|February 11, 2010|
|Super Bowl Advertisers Deserve Makegoods|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Super Bowl advertisers shelled out $2.5M for 30-second spots during last night's big game, a contest that finally lived up to its billing as the upstart New Orleans Saints knocked off the Indianapolis Colts in a hard-fought battle that went down to the wire. |
Unlike past blowouts, the audience remained glued to the tube, knowing Colts quarterback Peyton Manning's knack of pulling it out in the final minutes.
Advertisers should be happy with the final numbers, but ...
Part of the rationale of paying such an enormous sum for a 30-second spot (other than pure corporate ego) is to be part of the after-game buzz. That's where CBS went wrong.
The Tiffany Network's decision to air a brilliant 15-second plug for Dave Letterman's show — featuring arch rival Jay Leno and Oprah Winfrey as peacemaker — upstaged anything put on the tube by paying customers Denny's, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo's Frito-Lay, Anheuser-Busch, Bridgestone, E*Trade, Snickers, Honda, Intel, Audi, Levi Strauss and GoDaddy.com [GoDaddy got noticed as women at the Super Bowl party that I attended cried sexism over the spot.]
Some of my fellow party-goers were 100 percent sure that Letterman, Winfrey and Leno were filmed separately and then spliced together. "Haven't you heard of Photoshop?" a Saints fan asked. Look for Dave to milk the peace treaty with Leno for all it's worth tonight, tomorrow and the next day.
The New York Times ran an entertaining piece today about how the Letterman ad was shot in total secret with Leno being ushered into the Ed Sullivan Theater (Letterman's studio) in New York disguised in hoodie, glasses and fake mustache.
In contrast, the NYT failed to report if the guy in the Doritos commercial, who was zapped by an electric dog collar, suffered any injury. The Letterman promo was reportedly shot because Dave thought it would be funny and entertaining to the audience. He scored on that point -- much to the detriment of Super Bowl advertisers. CBS brass should have thought more about who was paying the bill for the Super Bowl.
Another gripe: Katie Couric's interview with President Obama. Any president would jump at the chance to reach such a vast viewing audience. Obama used his time to float the idea of a mini, mini, mini televised TV summit with Republican adversaries on healthcare. "What's Obama doing on TV, are we in another war," a friend wanted to know.
The host muted the president. The majority of people in the political right leaning group cheered and then passed the dip. This blogger is a fan of Obama, but was hard-pressed to defend against those who felt the president was trying to steal the show.
A couple of words from Obama about why he was rooting for the Saints would have been much more appropriate than using the Couric interview to set up a political ambush for his opponents. Just imagine how many political points Obama would have scored had he told Couric, "Katie, no more of the political stuff, let's talk about the game."
He'd be as big of a winner today as Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
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