Watching Superbowl ads in this country has become as big a tradition as watching the Superbowl itself. People might not always be excited for the teams playing, but most everybody is excited about the commercials. We all watch in anticipation of the brilliance (or utter poop) that will emerge out of the various companies that bought the most expensive airtime of the year. People may get up to get food, use the bathroom, etc. during the game, but everyone's there for the first commercials of the evening. The suspense of watching what should be the best ads of the year builds throughout the week as companies spread rumors of what their ads might be about to create buzz...at least that's what happened traditionally. This year though, imagine my disappointment as many companies "leaked" their ads in their entirety the week leading up to the game. WTF.
Thinking about it, I guess I do understand it from the company's perspective. It's a dress rehearsal before the actual event to gauge the response of the masses to make sure the end product does not offend the masses. Better to stave off disaster before the mass uprising and resultant loss of business, but from a viewer's perspective, it f'n sucks. I tried to not watch, but inevitably, I'd read something somewhere in the blogosphere that gave it all away so I might as well watch. It is stupid. I'd much rather have a commercial crash and burn and cause a mass uproar come Monday morning than have all the commercials market-tested for acceptability the week before. They should just do market research on a sample of the population. Fine, market research has failed in the past, but if a company's got the money to advertise during the Superbowl, they can afford do their market research right and not screw it up.
Having said that, there were some good ones this year. Being a fan of Star Wars, I definitely dug the Volkswagon ad, as well as the Doritos ad with the dog bribing its owner to keep mum about the cat. The m&m ad was cute and funny, and the godaddy.com ad risque as expected. But I could not help but be disappointed in the fact that some of the ads were leaked. It reduced the suspense drastically. But that also could have been because my beloved Giants were playing the Patriots, and I wanted the commercials to end so it would switch back to the game.