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UT Experts Weigh In On Super Bowl Commercials
We Texans love our football, but the sport wasn't the only reason viewers tuned in to Super Bowl 47.
Inside a Central Austin home, an all-star team of University of Texas advertising professors gathered on Sunday night not to watch the big game, but to judge another American institution: the Super Bowl commercials
“It has never really happened like this before,” said UT Professor of Advertising, Gary Wilcox, as he typed into his computer in his colleague’s kitchen.
“This is going to be fun,” added UT Ad Professor Angeline Close as she peered up from her iPad.
Through social media, the professors connected with thousands of students, alumni and people all over the world, to build the UT advertising brand, study trends and engage.
“We're getting tweets and retweets every minute,” Wilcox said with a smile.
They're trading tweets about companies that spent months and paid up to $4 million dollars on thirty seconds of airtime; a new record.
So did anything stick?
These pros said they were underwhelmed.
They pointed to the Volkswagen commercial from 2011, where the child thought he was Darth Vader.
“Out of thousands of ads you remember that,” the host and Professor of Advertising, Neal Burns said. “If you can do that, you've impacted culture.”
Instead, the professors said they were grossed out.
“The audio on the GoDaddy kissing ad was actually two eels fighting over a soft boiled egg,” Wilcox joked.
And some were even offended.
“It kind of trivialized Jamaican history, Jamaican culture,” said Professor Kevin Thomas after he saw the Volkswagen commercial where a Midwesterner fakes a Jamaican accent.
Thomas believed it was racist and insensitive.
On a more positive note, the professors said they liked the big increase in social media mentions and viewer interaction this year.
“Almost all of the ads are integrating social media into ads and integrating consumers with creating ads and that's a trend we've never seen before on this scale,” Close said.
Another trend: longer and more upbeat commercials.
“I think they're almost overly positive,” Burns said. “We believe the economy is coming back, we believe we're going to be okay.”
In the end, the professors, who are admittedly more interested in ads versus football, said this year, the game overshadowed the commercials, even for them.