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Hey Brands: Nobody Needs Trailers for Super Bowl Commercials

Getting excited about a commercial? Sorry, can't relate.

by Bettina Makalintal
Jan 23 2020, 6:48pm

Screenshot via trailer

There is only one day a year when Americans are excited about commercials. That is Super Bowl Sunday, and this has been our unspoken social contract ever since the Super Bowl and Super Bowl commercials even started.

Every other day of the year—from yesterday to today to tomorrow to next week—we grit our teeth as Hulu forces us to watch yet another repetitive, mind-numbing ad while we try to remain engrossed in the short span of a 30-minute show. On Super Bowl Sunday though, when we're a few beers deep, sure, we'll get stoked.

And yet that implicit American agreement is now being derided through the suggestion that we want to get excited about Super Bowl ads now, 10 days away from the actual game or even earlier. Thanks to modern marketing's most annoying new mechanism, we don't just have Super Bowl commercials, we now also have teaser trailers for those commercials.

Yes, that's basically just a commercial for a commercial, and God, end us all.

Let's run through some of them, including: a 50-second teaser for Hyundai's ad starring SNL's Rachel Dratch, a 1-minute teaser for Doritos' ad starring Western actor Sam Elliott, a 7-second teaser for Kate Hudson's Fabletics, a 46-second teaser for Budweiser, a 16-second teaser for Cheetos starring MC Hammer, a 15-second teaser for Avocados from Mexico starring Molly Ringwald.

It's not just the Super Bowl ads, of course; there are teasers for songs and hype-building campaigns for movie trailers. Clearly, we have somehow given the brands too much power, and we have, somehow, suggested that we want more from them. We engage with their ploys for our attention like Mr. Peanut's (well-deserved, if you ask us) death, and some people—or so I've heard—actually like it when brands beef on Twitter. Surely I am not the only one feeling bludgeoned to death by the endless stream of ads and branding, and if anything, seeing a preview of the commercial only makes me less excited about the actual thing.

I get it: The ads are expensive ($5 million on average, Vox reported last year), and brands want to build buzz in whatever way possible. But y'all, this seems a little much. The primary sources of excitement surrounding the Super Bowl are the promise of snacks and the halftime show and watching the ads that are certainly better than all the other ads we see every day.

We don't know what's going to happen or who's going to be in it and that's the magic of the Super Bowl ad—not sitting at a computer screen a week before the game, speculating about how the second minute of a Doritos commercial is going to play out.

Tagged:
super bowl
trailers
commercials