Back in 2015, Jeff Bezos said, “Advertising is just a tax you pay for lack of innovation.” Scroll back even farther and you’ll see former Google head Eric Schmidt once called the Super Bowl the “last bastion of unaccountable spending in corporate America.”
And yet on Sunday, there were both Google and Amazon prominently playing the annual TV commercial sweepstakes provided by the big game. Along with Microsoft and Facebook (which launched its first Super Bowl spot), these tech giants have become major players in the Super Bowl ad game.
For most of their history, these companies scoffed at traditional media. Can’t measure it, can’t convert viewers into customers, not enough real-time data. Yet here are the 21st century’s most dominant brands behaving like their counterparts of the late 20th, using TV as a key tool to build image and consumer loyalty.
Today, I took a look at how TV—and the major collective cultural opportunities such as the Super Bowl it still provides—is where Big Tech goes to forge the kind of emotional relationship with consumers that helps prevent us from becoming too critical, too nervous, and too creeped out by their actions. And this year’s Super Bowl ad outcome couldn’t have been scripted better. Read more