America still likes to get together for big events. Few are bigger than the Super Bowl.
Could anything had been better than the New Orleans Saints rising up to tackle the irrepressible Peyton Manning and seemingly unbeatable Indianapolis Colts?
So many great story lines. Beginning with the Bayou city recovering after Hurricane Katrina, to Archie Manning-Peyton’s father who raised his two NFL playing quarterbacks in New Orleans, to the entire Who Dat nation.
The result was a record setting television audience for CBS. More people saw the game than watched the last episode of Mash, the former viewership king.
Even in a very fragmented media environment if you give enough people something they really want to see they’ll show-up in record numbers.
One account said viewership was buoyed by a bad economy where people just want to stay home and watch programs on their flat screen televisions. Another said the weather contributed with heavy snow and cold temperatures across much of the nation, thus keeping many folks holed-up at home.
Whatever the reasons, the numbers speak for themselves. This all bodes well for NBC and the upcoming Olympic games in Vancouver. If any American athlete is able to compete for a gold medal in figure skating, for example, the audience for the night of the finals should be huge.
One other thought involves all those Super Bowl advertisers trying to score with commercials during the game. In an effort to get the necessary free PR play out of their $3 million per ad investment some marketers will cross the line between trying to sell a product vs trying to create a “cute” story far removed from the product itself.
While many commercials like Google’s and, for the most part, Doritos’ were easy to understand, some left our group shaking our heads and asking “What was that product they were trying to sell again?”
Three weeks from now it will be nice to know that those multi-million dollar spots generated some revenue not only for CBS but also for the companies paying the bill.