Avoid being a Super Bowl loser

Go Daddy CommercialSuper Bowl Sunday has arrived and many of you will in front of a big screen at home, in a bar or maybe even (but unlikely) at the game. As a Brit looking in from the outside, I can’t quite fathom what I see. The focus isn’t on the game and instead is on which advertisement will impress the most.

It’s really a massive WTF moment for me.

Multimillion dollar budgets and a 30-second slot in the pre-game show won Toyota the accolade for being the winner this year. Game-day ads are already being played online in an attempt to get even more bang for the buck than the game-time airing can deliver (See Samsung’s 2-minute-long spot with Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd). At what point has a nationally (nay, globally) loved sport become second fiddle to the product marketer?

I get the economics

Yes, yes, I’m fully aware of the why, the economics of a global audience may stack up for you as a marketer but really, has sport boiled down to playing for numbers now ? Take a step back into the stadium parking lot and tell me the enjoyment of the game would be completely destroyed if you didn’t see a single advertisement ? I remember watching my first Super Bowl game and wondered why the in the world I had to sit through four additional hours of adverts to get to the end run. Seriously, has nobody ever bothered to question or has sense taken leave?

It’s not the only sport guilty of losing its soul to product marketing…just look at Formula 1 years ago with tobacco branding…but the frenzy whipped up over Super Bowl marketing has an obscene feel and is a bit sad.

The only real winners of the game are the advertisers who drown out the sport. And the real losers aren’t the players, either, because they’ll get paid well for their effort and for winning. The losers are the millions of eyes paying more attention to a smartphone skit than the teams battling to lift the trophy.

Fans can win

onsports2But the fans can be the winners. Those using second screens to socialize their excitement with the others have turned off the product marketing volume and have tuned in to the conversation about the game. Sites like OnSports and StatSheet are where the social media-aware fan will be found, ‘wagering’, smack talking and sharing enthusiasm.

Greg Carlson of OnSports, talking about their app, says, “This is what I’m doing with with my friends, anyway. Sites like OnSports let fans put a little ‘skin in the game’ and add an emotional aspect to the event that is far more interesting and engaging than the advertisements.” Carlson knows that things that truly augment the game don’t distract from it at the same time. More than following a hashtag on Twitter, second screen apps allow the fans to be the ‘winners’.

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Categories: Marketing, Social / Collaboration, Sports

Author:Theo Priestley

"I had more creative ideas from Theo in 6 months than I have had in 6 years from most people." Theo Priestley is one of the most recognised independent technology industry influencers and evangelists, ranking in the Top 100 thought leaders across Virtual/ Augmented Reality, FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things and future trends. Theo has written insights for Forbes, Wired, The European Magazine, Venturebeat to name a few, and has been interviewed for many online publications including the BBC on his thoughts on technology and the future. A regular paid keynote speaker and panelist at conferences and events, Theo is engaged for his forthright views and isn't afraid to challenge conventional thinking and the marketing hype surrounding the industry when presenting, never pulling punches to get the message across on how technology can be applied to improve business and the customer experience. He has also successfully organised and run TEDx and Ignite events. Highly active across social networks, he sits in the Top 1% for social media engagement on Kred and Klout and is constantly sharing articles and his analysis that he feels his audience would be interested in. Theo is also active in the startup community, mentoring within UK and US accelerators and sits on a number of advisory boards. Former VP and Chief Technology Evangelist at a Top 25 European enterprise software company with a career spanning both innovation strategy and delivery of software and business change in Financial Services, and as an independent technology industry analyst. Follow Theo on Twitter @tprstly or connect here directly for constant insights on tech and marketing trends. • Top 1% Influencer on Kred (915) • Top 1% Influencer on Klout (70+) • 12,000+ Followers on LinkedIn • 13,000+ Followers on Twitter • Recognised Top Influencer in AI, Virtual/ Augmented Reality, Fintech, IOT and Wearable Tech, Big Data and Analytics.

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5 Comments on “Avoid being a Super Bowl loser”

  1. February 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    I love the Super Bowl ads: they have high production values, and often inform or remind me about things that might make my life better in some way. They enhance the experience for me! I wouldn’t want to watch a game where everything is lifeless, gray, stripped of the money it takes to do it all artfully.

    • February 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      Understood, but when the before-game hype over the ads drowns out the game, we have to wonder where it goes too far. I love the ads, too.

  2. February 4, 2013 at 3:44 am #

    Well, I would say the viewer is the big winner: brands going out of their way to entertain, touch and move viewers with their mini-films, the Super Bowl ads are beyond commercials. I wish they would do so all year long, in stead of boring us to death with lame ads. Without commercialism, without brands there wouldn’t be a single major sporting event in the world. Stop complaining and start enjoying.

    • February 4, 2013 at 3:51 am #

      Thanks for your comment but really ? I pay entrance to a stadium to watch a sport but you want me to get the most enjoyment from a Samsung commercial ? The game is less than 2hrs long if it were allowed to be played the way it was meant to be. I applaud Oreo for taking full advantage of the blackout the way it did but a constant stream of noise is not entertainment in my opinion.

    • February 4, 2013 at 7:11 am #

      We all wish the ads could be more entertaining the rest of the time (if we must watch them…), but that doesn’t work with the math of sports and advertising except at the Super Bowl. There were 9,000 man hours of ad watching yesterday.

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