Superbowl 2014 - hashtag fail

A Superbowl commercial ranges in cost from $4 – 4.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime. 126 commercials aired and were mostly disappointing. Sure, there were a few that were witty and entertaining like Doritos Time Machine which, funnily enough, was probably the cheapest one to produce. By and large it was a step in the right direction in comparison to last year's collection, as Seth Stevenson writes,  "tonight’s ads collectively presented the most buttoned-up, reserved, elevated level of marketing discourse I can recall. Fewer scantily clad ladies. No chimpanzees at all. Only a single flatulence jokeand it was a well-executed, heartwarming flatulence joke." However, that being said, if this was one step in the right direction when it comes to marketing discourse it was two steps back when it comes to innovation.

70% of Superbowl viewers are sitting at home. Meaning that roughly 70% of the audience either have a mobile device, tablet, laptop or desktop to hand. If you are spending a minimum of $4 million and have roughly 30 seconds to showcase, attract attention and engage with your consumer how can you then justify ending that 30 second moment with a poorly written hashtag? Why aren't you forming a relationship with the consumer beyond the TV? Why aren't you continuing this relationship through different mediums? How are you not realising the golden opportunity you have? Only a few did this, e.g Product RED with U2 and Bank of America, giving $1 for every free download of U2's new Invisible to fight aids in Africa. Great initiative just poorly executed.

It's difficult to create a sincere, emotional and engaging moment in 30 seconds like Half Time America. So why not utilise everything at your disposal rather that relying on overused, tried and tired themes and hashtags that no one will use or remember.

Written by Jacob Lindell, Junior Designer at Digit


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