About the only folks who had a worse Super Bowl than Patriot Nation were the advertisers.
This was a dismal installment of the Super Bowl Adstravaganza – overproduced, underthought, underwhelming.
Just consider the Top Ten in USA Today’s AdMeter. [Note: The hardworking staff isn’t hardworking enough to link to individual ads; you can see them all at the Admeter site.]
The Number One ad, Bud Light: Wego, was just a mashup of previous canine commercials from the brewmeister. The second- and third-place finishers were consumer-generated ads for Doritos, while #4 was the creepy-if-you-really-think-about-it naked M&M spot.
Then come the athletic canine commercials – Mr. Quiggly for Sketchers and the Volkswagen: Dog Strikes Back spot that tried much too hard to be the sequel to last year’s terrific Darth Vader ad for the automaker.
Actually, tried too hard should be the epitaph for a majority of the Super Bowl ads, which often seemed to have too much money for their own good. (Or too little taste, as in the TaxACT.com ad.)
I watched the game with a group of friends who kept reacting to the ads by saying, Huh?
I would then explain the ads to them (because I have no life and followed all the pre-game hype), serving as a sort of closed-captioning for the advertising impaired.
Except it wasn’t their fault – it was the fault of the advertisers who had constructed these elaborate marketing efforts that included social media and microsites and QR codes and Twitter hashtags and a bunch of other crapola that they attached to the spots themselves. (See especially the Coca-Cola polar bears mess.)
What once relied on the element of surprise now has too many elements.
And that’s turned Super Bowl advertising into one big ingrown toenail.
As the Missus often says, All those dollars and no sense.