Super Bowl Brands Failing to Build Buzz

The thrill is (apparently) gone

You’ve already seen at least a couple of the ads set to run during Sunday’s Big Game, but something has changed: according to research firm iSpot and others, the thrill is gone.

Claire Atkinson of The New York Post reported on the phenomenon earlier this week: ads and their teasers just aren’t attracting as much attention this year as in years past.

So far, Bud Light’s Pac Man ad, created by Energy BBDO of Chicago, has more views than any other but doesn’t match the number of “social actions” and online activity of its sexier peers. The biggest ad in every other sense of the word is this one for Carl’s Jr. by creative agency 72andSunny. The borderline-offensive spot has more than five million views on YouTube so far, but the “will it attract customers?” question remains unanswered.

A new T-Mobile spot starring one Kim Kardashian also scored plenty of mentions on gossip blogs this morning — but multiple research firms report that all relevant KPIs are down this year. Google searches for related brands dropped by nearly a third from 2014, and five million views barely qualifies as “viral” in our current media landscape.

You also won’t be seeing Matthew McConaughey in the second quarter of Super Bowl XLIX: many car brands like Lincoln and Volkswagen, long known as the Big Game’s big spenders, chose to sit on the sidelines in 2015.

Last week, Jim Joseph of Cohn&Wolfe told us that he thinks the big winner of next week’s game may be a total surprise. We feel like he could be right…though we hope this year’s champion isn’t as dull as last year’s game.

Will any brand match 2014’s Budweiser dog-and-pony ad? And will traditional TV advertising struggle to prove its worth in a content-drenched market?

(This is where PR comes in…)