February is a glorious month for television in the US, hosting the legendary Super Bowl, a climactic fusion of modern mass media advertising and entertainment. While I remain a sportsball agnostic Seattle nonfan, as an advertising specialist I’m always excited to see how companies will use the pigskin platform to engage with consumers. For the marketing world, the commercials and the surrounding conversations on Twitter are almost an event in and of themselves.
But despite all the attention regularly focused on these ads and their rising price tag (an average $4 Million for 30 seconds this year), the big-screen buys of the old guard represent a progressively smaller part of the overall video advertising picture. Even ads destined for this most “TV” of ad spots are now being bred for multi-screen palatability and distributed in less elite formats, serving more as broadly targeted jumping off points for social media campaigns than as traditional brand or product advertisements.