Super Sunday is Super Letdown

super-bowl-2013While the results indicate that Budweiser reclaimed the crown and Tide was a surprise runner-up, I’ve got to believe that the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter graded on a curve, as this year’s roster of commercial spots didn’t nearly live up to the hype.Maybe it’s just because anticipation has grown too great and the need to stand out from the pack, resulting in standalone PR campaigns, “teasers” and contests pushed out through social media weeks in advance of the big game have weakened the surprise and impact of the spots themselves. As a result, in my opinion, Super Bowl XLVII will be the year that the Super Bowl commercial jumped the shark.

What was nice to see was, with the exception of just a few examples, brands decided to forgo leveraging over-the-top sex appeal in favor of story-telling. And clearly, sentimentality and patriotism still sell as evidenced by a couple of the true “event” spots of the game, by Budweiser and Dodge Ram, and Jeep, respectively. The other notable aspect of the game was the social media tidal wave that ascended to a new level as a result of the power outage. Everyone joined in the mockery in the moment – including athletes, journalists and entertainers. I can’t remember the last time my Twitter feed was so entertaining.

Safety issues aside, which seemed to be very minimal, it was a black-eye for the NFL for there to be a 34 minute delay in the middle of their crown jewel event. It will be interesting to see where the buck gets passed in the coming day(s). And likely even more entertaining to see the folly that late night television, sport radio and others who make their living in parody will have at the NFL’s expense.

About Shawn McBride

Shawn McBride, EVP of Sports at Ketchum Sports & Entertainment, and head of Ketchum Sponsorshop, has more than 15 years’ experience building brands through sports marketing and PR programming, including supporting several NFL sponsors and working on leading Super Bowl campaigns throughout his career.