How Do You Bowl: Super Bowl or AdBowl?

There was an early sign I was meant to go into marketing: I was a kid and was so excited for the Super bowl ads. We’re not talking “yay,” excitement but all out “this is just as good as Christmas excitement.”

To prepare, my father, ever the analyst, created a spreadsheet in which he recorded each family member’s rating of each ad on a ten point scale. We all piled on the couch and studied each ad meticulously before rating it. More often than not, my family’s favorite tended to be the popular ones. You know the ads: Larry Bird challenging Michael Jordan to a shoot out for a Big Mac, the Budweiser bullfrogs, or last year’s favorite Darth Vader Volkswagen ad.

Each year, I look forward to the ads that make me laugh or that I connect with emotionally. What’s worse, though, is when an ad causes “secondhand embarrassment.” Examples include Doritos Finger Lick commercial. Begging the question of whether or not they tested it with consumers. Yes, you laugh but it’s uncomfortable … and while that’s what they wanted, I’ve never purchased a product based on secondhand embarrassment.

Thanks to Youtubization (yes, a new word) of advertising, brands have already been previewing their mammoth ad spends to build up anticipation for Sunday’s Ad Bowl. Usually, I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Ferris Bueller back in action or see how a dog makes good on a resolution to get fit.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until Sunday’s game to see which brands connect with consumers and which cause my secondhand embarrassment …