NBC Puts a Price on Boredom: $3 Million for Every 30 Seconds

By: Ashley Posimato

A little excitement never hurt anybody. Unless of course you were the unfortunate camera man on the receiving end of Bruce Springsteen’s stage slide (in which case you would be wishing he would have better harnessed his enthusiasm). Assuming that you were not, and even if you were, Super bowl XLIII proved that in order for something to be memorable, it must be preceded by anticipation. And the commercials shown last night certainly were not.

 With the state of the economy as bad as it is, it is no surprise that the buzz that usually surrounds marketing’s biggest night experienced a lull this year.  Key players were missing, creativity was stifled by inconvenience, and the industries should know that in the eye of the consumer, it did not go unnoticed.

Kelly Nicholson and Nicole Giannakis, both juniors at Marist College, were satisfied with the action and progression of the game itself, but disappointed by the selection of commercials.

 “There was just nothing that was memorable,” Giannakis said. “I heard more talk about Miller Lite doing one second commercials and they weren’t even shown during the game.”

 According to Advertising Age, MillerCoors designed the marketing strategy to poke fun at their competitors for spending $3 million dollars for a 30-second spot. The one second commercials were played during pre-game coverage, and due to the lack of response that the Super bowl ads received, this seems to have been the smarter move.

 “The Budweiser commercials used to be so good,” Nicholson said, “I always think of the one with the frogs […] Did Budweiser even advertise this year?”

 The answer is yes, but with little impact. The only obvious innovative approaches were the two 3-D spots done by Sobe Lifewater and DreamWorks. But unlike the usual presence of celebrities which creates an automatic effect, having the necessary glasses made the 3-D element too inconvenient to appreciate.

 Brittany Serano, another Marist student commented, “Maybe if I had 3-D glasses I would have been able to enjoy them[…] then again imagine all of us sitting here with colored-lensed, paper glasses trying to act serious.”



The lack of interest (as communicated by Marist students) in this year’s commercials seems to have been unanimous. So if we want to see a revival of excitement it looks like we have two options: either the economy turn itself around, or we learn to adhere to our daily routines with sheets of red and blue acetate over our eyes. Grab your glasses, and make it a good day.




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