Super Bowl or Bust

As we head toward the “Game of the Year,” the one sporting event where the world seemingly stops, I ask myself – would I buy a local television spot during the Super Bowl?

Super Bowl commercials have become legendary with the likes of USA Today doing an “ad-o-meter” rating the best and worst commercials. There have been Super Bowl commercial “Top 10” lists and half-hour TV shows on the topic. For many viewers, the commercials are the main event and the time to tune out is when the game is on.

All the anticipation over Super Bowl commercials had me thinking about local ads during the big game.  I’ve been pitched on buying a spot over the years.  How would a local spot “fit” in comparison to what the national brands are producing? While there are incredibly creative people in the Capital Region with talent the size of the Empire State Building, I’m not sure it’d be worth the investment.  Would the spot “fit” the landscape?

I can think of two spots that would work well during the Super Bowl. Both were produced by Working Pictures.  The first is St Peter’s Health Partners’ spot following their merger with other local medical facilities a few years back.

The second would be the MVP Health Plan spot from this past fall – “Simple and Good.”

I think these spots work because they aren’t pushing a product or service.  They are very ‘people-friendly’ with a great music underneath the narrative on St. Peter’s and a downloadable song from MVP.  They “feel” right.  I think these examples are the exception rather than the norm. I’m not convinced local fans are watching to see my clients’ products or services.  They’re looking for spots that were teased online (blogs, You Tube) and live before/after on social media. They are looking for fun and edgy gimmicks and surprises like Betty White and Snickers. Viewers want spots that have you talking the next day at the water cooler.

So, to answer my question, no, it’s unlikely I’d buy a local spot during the game.

Besides, with the $20,000 ($4 million nationally) saved on not buying a spot, imagine how many chicken wings you could buy for a Super Bowl party!