It’s Time to Beef About Substandard TV Commercials


The Super Bowl, a national holiday celebrating America’s twin loves of football and capitalism, is a time to embrace the art of TV advertising, even when the game’s lousy.

Yet while there’s still ample romance surrounding the image of the creative ad exec, Madison Avenue has been given a free pass for its role in the gradual breakdown of TV’s traditional ecosystem.

Sure, it’s now customary to watch the Super Bowl in part to admire those little 30- and 60-second masterpieces, but advertisers are largely forgiven for their inability to conjure spots people feel compelled to watch most of the time.

The digital video recorder is about 15 years old (imagine, TiVo and ReplayTV would be teenagers), and while it took longer than some analysts anticipated, the technology has clearly rewritten the rules of viewing. Initially built around a simple formula — free entertainment, in exchange for commercials — the…

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