduce something new. But believe me, if it’s not for something that involves sex or is for something that is being given away for free no one will notice. This is because when it comes to advertising, the only people who really care about commercials are other people who make commercials.
Between that vapid program last night and those advertiser websites, I’ve seen just about everything new that will run Sunday evening. Now, I am the first to admit I am not in the target audience for most of this advertising. However, I know a whole lot of people in their twenties, thirties and forties. I’m even related to some of them. I’d like to believe that they would find most of this stuff just plain stupid rather than entertaining. I continue to be astonished by what advertising professionals believe is a good way to attract attention, positive attention to the products they are asking you to purchase.
Anyhow, this Sunday watch the game. Enjoy the game. Eat, drink and be merry. And when the commercials come on, do what you’re supposed to do – go to the bathroom.