Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Superbowl Buzz

by: Joelle Charbonneau

Today is the big day. Even if someone isn’t a football fan, the Superbowl tends to be on everyone’s radar. Okay – that might not be true for those beyond the US, but here in the good ol’ USA Superbowl Sunday is akin to a holiday. Everyone has their favorite foods to eat. There are parties to go to. And any restaurant with a television (and even a few that bring in TVs for the day) are running Superbowl specials.

I know more than a few people who profess to hate football, but every year watch the Superbowl. Why?

The commercials, of course.

Every year people watch the commercials so they can talk about them at work, on Facebook or via Twitter the next day. Which ones were funny? Which pissed you off? Which ones were cute, but you have no flippin’ idea what product the commercial was hocking. The unveiling of new, expensive and often provocative commercials during the Superbowl has kept non-sports fans interested in the game for decades. No one wants to miss those brand new commercials.

Smart, right? I always thought so. Except this year I am noticed a huge number of tweets and Facebook posts talking about Superbowl commercials….not the ones they are looking forward to, but the ones they have already seen. For some strange reason that I don’t understand, advertising geniuses that get paid way more than I do have decided to release their “brand-new, never seen before” commercials before the big day. Which baffles me. I me, why pay millions of dollars to get buzz the day after the Superbowl unless you actually WANT buzz after the Superbowl?

I’m really asking. Why? If the public has already chatted about your commercial and deemed it interesting or uninteresting, they aren’t going to care when it officially launches during the game.

For books, sending out hundreds of ARCs before the book officially hits shelves is a way of building buzz. Booksellers read the book. Librarians and reviewers read the book. Then when the book hits shelves, those early readers can tell everyone they meet to read the book. That advanced buzz I get. This Superbowl commercial thing has me baffled.

So tell me 1) Do you watch the Superbowl for the game or the commercials and 2) Why the heck would you pay that much money for big impact only to lessen the impact with an early release. I really want to know!


Diana said...

The past couple of years, I've checked the internet on the day after the Superbowl to find the commercials. There's usually a site for voting for one's favorite where I can check out all of them at one time without having to watch the Superbowl. (I do like football; I have other things that I would rather do with my time.)

The best commercials are usually uploaded to youtube where they can be easily bookmarked and shared.

Using VW as an example, their commercial last year with the little boy in the Darth Vader costume has over 50 millions hits in a year. In comparison, Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up (the rick roll video) has 48 million hits in a three year period.

This year, VW launched a teaser commerical, The Bark Side. It already has almost 12 million hits in two and a half weeks. Their game day commercial released five days ago has over three and a half million hits.

The teaser trailer for their gameday commercial is genius. I haven't been waiting for the game, I've been waiting to see what their game day commercial is.

A great Super bowl commercial combined with youtube is the advertising gift that keeps on giving.

Joelle Charbonneau said...

Dana - you are a fountain of information! And um....Why have you been looking at Rick Astley videos on youtube? I just gotta know.

Steven J. Wangsness said...

They may be thinking of people like me. I often miss the Super Bowl, or large parts of it. But I've already watched that Matthew Broderick commercial updating Ferris Buehler at least three times already.

Diana said...


Ummmm because I needed something that people would recognize to compare the VW commercial to.

Okay, I confess. I was a teenager in the 70's and his music meets the American Bandstand definition of good music: *druggy voice* "It's got a beat and I can dance to it." So, it's bookmarked. Don't shoot me.

Joelle Charbonneau said...

Diana - HA! (Sorry I spelled your name wrong the first time....I realized after I posted!) I was a pre-teen in the was all about Rick's music at dances. So I totally get it, but I had to harass you!