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Pre-Super Bowl Ads? Flagged for False Start

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Super Bowl XLVI has come and gone, but the employees of Stream Companies are still buzzing about this year’s ads.

Director of Production, Greg Press, and I  have some pretty opposing views on the early preview of 2012′s Super Bowl ads.

Here’s my take on the whole thing:

Question:  If I were to tell you the outcome of the Super Bowl prior to the game, would you still watch it?  If you answered yes, then you are probably a die-hard football fan who even checked out the XFL (it’s okay, admit it).  But seriously, if even you were to watch the “Big Game” already knowing the result, how engaged would you be?  Without the unknown drama, that element of surprise, it would be difficult to be as sensitive to what was unfolding in front of you.  The same holds true for what used to be everyone’s favorite part of the Super Bowl – The Commercials!

From Ferris Bueller to Seinfeld, it seems that all the major players blew their whistles early with their Super Bowl Ads, leaving their audiences with nothing to look forward to.  Even worse, many of the “leaked” ads were two to three minutes long, with expanded narratives that made the thirty second versions even less engaging!  Sure, it doesn’t hurt to give consumers a peak at your fresh, compelling creative, but over delivering in pre-game leads to underwhelming your audience come game day.

So, for the record, I’m not a fan of the Pre-Super Bowl, Super Bowl ads.  I’m sure I am the minority, especially in the ever-evolving “give it to me now” social media mindset, but I would have like to have seen a different strategy.  Why not spin it by premiering your Super Bowl ad during the Super Bowl (imagine that), while encouraging your audience to see more/the extended version online?  Same tactic, better timing.  However, as it was, advertisers may have lost their audience during commercial breaks, either to food from the kitchen or to some quick channel surfing during the “new” Super Bowl ads.  Ah, everything that would make a Media Buyer cringe when they’re spending over $100,000 a second. Yes, that’s over one hundred thousand dollars per second for a thirty second ad.  But at least there’s YouTube right?

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