I discovered a new element to twitter. It’s a great way to gauge reactions to big events. Kind of like a grand social science experiment. The Super Bowl was the perfect example. I think only about 5 of the 200+ who I follow did not watch it. All those who did were certainly tweeting about it! And it was not the game that was so interesting; it was the reactions to the ads. Of course, a large number of people who tune in ARE only tuning in to see the ads. It’s an annual commercial campaign launching platform as much as it is a sporting event. People want to be able to talk around the proverbial water cooler at work the next day about the hopefully funny commercials.
Well, I don’t need no stinking water cooler because I got my reactions in real time and it was fascinating!
First of all, I watched the game with another mom and her 13 year old son so what we had was two 40 something moms and the two 13 year old boys. In our situation I can tell we were pretty much ALL reacting more like 13 year olds J We laughed at just about *everything* and took offense to nothing too deeply. Oh sure, there was awkward silence at the GoDaddy ads and the Focus on the Family ads, quite a bit of bemused looks at the Budweiser commercials (Clydesdales excluded – we loved those), and we split on the Denny’s chicken ads (moms were turned off, boys rolled over laughing). Mostly though, we laughed out loud a lot. Especially at the Snickers ad with Betty White and Abe Vigoda. That was a real “hit” in many ways!
Certainly the company which overall did the best job at advertising their product was Doritos. At least all of their commercials centered on actually eating the chips (in very creative ways of course!) Many others (like GoDaddy) told you nothing much about what they were selling and were simply trying to generate a buzz so that you would check them out later. And yes, I did notice the overall trend in the ads making marriage out to be some horrible situation. Bridgestone sure pushed that one across with the “Your tires or you wife (life)!” add. I don’t have a hugely feminist way of reading into things, but even I cringed at that one! Yeah, women/wives are disposable. Nice.
On twitter, that feminist slant was rampant! People started calling it “woman hating CBS!” Well, I don’t blame CBS – they just accepted the nice payments on the ad time. And yes, they did insert themselves somewhat into that frame by rejecting an ad depicting gay men and then allowing the Focus on the Family ads (after adamantly stating they don’t allow ‘advocacy’ ads during the SuperBowl). Still, this was a Madison Avenue trend to bash women and marriage across all product lines. Media folks noticed it, political writers commented on it, and just everyday fans made note of it. I’d say of the folks I follow that close to 80% commented on the anti-marriage nature of the ads. Someone even said that they will make SURE their next sets of tires are anything BUT Bridgestone. I’d say that’s a pretty large “miss” in terms of that marketing strategy.
The funniest thing to see though was the one or two dissenting reactions. I’d see this whole slew of “oh, that was lame!” posts and then one “Hah! Funniest ad so far!” I even noticed a pattern as it ended up being the same 2 people who were the outliers in their reactions and hysterically always ended up posting a little later than the ‘crowd’! It made for some fun reading for me as I started to try and predict how those two people would react to each ad 🙂 And I honestly cannot think of anything, on the surface, that greatly differentiates those two people from everyone else in my twitter feed. It’s just one of those fascinating sides of humanity that some of us can see life from such a different perspective.
After all that though, you know what image really is stuck in my mind this morning?
Oh yeah – Count me amongst the Who Dat nation 🙂 Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints and to the city of New Orleans. You are back baby! In grand, championship style.