Superbowl XLII, NFL.com, and the future of television (with advertising kicking and screaming behind)

Victoria's Secret AdLike lightening, the Patriots perfect season came to a flailing end. The New York Giants have beaten, the unbeatable 17-14 and upset the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

I didn't really intend to blog about the Superbowl at all this year. Since my beloved Colts were not playing, I didn't feel how I could bring myself to care. But this morning as I was checking out the National Football League's web site, I saw something that struck me like a hammer right between the eyes. And I don't mean the pounding headaches from the lasting effects of last nights beers. For while I didn't intend to blog about it, I did head out to watch the big game with my partner and a friend.

So I was checking the nfl.com site, just to confirm that Eli Manning was voted the MVP, which he was. What can anyone say, after a play like this. I wanted to witness again, the miracle play, so I decided to follow a link on the site to see a video of the play. And then it hit me. Not only did they have that video already queued up, but 35 other videos from last nights action, plus most of the advertisements aired during the game.

In less then 12 hours following the big event, they had, for me, shown me a vision of the future of television, media, Internet, and advertising. I extend a huge congratulations to the NFL and the many people who worked on the web site in order to make this happen. I'm sure you are scratching your head, so I'll just lay it out like this (sometimes it's the simplest of things that can inspire, even mundane things that a million people see but you see differently, as if for the first time):

  • the time between this bonus coverage and the event ending will decrease until The Internet has more to offer than what the television broadcast can offer;
  • need proof? the bar we were watching the game had broadband wireless, so while many were watching the game, a group of guys in front of us were watching ads that had just aired on YouTube;
  • unless you tivo'd the game, where else are you going to see the biggest plays, on demand, television has nothing similar to offer (if you didn't see it live you'll have to watch the news)
  • while it's no secret that many in the super bowl audience care about the ads just as much as the game, and it's no secret that many head to the Internet to watch the ads they missed (especially for those of us who had to watch crappy local ads), I do believe that advertisers will begin to wake up to the fact that if done well, people are willing to (even choose to, up to actually seeking them out) watch ads. So why hasn't this happened more universally across all events and all advertisements? Further why do none of the local advertising agencies seem to get this point? The places to go on the Internet to see local commercials aired on TV are few and far between.
The bottom line here is this, if it's not on the Internet it doesn't exist. And everyone WILL go looking for it to consume it at THEIR convenience, and they will SEARCH FOR IT to find it. So if you want your event, your ads, your business to be seen it has to be on the Internet in easily found bite-size nuggets. And if you don't provide what people are looking for your event, your ad, and your business doesn't exist and Internet users WILL find your competitor. Are you feeling me?