Advertisers Bailing On The Superbowl Not Wanting To Offend Anyone

The cancel culture has come to a stalemate. Michael Jordan said a long time ago that republicans by sneakers also and wouldn’t take sides. If others were only that smart.

In the effort not to piss off half the country, the corporations are now cowards, afraid to take a stance for fear of SJW and the cancel culture. I noted that it works both ways though. The country is divided. We were last united on 9/11, but shortly after that it’s gone to hell.

“A growing number of big-name advertisers, including Coke and Hyundai, are skipping the Super Bowl this year for fear of not striking the right tone amid America’s contentious political landscape.
“Several companies have decided not to buy Super Bowl time, some for the first time in over a decade.
“The reason? According to the New York Post, the talk from insiders is that members of multiple boardrooms are finally coming to realize that they’re going to infuriate half the country no matter what they do.
“In recent years, advertisers were thrilled to push the Black Lives Matter and Antifa ideologies or to push transgenderism and the #MeToo movement. But this year, not so much.” Offending half the country is OK, except in this case, they offended the half that actually buys their products.

I point out trends and patterns. This surely is one. A Superbowl commercial is top dollar and the networks will hurt from this. Their newsrooms are where the flames of this cancel culture got stoked. I point the finger at them.

Hopefully it will be a good game. A good football game with no politics or social statements made. It’s a child’s game, not a national election.

This advertisement was brought to you by those seeking to disrupt normal relations in the USA by violence, force and dissembling statements. Stop it. We are tired of it and want to get back to our lives.

Great Sayings – Advertising vs. The News (both suck)

“Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.”

-George Santayana

Over the years, we’ve found ways to skip ads.  We record shows and fast forward through them to watch what we want.

Lately, I’ve been skipping the news because I’m sick of the biased reporting, from either side of the story.

Advertising somehow makes having hemorrhoids, toe fungus, yellow teeth and bad breath seem better.  All of it at the cost of the fast speaker at the end telling you all of the things that will harm you when you use the cure they are selling.

The news tells you all the harm that is happening to you to make you feel worse.  So advertisements during the news hour is a recipe for depression or anger.

I hope all of this crap is just the result of it being an election year and will go away after November.  Unfortunately, since they’ve already gotten rid of Brian Williams, Bill O’Reilly, Matt Lauer, Katy Couric and the rest of the losers and the news still sucks it probably won’t.

I just don’t watch now and I feel better.  Tell me when it changes.

 

Was IBM’s Watson a Breakthrough or Very Cheap and Creative Advertising?

Update 1/8/14: Only $15 Million in sales for over $5 billion invested so far as IBM struggles to turn Watson into a business

The worst news in the above link is that companies like Google can do the the same for far less and that Watson doesn’t even work with other IBM technology.

Update: Watson is in the next publicity stunt with Wall Street as sales seem to be lagging.

As we all know, Watson appeared and won on Jeopardy last year.  It was the culmination of years of work and manpower to build a machine that could react faster and be programmed to win a game show.  It was brilliant, but more for promotion than technology sales (as evidenced so far).  There is little doubt that the promotional value was priceless to the IT industry and an easy calculation by IBM to one up the competition.

The two humans were limited to their capacity, whereas Watson was a massive computer with incredible storage and processing capability.  It was programmed specifically for the game, so while not a slam dunk, inevitability wasn’t in much doubt.

I don’t know about you, but as I get older, I forget things and computers don’t.  You can add memory, processors and build it big enough to recall more than any amount of humans.  Jeopardy had two champions,  so it wasn’t really a fair fight.  You ultimately can overpower any certain situation with billions in technology (which is what it cost to win), but throw something like emotion or nuance into a situation and computers are lost.

It was the perfect set up.  Everyone loves to root for the underdog even though the humans really fit that role.  It was accomplished by putting the biggest two winners ever on Jeopardy up against poor Watson.  The truth was that it never was going to be close given the confines of the rules of the game.  In real life, with unforeseen issues, the humans would have a fair chance.  That was never the point of Watson though.

IBM got to promote a research facility, executives, technology and almost a free ticket for three days.  Jeopardy also was a winner with dominant ratings.

I don’t want to debate the possibilities of Watson’s future contribution to technology other than stating that it is another step (and possibly direction)  in data analytics, and it increases the perception of IBM’s lead in this area (thanks to a lot of M&A and some folks that worked without getting enough credit).  It hasn’t been the breakthrough that companies have jumped on like an iPhone, yet billions of dollars have been spent on the same hardware used to build Watson since Jeopardy for traditional IT.  Time will tell.

ADVERTISING

For now, the real victory was exposure.  How much would it cost to purchase 1.5 hours of prime time advertising for a 3 day period where you basically get to change the rules of advertising to where you don’t even have to pretend that an ad agency was involved (also saving millions).  Here is the breakdown of advertising to program, but in reality the big IBM Watson Avatar is a commercial by itself every time Alex said the word Watson.

From a Mad Men point of view (advertising show for those who don’t know) this was a stroke of creative genius that began with winning a chess match against Gary Kasparov, then moving to prime time TV when new exposure was needed.  I saw people glued to their seats and talking about it the next day at a conference.  Nevertheless, it still has all the appearances of a publicity stunt. Unfortunately, it saddled IBM with a 2015 earnings projection claim that Palmisano left Gini Rometty to figure out.  With this economy, it has Sham’s chance of beating Secretariat in the Belmont Stakes to make it.

There will be claims that further technology is Watson legacy and success, but it is not what was intended by the efforts which related to making sure it beat the humans on Jeopardy.  That is supposed to come later.

CURING THE COMMON COLD

It has been suggested that Watson technology is being used to cure cancer.  I like others wish for this as I lost my mother to that disease.  Along with AIDS and the common cold, I have my doubts that we’ll really see this in our lifetime.  By then, trillions will be spent.  Like Global Warming, we could do more by helping to feed the starving and providing help and aid to millions.  This is not what Watson is about though last spring, it was the advertising win of 2010.

So the jury is out on whether it will succeed in medical or some other breakthrough.  For now, it was the promotional prime time win last year.