Buzz, Babies and Genies that Should Go Back in the Bottle

Still recovering from the shock and awe of Super Bowl XLII. Shock, as in I can’t believe the Patriots lost, and awe, as in the Giants – my boyhood team of choice in the ’70s before I transitioned/bandwagoned to the Pats in the ’80s and ’90s – not just beating New England, but beating them up in the process. I’ve been out of sorts all day, still trying to make sense of it.

So I’m way behind (as usual) on the usual post-Super Bowl blather over the ads that ran during the game. Far better pundits have already weighed in. You have USA Today’s Ad Meter results [puking e-trade baby only ranks 15th – are you kidding me?], and BusinessWeek’s picks and pans (nice graphic treatment with the embedded ads), and the curious critiques of AdAge Ad Critic Bob Garfield (Bridgestone homophobia? screams that frighten children?), and countless other post-mortems that show just how focused we all are on unimportant things.

Spare me the debate over whether these ads actually provide any return on investment. Buzz trackers are off the charts for this event, and the YouTube effect no doubt makes these spots justifiable. The only one I’m truly perplexed by is – a completely inane three-pack (3 spots!!!) from a dot-com that sells call and mailing lists. Double ick. Adweek provides an important piece of insight on these spots:  

Vin Gupta, chairman of Salesgenie … said that, like the previous spot, he conceptualized and wrote copy for the new ads himself.

So there you have it. Gupta claims that last year’s spot sent 25,000 folks scurrying to the website. He doesn’t say if they bought any sales leads once they got there. But why sweat the details? This is the Super Bowl, baby.  

Update: Churbuck concurs.


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