. The Transom .

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl ads fall a little short

For the first time in a long time, the actual battle on the field kept my attention more than the battle on the breaks. The spots this year as a whole were just not as sharp, not as funny and not as motivating as in the past. One big disappointment in my mind was FedEx. Last year FedEx ran a spot that featured a caveman. This year it was set on the moon. Same basic situation, same predictable ending. Instead of a caveman getting crushed by a dinosaur, an astronaut gets hit by a passing meteor. Good for a quick chuckle but then you realize it's pretty unoriginal. Even Anheuser-Busch had its share of repeat losers. Last year we saw a donkey wanting to run with the Clydsdales. This year it was a homeless mutt wanting to ride with the dalmatian.

Some would argue this is consistent branding. I argue that it's just plain uncreative. The Super Bowl is unlike any other advertising opportunity on the world. I expect a little more than repeat themes. Maybe FedEx and Anheuser-Busch couldn't afford great ads this year since their budgets are being spent elsewhere. AB is pouring money into its new online "network TV," while FedEx is delivering the PGA Tour a check for nearly $50 million to be the title sponsor of the FedEx Cup.

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