February 16, 2010
What Happened to Super Bowl Commercials?
The Super Bowl is America’s most watched television event, drawing in over 100million viewers. With such a large guaranteed audience, it doesn’t take a marketing guru to understand the importance of having successful commercials for major corporations. In fact, in a world of tivo and dvr commercials have taken a major hit. They almost always are viewed in the same light as telemarketers; people don’t want any part of them and only view them as an interruption to their program. The Super Bowl however has actually flipped this idea and for the only time of the year, people actually look forward to commercial breaks.
This relationship between consumer and corporation could be short lived though, especially if commercials continue to follow their current path. I have yet to miss a Super Bowl since I can remember and like many Americans, have enjoyed years of great commercials. However this year, when the first commercial break came, I was more surprised then excited. I had actually forgot that Super Bowl ads could be just as entertaining as the game. Most of these feelings stem from recent disappointment in Super Bowl commercials. This year was certainly no different. I can’t remember one commercial from the game despite watching them all. In my mind this is more important than breaking down a specific commercial. How can companies spend millions of dollars and not produce something that is memorable. I think the entire idea of Super Bowl ads has gotten out of hand and is putting to much pressure on marketing departments. What happened to the ”Budwiser frogs”, or “Terry Tate: Office Linebacker”? Companies need to take a step back from re-inventing commercials. Commercials can still be bad in 3-D. Instead there needs to be a renewed focus on laughter. People remember commercials that they laugh at, regardless of the product. Millions of dollar spent on a joke might seem like a waste, but in the end, that’s how they live on forever.
Budwiser Frogs/Lizards (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3mXaATLeRM&feature=related)
Terry Tate: Office Line Backer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzToNo7A-94)
February 15, 2010
No Checkered Flag for Nascar
Nascar took one giant pit stop and missed an opportunity that could have expanded their industry to unprecedented levels. This Sunday people across the nation could tune into the 52nd annual Daytona 500. A race that is regarded as the most prestigious and most important event Nascar has to offer. The Daytona 500 is also the sprint cup series' first race of the year and just so happens to provide the largest purse to the winning driver. With all of this in mind, it is clear how important the Daytona 500 is to Nascar and their marketing department. The Daytona 500 sets the tone for the rest of the season for both drivers and fans.
Nascar has experienced and continues to enjoy a tremendous following from fans all across the country. Yet, Nascar has seemingly remained relatively low on the sports pecking order. For example Sportscenter and other media outlets rarely start off their program with the latest Nascar story. This Sunday however was going to be different. This was the Daytona 500. This is the race that started in 1959 and annually draws over 100,000 fans to its venue. This race was at the forefront of sports this Sunday and something that would be sure to attract people who normally don’t watch a race all year. However when I tuned into the coverage I was shocked at what I saw. What could be worse than watching cars go around in circles 200 times? No cars moving at all. A pothole delayed the Daytona 500 for an hour and forty minutes and in my mind ruined any chance I had to ever tune back into an event. I applaud Nascar and their media coverage. They do an incredible job with what they are given. They can’t change their product, but they can change how it is presented. With different cameras along the course and inside each drivers car Nascar truly does cover every angel. An easy to follow ticker is constantly showing viewers what place all of the drivers are in makes it easy to catch up if one was to miss something. However, with all of the good things nascar does, in my mind it is still inexcusable to let a delay of this magnitude happen. It’s not to say that other professional leagues haven’t experienced problems with playing surfaces. The Philadelphia Eagles had delays during a game in order to fix bad turf, NBA teams have had unusually slippery courts, and NHL teams have had problems with the surrounding glass. But these problems haven’t occurred during that sports biggest event and in front of potentially the biggest viewing market of the year. Maybe the pothole was just bad luck, maybe Nascar is trying to make a more realistic feel to fans that commute in the state of Michigan, or maybe Nascar will just never get out of its shell. In my mind, you are a Nascar fan or you aren’t. Needless to say, I’ll be watching the Olympics next Sunday from 3pm- 7pm.
February 10, 2010
The Coach Beilein radio show couldn't have been put together better. Normally when listening to the radio, I assume they are in a studio or closed off environment. However for the Beilein show, pizza house offers an enthusiastic background. Beilein captured the audience with his thoughts on the team and upcoming strategy for the next game. From a students perspective he generated a lot of interest in the team, despite a lackluster record. It would be interesting to see how the coach responded and acted if our class wasn’t there. Without our presence, the overall feel of the show might not have been as entertaining. Another impressive aspect of the show was the ability of the host to connect answers with Michigan basketball. He was very knowledgeable about the team, which allowed him to prompt Beilein to talk about basketball issues fans of the show would want to hear. The two had great chemistry, which only helped capture the audience. I have never watched the Beilein show live from pizza house, but it is now something that I would definitely do again and recommend to friends.