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Feb
07
2013

Let’s Talk About Super Bowl Commercials

Joe Healy is tired of hearing that this year was a bad year for Super Bowl commercials. He wants to set the record straight.

I watch the Super Bowl every year, just like everyone else in this country. Football fan or not, watching the game is a time-honored tradition in America.

The only tradition that might rival that one is discussing the game the next day at work with your co-workers.

It’s that tradition that makes me dread going to work the day after the Super Bowl. It’s not because I mind talking about the game, although I will admit that the over-dissection of every little aspect of the game does get a bit tiresome. It’s because I hate listening to people discuss Super Bowl commercials.

If I hear one more person say “the commercials just weren’t that good this year,” I think I might pull my (admittedly thinning) hair out.

People say this year after year and I can’t stand it.

Either people are dumb for continually going into the Super Bowl with high expectations after being disappointed over and over again or they are misremembering just how good commercials have been in the past.

I suspect that it’s more the latter, so let me set these folks straight.

I’m not going to argue with the fact that there have been some fantastic Super Bowl commercials over the years. Any list of the best and most effective commercials spots of all time would be littered with commercials that debuted during the Super Bowl.

But we need to stop pretending that there has ever been a year when a vast majority of commercials were hits. That just doesn’t happen. Every year during this modern era of Super Bowl advertising has been more or less the same. There are maybe a dozen or so commercials that are pretty good with two or three being really buzz-worthy.

Because we only really remember the two or three commercials that were really great, we trick ourselves into thinking that the given year a certain commercial aired was a “good year for commercials.”

I compare it to a relationship. If you have an amicable breakup with a person and leave as friends, you are really only going to remember the good things about the relationship regardless of all the things you fought about while you were together. On the other hand, if you break up with someone after a huge fight and you never talk to that person again, you are more than likely going to just remember the bad things, even though the relationship might have been good on the whole.

Because we have really positive memories of certain Super Bowl commercials, we tend to gloss over the spots that weren’t that good and think that things really were better several years back.

It also helps that commercials overall are better these days. When Super Bowl commercials first became a phenomenon, catchy, star-studded commercials weren’t the norm. Now, we see Super Bowl-caliber commercials almost everyday. The level of expectation for commercials in general has raised to the point where it’s nearly impossible to impress someone. Thus, you are almost guaranteed to be disappointed when you don’t walk away from the Super Bowl blown away by the commercials.

So please, stop saying that this year wasn’t a good year for Super Bowl commercials. It was just as good as any other year and that’s all there is to it.

Joe Healy writes for The Fan Manifesto. You can follow him on Twitter at @Joe_On_Sports. You can follow the entire FanMan team here.

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