Why Are Super Bowl Commercials So Terrible Now?
I watched every second of the first half of Super Bowl LVII without leaving my seat. Not because I wanted to watch the commercials — I was on a plane.
In the age of digital, Super Bowl spots are painfully scripted and often ask viewers to do something on their phones (where we already spend more time than watching TV). Many A-list celebrities take cringeworthy to a level beyond comprehension and deserve an immediate demotion to the B-list for these purely financial decisions. When brands are desperate enough to pay handsome sums of money for elderly rock stars to make corny jokes about workplace rock stars, the creative process is dead.
Blue Moon, ironically, had the least amount of airtime and grabbed a ton of attention for being featured as a final-second plot twist. In a world where content inundates us like a tidal wave, we can’t forget that 3 seconds regularly drives more interest than 30 seconds. The Vince Gilligan-directed “Breaking Good” also received praise as one of the evening’s top spots, but even that — a tribute to one of the greatest TV shows of all time — feels tainted when you see these iconic characters talking about chips and holding the bag in such an intentional way. Do you remember if it was a commercial for popchips or PopCorners? Me neither. As Super Bowl commercials increase in cost, the business case increases in stupidity.
113 million people tuned into the game this year, but YouTube sees more active users on its platform in a single day. MrBeast, a wildly successful video creator, can reach an audience of that size with the click of an “Upload ” button and he’ll charge brands less than $7 million (the going rate for a 30-second spot this year, which has doubled since 2012). As an advertising network, YouTube also allows you to attribute revenue from a single piece of content. While this has never been possible with TV, the industry remains stubborn and many brands are afraid to leave a channel that has been around for so long. In a recent interview, MrBeast said he dislikes working with people from traditional media because they want to script everything, cut corners and fixate on production budgets. As he candidly explained, “They just think our way of…