Every ad should be a Super Bowl commercial

In light of the upcoming Super Bowl, the annual stage for what is typically considered the very best work the advertising world can muster, I once again can’t help but wonder why this is the only time everyone expects advertising to be great?

At a time when fewer and fewer people are watching TV, why aren’t commercials getting markedly better? You would think that advertisers would demand ever-greater levels of creativity, or even audacity, from their agencies to make sure that the people who are still watching TV would remember what they had to say.

At least the Super Bowl reminds us that people do appreciate advertising that’s original, entertaining, and insightful. And they appreciate the advertisers who understand this. That’s not me talking. That’s our audience. The number of viewers who said they’d actually be disappointed if the Super Bowl were broadcast commercial-free increased from 48% to 53% over the previous year, according to a national survey commissioned by Burson-Marsteller’s Fan Experience.

Actually, the best campaigns today, traditional or new media, typically start with an inherent respect for the audience’s time and intelligence. Plus an acute awareness that mere presence does not equate to engagement.

The good news for challenger brands without huge sums of money to spend is that it’s still relatively easy to stand out from the crowd. All it takes is a little courage. And raised expectations.

From now on, maybe we should kick off every assignment as if the work were going to run during the Super Bowl — everybody watching, wanting to be impressed, and remembering marketers who do it best.

Because Super Bowl venue or not, that’s what they do.