Super Bowl 51 commercials were flat-out boring

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

6 February 2017

Advertisers and audiences are getting tired of the same old

Yawn. That’s my general reaction to the Super Bowl 51 commercials. Almost all of them were forgettable. I can’t think of a single one that was strategic. Nor any one that stayed in the mind the day after.

Oh, I could go through an examination of many of them. To be honest, the only ones I can remember today are the trailer for Stranger Things (that’s because I’m a fan), the detergent spot with Terry Bradshaw (was it for Tide or another laundry detergent brand?) and the one with Christopher Walken (because Walken is just a memorable guy).

“When the most memorable moment among the Super Bowl 51 commercials is Mike from Stranger Things opening the door like the kid out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, then it’s time to rethink your Super Bowl approach.”

Other than that, I’d have to look online to remind myself. The Kia spot with Melissa McCarthy was ho-hum despite the myriad of CGI effects. The Honda spot with talking photos of celebrities’ yearbooks had promise but also had very little to do with the Honda brand. And, if you can remember who the teensy house buyers spot was for, you have a better memory than me.

Super Bowl 51 commercials demonstrate ad fatigue

No, I think what the Super Bowl 51 commercials showed was ad fatigue. Both from the advertising agencies themselves and viewers like me. We are so trained to find the ads amazing, funny and entertaining that we are bound to be let down. And advertisers are at a loss at what to do. They know it’s a lose-lose situation.

Even more so, I wonder if brands are wondering what a Super Bowl ad should truly look like. If it’s strictly entertainment, as has been the case the last decade or more, then it does very little to steal share.

Brands may want to be strategic. But get scared that strategy will be boring. Of course, it’s not. In fact, a true share-stealing strategy would give direction to the creative minds behind the ads. Instead, they are swimming in an ocean of possibilities without a life raft.

When the most memorable moment among the Super Bowl 51 commercials is Mike from Stranger Things opening the door like the kid out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, then it’s time to rethink your Super Bowl approach.

Thank God the game was pretty good.

See more posts in the following related categories: Honda KIA Stranger Things Super Bowl 51 commercials


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