Tuesday, February 06, 2007

FBO: 'Analyzes the Ploy'

Super Bowl XLI -- when are we going to get rid of roman numerals anyway? -- has come and passed and entertainment-seekers such as we once again have to field the TV industry's careful spin on advertising as one of the highlights of the country's biggest sporting event. Gone are the multi-ad stories of years past, with story lines that slowly develop ad-to-ad, meaning you had to suppress tinkles to see how they played out. But, considering the FBO's civic lookout and alternate entertainment planner for its fans and members, the FBO watched all ads of the Super Bowl 41 -- see, looks better with roman nixed -- and came up with the following trends you should be aware of.

First quarter ads: 15 (not including CBS' self-promotions)
Second quarter ads: 18
Halftime ads: 8
Third quarter ads: 17
Fourth quarter ads: 13
Total non-CBs ads: 61

FBO Admin kept a chart, in red ink, marking an ad's approach based on a few categories: a) presence of FAILURE (a protagonist trying to do something and not succeeding); b) humor; c) celebrity; d) violence or cruelty; or e) serious tone/message.


Of 61 ads, 40 employed some various form of 'humor,' 37 were serious (eg linked with African-American History month or macho car commercials), 10 had violence, and only 9 had celebrities of some sort.

Of violent ads, eight of the 10 occurred before halftime. Violent ads included death (meteors crashing into people, people falling off cliffs) and torture (workplace in the jungle, the heart-shaped guy being beaten mercilessly).

'Serious' ads seemed to come in streaks, sometimes with a final ad in a commercial break going joke-joke funny (like right before the third quarter).

The ratio of 'humorous' ads remained consistent between the first and second halves, but dropped off during half-time, when ads were almost completely CBS self-promotion.

'Failure' was harder to chart. The guy looking at the girl gets in a car wreck in the Doritos commerical. That's failure, right? What about the overacted karate student in the Sierra Mist ad, the talking animals pressing a real mouse in the Blockbuster ad, a power-plant machine that gets fired? We'll try to better define 'failure' before the next ad poll.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

1 comment:

Waska the Rocker said...

Slightly off the subject of the ads (I really didn't watch them - I was working through almost the entire game, and none of them seemed good enough for the wife to rewind the DVR).
I'm really glad the Bears lost. not that I give a shit about the Colts, but I've never really forgiven the Bears for that whole "Super Bowl Shuffle" thing from '85. It's suckiness still resonates in my brain. 22 years later, I think we can officially refer to it as "trauma".