Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Ads Barely Connect

“Hey, do you remember any of the ads from the Super Bowl last night?”

That might be the gist of the conversation this morning as people try to run through their annual discussion of the Super Bowl broadcast. Part of it, I am sure, is that the crowds of people watching the game may not have been paying as much attention to the television as in years past, but I have to think that the main reason people aren’t talking about the ads so much today is that the ads themselves weren’t so effective.

Advertiser attempts to be controversial were relatively transparent, with viewers perhaps becoming a bit more savvy about that. Celebrity placements certainly got some fans’ attention — fans of those celebrities, that is — but weren’t startling enough to make people ask, “How could they do that?” — or any questions at all, for that matter.

It was always a bit of a stretch to use the creative content of television advertising as a starting point for conversation, but the super bowl ad blogs are looking especially thin and pretentious today. Advertisers may take this as just another sign of a long-term trend: it is getting harder and harder to get people’s attention.