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I’m not sure how the advertisers did, but I counted 52 Super Bowl commercials Sunday. At a cost of $5.25 million for 30 seconds – more of course for the 45 sec. and one minutes spots – CBS banked a cool $382 million for an afternoon of broadcasting to the 100 million pairs of Brady-watching eyeballs on Super Bowl 53.


There were a couple of the commercials that communicated with power and class. And I will share my opinion on what those were below. And I don’t care to focus on the negative here because if I get started I will turn into a carping shrew.  But can someone tell me please how an ad agency can produce, and a CEO can approve spending $7+ million for 45 seconds of this.


Forget the flaccid content of the commercial, whose idea was it to position a Burger King hamburger with Andy Warhol?

I mean, Really?

There were two commercials that I liked a lot.


One was the commercial that was produced for Google translate, the online translation service Google makes available. They start by saying that 100 billion words are translated every day. 


It then shows examples of people all over the world getting in communication by the “simple” use of a smart phone and the Google translate feature.

The commercial shows how one can be in communication virtually anywhere on the planet in an instant. 

Fabulous. It helps put the world into communication. Watch.


I use this feature from Google for On Target Research with growing frequency. Prospective clients, mostly from Mexico and South America find us online (ontargetresearch.com). They are seeking to have market research and surveys done in order to introduce a product or service to the U.S. market, which they view as the ultimate market place – and they are right.

Calling my Spanish rudimentary is way to kind.

I put the query into Google translate. See what prospect needs or wants and then answer them in English, have Google translate my response to Spanish, copy, paste into an email and send. The entire transaction goes this way.

But the commercial demonstrated the software’s use in many ways and in many cultures. It was well produced and got the message across wonderfully.


It wasn’t so much the production values of the Washington Post’s  commercial, it was the message.

I am not a fan of the Post’s liberal editorial policy and the slant of their journalism that seems to come from the mind of a Georgetown graduate student.

But if anyone has the right to be called the apostle of the First Amendment, it is the Washington Post.

Their iconic expose of the Watergate scandal including the illegal activities of the Nixon White House was immortalized by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in film (All the President’s Men).

And, more recently, it was Stephen Spielberg that called on Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep to tell the story of the Post’s fight (along with the New York Times) to publish the Pentagon Papers.

The Pentagon Papers “… revealed that the presidential administrations of Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, , John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson had all misled the public about the degree of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, from Truman’s decision to give military aid to France during its struggle against the communist-led Viet Minh to Johnson’s development of plans to escalate the war in Vietnam as early as 1964, even as he claimed the opposite during that year’s presidential election.”

So the Washington Post has bragging rights. But they didn’t brag. They promoted the use of journalism to tell the important stories.

I fear this mission has gone astray in recent years. But the Post’s commercial reminded viewers of what it should be. And for that, their commercial said something important and stood out.

Their message: Democracy Dies in Darkness.

It’s true. It does.

It is worth a look, or even a second look if you saw it Sunday.


I will spare you a long commercial here and simply say that if you are going to give your website a facelift, create a new marketing piece or produce a commercial you should spend a few bucks first and survey your public to see what they think is valuable about what it is that you sell. It will increase response and leads and ultimately sales. Which is, after all, is why most folks are in business.

“In short, and you know I am a believer, without good surveys, marketing dollars are wasted. Way more dollars wasted than are spent with you doing the surveys. Surveys are the aerodynamic engineering of any marketing plan – is that positioning? Without surveys, you can get there. But you are wasting energy/dollars along the way. 

And when it comes to doing surveys, you and On Target will always be my first choice.” TW Public Relations Professional




Bruce Wiseman

President & CEO

On Target Researcj