On Monday somebody will ask: “Does any of these commercials sell product?” or “Did anyone rush out to buy this product when they saw the commercial?”

They are asking the wrong question

Super Bowl ads are not really about selling. They are about creating some funky creative that spreads. That people will talk about on Monday, that people will share through their networks. It’s the one time of the year where people are waiting for ads, asking for them. People want to be entertained, not to be sold to. We’re watching because these commercials are social objects, ideas we want to share with our world.

Does it work?

Depends on who you ask. Ask agencies and advertising pundits, they will tell you it works really well. Ask the CFO, you might get a different answer. I’m somewhere in the middle. I love some of the creativity that’s often missing the remaining 364 days. But I wonder if we don’t make too much out of it, and if all this effort is really worth it. The one thing I know is that Super Bowl ads show that storytelling works. It doesn’t say anything about the value of advertising.

P.S.: The agency of the Kia commercial shot five minutes of super-slo-mo reference footage of Adriana ima waving the flag. They slowed it down to 1/60 speed, creating a 5 hour movie. Brilliant. At least, that’s what more than 200,000 visitors thought.