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No. I’m not talking about the best and worst ads.

Watching tonight’s game ads, I was struck by the initial number of car spots. The first Budweiser commercial I saw, I realized…this is the first Budweiser commercial I’ve seen. In years past it would’ve been the third or fourth. (Note, I wasn’t complaining about the lack of beer advertising.) It made me wonder about who was advertising and what that meant for our economy.

I wasn’t taking notes in the commercials but used these sources to pull the list of 2010 and 2011 ads. Obviously, this is not scientific but counting the number of commercials in the categories I created, the following results were generated:

Super Bowl Ad Content Comparison: 2010 vs 2011

So, what does all this mean? Anything?

If I was looking for economic clues, I think it would be encouraging. Making some obvious generalizations: a lot of beer advertising tells me our country is interested in distracting ourselves from the current state of affairs; a high number of vehicle and related advertising along with the high number of movie trailers lets me know that marketers believe we’re interested in spending money and that we may have some to do so.

Again, this is not scientific but it does give me hope. Of course this can lead to a chicken and egg conversation…is the economy better so those ‘want-based’ brands have more money to spend on advertising? do ‘want-based’ brands need us to buy and think that by increasing their presence, we’ll do so (a little reverse-psychology)?

Whatever it is, it made for a good Super Bowl – on and off the field. At least in my opinion. What about yours?