What happens when television advertising becomes more concerned with entertainment then it is with effectiveness? Well, you get the lame advertising messages we all witnessed yesterday during Super Bowl XLIV.
This is because ad agencies think that all ads need to be seen as funny and they also believe that advertising must be entertaining.
Because no advertising agency plays with their own money, it would appear likely that advertisers also believe these self-promoting lies.
I can remember a few of the companies that advertised during the game but as a brand strategist, I can’t come up with one reason to buy any of the products. If the “bar” for successful Super Bowl advertising is going to be how funny the ads were and how entertained I was, I would call all of them a bust — even by this rather silly measure.
If this sort of wasteful spending is any indication of the health of the American advertising industry, then American business is in serious trouble. If you are a shareholder in any of these companies I would suggest a note to the CEO asking them to cease and desist until they can come up with a better and more effective reason to spend YOUR money.
You see no one can even predict what an audience will find funny or entertaining. Just ask the Hollywood studios that have a terrible time managing the big budget flops that “all the experts” said were going to be big successes. The reason is that entertainment and humor are matters of taste. They are not a science.
Persuasion is a science. Companies that are assured by their advertising agency that “these ads are so funny the target market will love them!” should run away and find a new agency.