Superbowl XLIII: Ads Will Suck A Bit, Link To Web

Over the years, it has been called the Ad Bowl, the Bud Bowl and the Buzz Bowl. Super Bowl XLIII on Sunday will probably go down as the Hard-Sell Bowl.As the economy soured, advertisers began crafting a hard-sell approach to their game ads, and the results will be on display Sunday. They offer a stark contrast to the slapstick of Budweiser‘s flatulent horse and Electronic Data Systems‘ Herding Cats branding ad that in past years tended to soft-peddle products and services.
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The Super Bowl advertising ranks are usually filled with the big boys of marketing: Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo. And now: Cash4Gold?
For television viewers, the Super Bowl offers an annual midwinter spectacle. On Sunday, in addition to a football game and a halftime show, they can watch Madison Avenue try to walk a tightrope. The advertisers, which are spending up to $3 million for each 30-second commercial during Super Bowl XLIII, have a tricky task before them. They must figure out the right way to speak to consumers worried about the wretched economy while at the same time not ignore the long-standing appeal of Super Bowl Sunday as a night of escapist fare.
Determined to get their money’s worth, many of Super Sunday‘s advertisers have been using pre-game Web efforts to rev up anticipatory interest in the commercials. But the process works in the other direction, too, according to a survey conducted last week for advertising/marketing/consulting firm Hanon McKendry. Thirty percent of respondents who plan to watch the game said seeing the telecast’s commercials makes them more likely to visit an advertiser’s Web site.
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