I want funny with my football


I lost at least twice yesterday. My Seahawks didn’t play the way that got them this far, and lost to a superior and deserving Steelers team. I lost a full $6 dollars in the marketer’s points pool here at the iMedia Brand Summit. And to make it all worse, I somehow ended up coming home with a Terrible Towel.

As expected, the large screening room from which we watched the game last night got decidedly quieter during the commercials. And although I didn’t see any all-time greats, there was some great work that got the audience buzzing. As it has for years now, humor got the best response.

Bud Light ads could be counted on for a good laugh. Fed Ex, although a bit violent, was also a hit. CareerBuilder knows that chimps are always funny after a few beers. And did anybody else see the “Girls Jumping on Trampolines” analogy in the Whopperette’s spot from Burger King?

The spots that seemed to go flat were those that, though well produced, seemed to take themselves a little too seriously. Cadillac, for instance, took way too long to deliver a message, and was way too serious for an audience already into the game and well into their drinking. The Ford Hybrid spot was good, but a little sappy. And I agree with Bob Garfield, the Toyota spot was a little insulting.

There were some well-executed spots that didn’t go for humor. Dove, for example generated a lot of pre-game buzz with a great spot about natural beauty. The ESPN Mobile spot wasn’t meant to be funny, but was perfect for their target audience of sports fans (and the cinematography, all shot without special effects, was also impressive).

But when I watch the Super Bowl, I’m in the mood for fun. I want to laugh. There’s a place for serious, and there’s a place for a belly-connection with customers. The Super Bowl is for proving you have a sense of humor.

It’s one of the last truly mass-market opportunities left on television. And given the context of the event, and how people watch it, advertisers (and their agencies) are best served by serving funny with my football.

If you missed any (or, gasp, all) of the game yesterday, click here to review the ads.