After viewing this year's crop of Super Bowl advertising and reading about the dismal traffic to advertisers' respective websites (for example: peak traffic per minute this year was 282,000 versus 750,000 last year), I couldn't help but wonder why any self-respecting advertiser would purposely choose *not* to maximize the potential of a $2.6 million investment.
Is it a deeply-seated masochistic tendency, a career death-wish or perhaps just good old-fashioned cluelessness?
To be sure, some commercials didn't need to work as hard as others in terms of needing to drive to web, but for the most part what was on display was a collection of utter stupidity.
Why? I would contend it is the "YouTube phenomenon" - a linear drunken obsession with maximizing the "Amplification" of a self-contained 30- or 60-second one-off communication.
This year was all about 2 things:
1) Creating the most artificial buzz (often negative) in order to force a disinterested consumer to pay attention
2) Sustaining the short-lived momentum by replicating the message as many ways as possible
Don't get me wrong...a YouTube exposure is a permission-based one and therefore a lot more valuable apples-to-apples. My point however is simple: band-aid solutions to gaping wounds of hemorrhaging loss of brand investment is sure to be short-lived and thus, fatal.
YouTube is a great way to fill in the cracks in the once-impregnable walls of brand communication, but what happens when a Butterfly Effect (AKA Tipping Point) results in the entire structure collapsing to the ground?