The trend of releasing ads early that will run on the upcoming Super Bowl began a few years ago. Already this week I’ve seen people commenting on the previews of some of the ads that have been released. Already one of the Volkswagen spots has created a bit of controversy (much ado about nothing as far as I am concerned).
Since the price for a 30 second spot is nearly $4 million is there any way you can blame a brand for trying to get more mileage out of such a large investment? Additionally does the early release of a Super Bowl ad take away from the ‘WOW’ factor by lessening the impact when it is shown live during the game? I say that it does not take away and in fact does nothing but help with recall, buzz and brand awareness.
I first noticed this in prior to the 2011 Super Bowl where I saw the preview of the notable ‘Darth Vader’ spot for Volkswagen several days before the game. The pre-game buzz was unfailingly positive and that spot for many people was the most enjoyed spot watched during last year’s game. I can’t say that will be repeated this year but the viewing public is more likely to be attuned and interested in watching this year’s spot. Even if it is not as good as last year’s, brand recognition will be aided in the process. Should Volkswagen put out Super Bowl spots in future years that continue to fall short of the ‘Darth Vader’ spot you can be certain that the agency creating the spots will be fired, and a new creative approach will be employed.
Already I’ve seen spots from Budweiser, E-Trade, Century 21, Audi, Kia, Taco Bell, and Speed Stick just to name a few. For only one of those spots would I leave the room to get a cold beverage. I’ll leave it to you to try to figure out which of those is that one. I’m in the business and don’t expect other people to necessarily see and watch the spots the way that I do.
If you’ve watched the Super Bowl for many years as have I, the games often are not the most interesting ones to watch although in recent years that’s not been the case as the games have been more consistently close-fought and even exciting. This explains why advertisers are more prone to buy spots late in the game than had been the case for a while when the games were blowouts or uninteresting (sometimes both).
So here’s my question – do you think pre-game showing of Super Bowl ads takes away from the ads, adds to them or has not impact at all?