There are always high expectations going into the Super Bowl for some pretty entertaining TV ads. At this year’s rate of $2.5-3 million dollars per 30 second spot, they had better be pretty good in order to resonate with the brand’s target audience and potentially justify the dollar spend. While a lot of discussion centers around the best Super Bowl ads (we discussed it a lot in my Marketing class today), I think the flops deserve some attention too. The absolute worst 2010 Super Bowl ad in my opinion (also the opinion of many of my classmates and our professor) has to be the 2010 U.S. Census commercial.
U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Super Bowl Ad
I know. I’m confused too. What the heck is the goal of that ad? I can’t think that the U.S. Census needs to build its brand. If they’re trying to get viewers to take some action, I can’t figure out what that action is. The advertisement clearly exhibits a lack of coherent messaging strategy.
It’s bad enough that the government would waste taxpayer money to produce such an ad (which I would expect to be rather expensive), but to choose to run it during the Super Bowl at a cost of $2.5 million dollars? Pretty frustrating, particularly in such a difficult economic environment and a $14.3 trillion dollar budget deficit. If you click through to the YouTube video page, you’ll see a few more people that are upset too.