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Alan Alda

A reminder that there's only been one great Super Bowl ad in history (in 1984)

A reminder that there's only been one great Super Bowl ad in history (in 1984)

For all its faults, the National Football League does some things very well. Most of them are associated with marketing, at which it's brilliant. And perhaps its most brilliant marketing stunt is to convince people that they should watch the Super Bowl telecast for the commercials. 

Think of the genius of this idea. It draws in viewers who have no interest in football. It prods viewers into hanging in front of the TV even through a lousy game. Blowout by halftime? There's still 2 1/2 hours of ads, isn't there? It provides secondary promotional grist for newspapers and TV talk shows in the days leading up to the game, and then another bounce in the days...

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