Let’s be honest.
This week, when we chat online or around the water cooler about the Super Bowl commercials, we will not be judging them based upon which are most effective at doing what they are supposed to be doing, which is actually selling something.
Instead, we will talk about which spots we “like,” which spots we find most entertaining. We’re judging style, not substance.
In pursuit of being popular during and after the game, advertisers and their agencies push the limits to engage us. And we reward them with a couple of week’s worth of buzz.
But how successful are these creative efforts really? Long-term, how many widgets do they sell?
In Advertising Age, Tom Denari blames online ratings. “Super Bowl ads are now dangerously close to a series of Saturday Night Live skits, designed to bombastically amuse the viewer. While I would admit that an ad’s biggest crime may be to be forgotten, Super Bowl ads have become a contest where each competitor sees who can out-gross, out-animal-talk or out-uncomfortable-body-part the next ad. The hype and ratings have continued to erode the quality and integrity of ideas.”
There does happen to be a venue for recognizing the most effective advertising. It’s called the Effie Awards. Effies are given based on results rather than entertainment value. Additionally, the Effie organization shares with the industry its accumulated wisdom by showcasing great ideas that work.
Heard of the Effies? Probably not. They don’t have a football game.