Today, despite the massive increase it would mean in terms of my personal revenue stream, I am glad I am not the Senior VP of Marketing at Pepsi. Why? Two basic facts:
- It seems the Super Bowl was the most watched TV show ever.
- There was not one Pepsi ad during the telecast.
When Pepsi’s decision to forego advertising during the biggest game was announced awhile back all the social media “evangelists” went nuts, proclaiming validation for their theories re the demise of TV ads. It seems they – as well as Pepsi – were just a little nutty.
The large Super Bowl viewership does not mean that the nonsense re the death of the 30 second TV spot will subside. However, it speaks to the fact that though we may now be more likely to tune out or mistrust advertising it still matters and will for a hell of a long time.
This is because most marketers rightly salivate over the chance to run an ad when over 100 million folks are watching something. When the current fascination with social media dies down a bit we’ll see that it – like email marketing – will rightly be viewed as just another channel. An important one to be sure but still an arrow in the quiver just like paid TV ads, PR, guerrilla initiatives etc. Not as the panacea some claim it is.
Is there some easily measurable ROI on Super Bowl ads? Are they really even that effective? I don’t know, and neither does anyone. But I still would not want to be the Pepsi SVP Marketing today; over 100 million people did not have ads about a darkly coloured soda hurled at them. Somebody is gonna catch shit for that. Maybe somebody SHOULD.
The thirty second spot isn’t dead. Too many people still watch broadcast programs on big networks. Is the game changing? Of course. But I have a sneaking suspicion folks like this very bright lady will still have good jobs producing creative at agencies for a long time.