I know that the Super Blow (spelling intended) is now a week old, and in this media age of Twitter, Vine and Instagram, a week old post is so 2000-late, but dammit Jim, I am just a doctor. I’m always running behind. I haven’t posted since my half-marathon in . . .Holy Crap! . . . October! And I was running behind people then! But I digress.
So a week late and a few apples short of a bushel, I wanted to add some post-game commentary.
Actually, it wasn’t much of a game, at least not after the first quarter, so I want to talk about the real subject of the “game”–the commercials.
Were you not just a bit disappointed?
The Budweiser puppy was cute. The Budweiser hero commercial was moving, but not spectacular as commercials go. The Radio Shack (“the 80’s called and want their store back”) was probably my favorite, but I loved the eighties and am old enough to identify with every aspect of that commercial. The Doritos commercial (Time Machine) was good, and perhaps the bar has been set too high. I missed the actual showing of this one (probably when I had to run out and buy a Maserati Ghibli) and had to watch it on the computer, so it probably lost something there. I wasn’t outraged over the Coke commercial–but apparently America the Beautiful is only tolerable in English to some people.
But nothing jumped out at me and yelled “this was worth FOUR MILLION DOLLARS!”
Seriously. $4 million for 30 seconds. Maybe that is the problem. There’s nothing left in the budget to actually spend on producing the commercial!
Which brings me to the main point of this diatribe.
When the first Stephen Colbert clip for Wonderful Pistachios aired, I thought to myself . . . “what a waste.” No offense Stephen, but I don’t imagine you starred in that one for free, and I suspect you got paid more than the eagle, though the bird was a nice touch. But when the second clip aired, it made me smile. You fooled me! I did not see that coming! First one set it up, and the second one hit it out of the park.
But wait . . .
Four million bucks to hawk pistachios? Is the pistachio market that competitive that Wonderful Pistachios felt compelled to spend their ad budget (perhaps their entire budget . . . for several
years decades) on the Super Bowl demographic?
I have been to many football games over the years, and I have never seen one person chewing on a pistachio.
They might do it surreptitiously, but I have never seen it.
Peanuts yes. Pistachios no.
No offense Wonderful Pistachios, but your nuts are an eclectic taste. Perhaps an acquired taste. I imagine among most Americans, they fall behind peanuts, walnuts, pecans and cashews by a large margin. And spending $4 million ain’t gonna change that. (And peanuts are technically legumes, but I digress again.) Granted, the Super Bowl is a global phenomenon and pistachios might be the snack food of choice in some other countries. But I really believe you could advertise in those countries for a whole lot less than the bill for a Super Spot. I’m guessing A LOT less.
Or perhaps the idea was to sway you from buying Doritos and picking up a pack of pistachios. Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pistachios, but he didn’t eat them. He sold them and bought some real snack foods like Doritos. Or Twinkies–which probably sell better than pistachios without a Super Bowl ad.
Let’s do some math here. You can buy Wonderful Pistachios at WalMart for $4.98. For the sake of making the math easier, we will round this up to $5. At five dollars a bag, Wonderful Pistachios must sell 800,000 bags of pistachios just to pay for the air time. This assumes a 100% profit on the sale and that Stephen and the eagle worked for free. And you know better than to assume anything–you’ll make an a$$ out of U and Maine (ME). And we don’t want to make an a$$ out of Maine!
According to the ratings, 111.3 million viewers watched the Super Bowl. Assuming each one of those viewers also saw the ad, that means at least one out of every 140 persons has to buy a bag of pistachios–no! specifically a bag of Wonderful Pistachios!–just to almost break even. I don’t even know 140 different people so I don’t know if that is even possible.
I know that advertisers do studies. They research these things. Aside from a Diet Coke at McDonalds (and only because they do not sell Pepsi) I haven’t purchased a single item advertised during the Super Bowl that I know of. None of these commercials made me want to purchase their products. I’ve never owned a Maserati or an Audi. I have driven a Ford before, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell you which model they advertised with all the fireworks at the beginning of the game. I don’t drink Budweiser. Cute puppy. Keep up the good work. But I don’t like Bud.
Just who are these people that buy things because they were advertised? Am I lacking some gene that makes me want to go shopping at Radio Shack? In my Ghibli? Sounds like a dog food more than a car. Ghibli and Bits. Ghibli and Bits. Gotta get me some Ghibli and bits.
I can remember jingles from the seventies. I just have never felt compelled to buy a product because of the jingle.
Maybe it’s all subconscious and I’m not even aware of the power when I’m shopping. Ooh, that’s funny. The only shopping I do is for running shoes and running clothes, and I do most of that on-line anymore. But for the sake of an argument, if I actually shopped for nuts, would I really pick up a bag of pistachios?
I don’t think so.
But dudes, my subconscious is really enjoying those pistachios while I drive my Chevrolet with Bob Dylan at my side.