A debate has gone on for years in the marketing world; is the insane cost of a Super Bowl ad worth it? Some argue that Super Bowl spots have lost their clout, especially with Gen Y. This just isn’t true… Gen Y loves Super Bowl commercials like everyone else; just make sure they are good.
Gen Y can be considered the anti-commercial generation. We grew up with an individualistic outlook and a general distaste for those talking “at” us. These characteristics combined with an upbringing that included the VCR followed by the DVR makes Gen Y the perfect commercial hating generation. For the most part this is true… except on Super Bowl Sunday.
Now I realize that I am in the minority, I actually like commercials (but hey, I’m a marketing guy). This is not the case with most of my peers. In fact, I can only think of a handful of people other than myself that can tolerate commercials, but come Super Bowl Sunday, everyone is instantly glued to the TV and is a die-hard commercial fan. What other event in our history has accomplished this feat?
The Super Bowl does it every year.
The true test of the weight that a Super Bowl commercial carries isn’t necessarily the spots that came out in recent years; because frankly I don’t think they are nearly as good as they have been in the past (but that’s a whole different article). The true weight can be measured when you ask Gen Yers their opinions of past commercials. One can just say the title of the spot and the majority of Gen Y will remember the spot and their feelings.
Let’s try it… Do you remember?
- Terry Tate Office Linebacker
- Budweiser Frogs
- Tabasco Mosquito
- McDonalds – The Showdown (Horse)
- Go Daddy (The original)
- Sprint – Crime Deterrent
Gen Yers will remember the majority of these commercials. Some of these spots ran over 15 years ago (one over 25 years ago) but the widespread knowledge of them demonstrates what an great impact a Super Bowl commercial can have. Now compare the recall rate of these good spots to that of other 15-year-old commercials.
For example, I remember the Budweiser Frogs just like it was yesterday, and I was 10. Most Gen Yers can’t remember the majority of their lives when they were 10, but I still remember Bud, Weis and Err.
Some say that the defining campaigns for Gen Y now come in nontraditional forms: mobile, social, viral, events, etc. Gen Y may prefer these forms of “new media” on an everyday basis, but none of these methods can create the buzz and recall that a good Super Bowl ad can. Marketers are also becoming more effective in their targeting of Gen Y and are turning these highly coveted television spots into internet sensations. This gives us an opportunity to interact with the commercials; something we LOVE to do.
Yes, we (Gen Y) are different in many ways, but our love for Super Bowl commercials is no different from those who came before us. Bring on Sunday!