Commercial Break

FootballHelmetOne of the pleasures of this time of the year is the march to the Super Bowl. It is truly an American event that has no precedent. Throughout the years, we’ve all been glued to our televisions, or, if lucky enough, to have been able to attend one of the games. There have been so many great moments that are now indelibly etched into the fabric of our society. As a Giants fan, the four Super Bowls we’ve won have been banner days in my life. How sweet they were.

The playoffs build over the course of a few weeks to a crescendo with the game itself. The entire country stops. Whether the game is that significant or not, it’s the closest thing we have to the old Roman spectacles. Gladiators, in full regalia, capture the attention of the country, millions of households the world wide take it all in. Talk about a captive audience.

As surely as the games will be contested, so too will the commercials that will accompany them. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent pursuing the audience that is pursuing the game. The heavyweights of our industry, Pepsi, Coke, AB Inbev, Coors/Miller, Boston Brewing, all make an investment that could feed an impoverished country handily. But I look at their attempts and say that they are missing the mark, particularly in the cola arena.

Everyone on earth knows about Pepsi Cola and Coca-Cola. Is it really necessary to position their importance in our culture? Is it going to impact someone’s decision to try it (if you’ve been living under a rock) or continue to imbibe these great drinks. The evidence over the last few years is that CSDs are on the decline. These very same companies have vast portfolios of beverages that could and should be more in tune with the healthy and natural direction we are headed. The Super Bowl, with its attendant attention, should be a great time to really introduce these brands to America. Use the commercial money to banner these fantastic products. Follow the trends and you’ll capture a whole new consumer and keep the dollars in your coffers.

The same can be said for the beer companies. The resurgence of craft beers, again, a key trend, should have you acquire or enhance your portfolios in this key, and exploding segment of the marketplace. It’s great to see the creativity of your ads, but shouldn’t you also be promoting these no-longer-boutique brands? Use some of your ad time to help direct these trends to your company.

My admiration and respect for the big companies knows no bounds, but you’re missing an opportunity. Take the lead. The consumer preference is shifting, and you should be at the forefront of this change.