Marketing Thoughts

So another SuperBowl came and went. I didn't bother to watch this one, but y'know what is really starting to bug me? The whole "Superbowl ads as cultural events" concept. I mean for days before the paper (and the internet, so don't get all 21st century smug on me) were hyping the commercials - and assessing the consumer reaction is a major news story today. I have a lot more understanding of somebody who watched the SuperBowl for y'know the football game, than somebody who watched for the ads.

The only real counterargument I can see is that the ads are actually *art*, which I can see I guess. But I don't really buy it. First off, what percentage of TV ads have any lasting cultural impact? Yes, fine the 1984 Macintosh commercial. Then there's . . . I'm sure there's a few more, but it's a tiny, tiny percent. Ads may be a necessary evil of the broadcasting system, but that doesn't mean we should celebrate them, or treat them as news.

So you want to be Mr. Snooty "I'm too good to watch football"? Good on you. But don't go to YouTube and watch the SuperBowl ads later. That's just ridiculous.

On a similar note today at lunch I was reading the latest Wired magazine, and it had an article about Yahoo "lost" the "search battle" to Google. It was an OK article, but something occurred to me that I think is significant and Wired didn't touch on it at all. If you go to Google's homepage you get a clean elegant page. Their logo is colorful, and even playful, but the overall impression is "quiet competence". Go to Yahoo's homepage. It's cluttered. I just looked: it has what I would describe as "Fisher Price My FIrst Icons" all over the place, ads, and a bunch of stupid crap. The overall impression is somewhere between "ad executive on the loose with FrontPage" and MySpace.

Setting up the new computer I set up Flock on two different OSes. Flock defaults search to Yahoo and I realized I considered that almost broken. It's not so much that I think Yahoo's search results are inferior - truth is I've never compared the two. It's that going to a Google page makes me feel like a professional and going to a Yahoo (or is it Yahoo! ? A telling question.) page makes me feel like I need a new set of Crayolas.

In conclusion, Stay off my yard! (shakes walking stick) Darn kids!

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