Advertisers fumble more than Colts and Bears

Brendan Dowding

If you walked away from watching the Super Bowl this past weekend feeling a little let down, chances are you weren’t alone. And I’m not talking about the Colts beating the Bears.

What I am referring to, however, is a lack of creativity that was evident in most nearly every highly-touted Super Bowl commercial. An average 30-second spot during the big game sold for $2.6 million. To add slightly more perspective to how astounding that figure is, companies spent nearly $87,000 per second to try to give their product or service the necessary exposure.

So with advertising being so outrageously high-priced, one would think that the commercials left a lasting mark on their viewers, right? Not quite.

“I thought they were terrible,” said Anne Hines, a junior marketing major. “Nothing really stood out for me. Nothing was that interesting. I feel like if companies pay such a high price for commercials and they don’t get their message across, it’s just a waste of money.”

As for the noticeably bad ads, Sierra Mist produced a few duds (although Jim Gaffigan’s comb over beard single-handedly made my night). FedEx apparently thought it would be funny to put an office building on the moon and have one of its horrifying futuristic delivery vehicles land on it. And what about that poor guy in the astronaut suit who floated away and then got hit my a comet? Surely, he will be the beneficiary of a nice worker’s compensation package.

Aside from the ads that left more to be desired, there were also commercials that have been on the air for some time now. Take for instance the Coca-Cola ad with the video game character. Yes, he’s Rico Suave and everything he touches in his computerized world turns to gold. But for those who have been paying attention to pop culture lately, Sunday night was not the ad’s debut. There were countless other repeat commercials that managed to make there way into the most coveted time slots of the year. I just don’t remember any of them. And that has to be an advertiser’s worst nightmare.

But, as is the case with any argument, to make an informed decision one must first hear both sides. I will be the first to admit that last night did produce a couple of beauties.

Bud Light continues to be the crown jewel of Super Bowl advertising. Their “Rock, Paper, Scissors” commercial got the night off to a great start. They followed up with other instant classics like Carlos Mencia teaching foreigners how to speak English and an auctioneer speeding through a wedding so that all those in attendance could get to the Bud Light faster.

Then there was the Snickers ad, which, in my opinion, took the cake. There’s just nothing funnier than seeing two manly mechanics making out while sharing a candy bar. But I digress.

In the end, the night had its fair share of good commercials, but you had to deal with five or six bad ones before you’d be entertained again. I mean, c’mon, Kevin Federline actually had one of the better commercials. And when you’re paying $2.6 million for 30 seconds of air time, you’d think most ad agencies would come up with something to trump K-Fed. Welcome to 2007.