Did you watch the Super Bowl ads this year? Most marketers I know watch the game to see the ads, not the game. This year the comments on Twitter and other social media channels seemed to be “these ads are dumb” instead of “this ad was awesome.” In a nutshell, many watchers (and especially marketers) said, “Ho-Hum.”
I've been watching ads since the run-up to Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). I believe that many stores who use Black Friday and the Super Bowl to drive massive sales are ruining what used to be a good thing.
Two Things That Dilute Your Ad Effectiveness
Retailers have watered down what was once special, thus lessening their once-huge effect and losing market. Black Friday used to be one day. It's been so diluted over the past few years that it has become a non-event. This past Thanksgiving it seemed that “Black Friday” specials lasted an entire week, and by Black Friday it was over with. There were far less crowds in the stores the day after Thanksgiving. Companies who spread their ads out for a week broke one of the basic tenets of marketing – scarcity. What is made common is no longer special!
As for this year's Super Bowl ads, many companies gave “sneak previews” several days before the game. As a Hyundai owner, I got their Super Bowl ads sent to me via e-mail, in fact, early in the week.
Not only were the ads “leaked” ahead of time, there now are too many ads during the game, making what was once special common, shorter, and harder to remember. Watchers were bored, annoyed, and complained on social media that many of the ads were not funny or compelling. Personally, I don't care much about the game itself but even I got annoyed at breaking for so many ads.
Advertising That Is Too Common Doesn't Work Well
Doling out more of a once-good thing ruins the scarcity and makes it common so no one wants it. That's a basic rule in marketing. Some companies need to get back to basics in my opinion.
Want more about the Super Bowl ads? My friend Dan Morris wrote a very insightful article about this year's ads, which you can find by clicking here.