The “Big Game” feels small. Why am I so blase’ about the Super Bowl?

January 30, 2009

Bowl half empty?

Bowl half empty?

Imbedded URLs! One-second spots! Danica undresses! These are just a few of the headlines in this year’s advertising script for the Super Bowl.

I know I’m supposed to care. More than just care, actually, I’m supposed to be fascinated. This is the “Louvre of TV commercials.” Didn’t I, and every creative I know, grow up dreaming of “playing” in the Super Bowl? Wasn’t that our Valhalla? The Great White Whale?

What can I say? I’m just not that into it.

Sour grapes? Perhaps. In my career, I’ve had two campaigns appear in the Super Bowl: Oldsmobile and McDonalds. For the record, both campaigns were creatively decent, though neither ever won any awards.

Whatever. I remember being pretty damn excited about it. I told loved ones. Fantasized about Lions. Obsessed.

Today, not so much.

The Super Bowl seems dated. Obviously, the recession has overtaken every story on earth. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? And it’s more than just the Internet taking over TV. For me, the “Big Game” has lost its luster as a cultural landmark. Tarnished anyway.

Oh, I’ll watch the game. I still love football. As do many, many Americans. The NFL, if I’m not mistaken, is the number one watched sport in this country. Even though these two teams do nothing for me, a good game is a good game and I’ll be hoping for one.

I’m somewhat interested in the commercials. It’s just I’m not obsessing about them. From what I’ve glimpsed on line and in the trades, it’s a mixed bag at best. I do not believe we will see any masterpieces of the form. Nor do I believe we will experience interactivity above and beyond simple applications.

Whatever the reasons, I’m just not into the Super Bowl. Is it a phase, a one-time phenomenon, or the end of an era? Or is it just me?


2 Responses to “The “Big Game” feels small. Why am I so blase’ about the Super Bowl?”

  1. Jason Fox said

    I think there are a couple of issues here. One is that there haven’t really been any big event ads for several years. You know, ads that only run once or obviously cost so much freakin’ money and time that they couldn’t debut anywhere *but* the Super Bowl. I mean, there have been some really good ads the past few years, but nothing that’s screamed Bowl-worthy. I also think (as I mused about over at the AdHole) that pre-releasing so many spots online doesn’t help. How do you hype an ad by showing it? Is it really that much more exciting to see it on you 55-inch flat screen than on your iPhone? Maybe a little. But not much.

    Of course I’ll still watch and eventually comment on the spots. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. But I’m not holding my breath for another “1984” or even a “Magic vs. Bird.”

    Now let me tell you about the spot I almost got on the Bowl…wait, where’s everyone going?


  2. SRP said

    Loved your bit on AdHole.
    Everyone here should jump over and read…

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