Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Ad Message: Go Online!

I'm sitting in front of the TV right now with my laptop (and lack of interest in the participants) obscuring my view of the game. I'm working on six different things and usually looking up only to watch the commercials, which frankly haven't impressed me thus far (and it's nearly halftime). A human heart jumping out of a woman's chest and crawling over to her boss's office to hold up an "I Quit" sign doesn't necessarily entertain me or make me want to use Careerbuilder to find a new job. (But I guess I just linked to it for them, so maybe it was effective after all, huh?)

I have to wonder how many other casual Super Bowl viewers are watching the same way that I am--with a computer on their lap and their attention flitting in and out. If the commercials are any indication, advertisers are convinced that I am not alone. Every ad seems to be a teaser for the product's Web site, sometimes promising even more ad content online. Every 30 seconds I am presented with a CGI-heavy-but-uninspired ad that points me to yet another URL. Even if I wanted to visit each one, I wouldn't be able to keep up. It would be interesting to see the traffic statistics for theses sites though to see if this approach is at all effective.

I guess this interaction between TV spots and Web site promotion makes sense, since we seem to be in the midst of a transition to a world where TV, movies and the Web are all available in one place, on one screen. I'm still using two screens tonight, but I'm sure that I'll eventually be watching the Super Bowl on a TV attached to my computer and using a mouse and keyboard instead of a remote control. When this transition is complete and widespread, the entire concept of television advertising will have to be revisited. For starters, networks will probably integrate numerous pop-up ads into the broadcast. If you can make so much money for commercials during the breaks, think of the money to be made during the game itself!

Each commercial will probably have a clickable link to the product's site and the ads will no doubt become more interactive, with my click determining how the spot will end or something like that. When users can interact with the advertisements, the possibilities are seemingly endless. (For the record, I would have liked to see the woman's heart negotiate for a raise before simply quitting its job.)

Based on the Sub-par Bowl commercials I've been sitting through tonight, this might be just the kick in the pants that the advertising industry needs. When Doritos is running commercials dreamed up by Average Joes on the biggest night of the year for TV advertising, something is wrong.

On the upside, at least Tom Petty is awesome.

Update: OK, so it ended up being a pretty exciting game after all...


LMR said...

Hey Matt - you should check out the Chicago Tribune article about how many people watch the SuperBowl while surfing the Internet (and other advances in game-watching technology). Check it out here: ttp://,0,6048911.story

Though you are right to say that in our future world, people will go to one place to get all their technology, I do not agree that there will only be one monitor. There will be at least two or three! Some work environments are already designed for multiple screens because it is the most efficient work system. In this way, you can keep multiple internet windows (or Excel or Word documents, etc) in view at the same time, so you do not need to keep minimizing windows.

LMR said...

forgot the h in http.,0,6048911.story

Matt said...

Thanks for the link, LMR. That's an interesting article and I agree with your multiple monitors least until we all have chips in our brains that allow us to view the Super Bowl AND the ads completely in our minds.

Anonymous said...

You and your utopian visions of the'll never work, you Pinko!

Guess who I am!