Prediction: Firebrand Will Not Exist in 18 (Maybe Even 12) Months


You can look at this Firebrand video promoting its Road to Monday Super Bowl program this week as being somewhat comical in its efforts to portray the insanity in which we all engage regarding Super Bowl ads. Or you can look at it as a lame effort, cheesily produced with the unattainable goal of getting people to actually care about advertising. Of course, if there were any time of year the average Joe would care about advertising, it would be surrounding the Super Bowl.

But, as another writer posited a day or two ago, the Super Bowl viewing experience is greatly skewed because most viewing is done at Super Bowl parties where all everyone is doing is eating, talking and drinking. Even with the amount of mini-research, mini-analysis and mini-commentary that accompanies the event, it's all still a gigantic opinion-fest without a shred of care for whether or not the commercial actually sold anything - the primary purpose of advertising lest we forget.

So if you can even find ION TV somewhere within the 500 cable channels you have, do give Firebrand a watch. Of course, it's all online too. But we're pretty sure the only people watching Firebrand this week or any week will be people working in advertising, hardly an audience large enough to support the company's grandiose vision of becoming some sort of popular destination.

by Steve Hall    Jan-29-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Cable, Online, Opinion, Super Bowl 2008   

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We don't really have anything like the Super Bowl ads over here in the UK. Would be grateful if someone could explain how big they are / why they are so big / and how they first got to be as big as they now are?

Posted by: Eamon on January 29, 2008 11:00 AM

What the hell is Firebrand? I turned on the TV and watched it for a few minutes, read about it on here, and I still have no idea what it is. And I work in advertising. They just run ads? Doesn't every channel run ads, but between actual entertainment?

Posted by: Tim on January 29, 2008 12:38 PM

Ha! I couldn't have said it better myself, Tim:-)

Posted by: Steve Hall on January 29, 2008 1:06 PM


I'm not sure where to begin, so let's start from the bottom of your post andwork our way up.

First, in support of our "grandiose vision", over two thirds of 18-34 olds find some ads more entertaining than TV shows, and more than half of them are already downloading commercials. So clearly there are a few commercials good enough to warrant viewing, no less a sexy destination to
watch, download and share them.

We've had over 2.5 million viewers watching Firebrand on average each week. And yes, some of them are probably copywriters, too. But if you can't find ION TV, it's because you're not in one of the 95+ million homes that carry

That so-called "mini-analysis" during Super Bowl parties is exactly what created the legend of "the holiest day in advertising" as well as its $2.7M per :30 price tag. And long before the internet came along, too.

That said, we don't have to make a major effort to "get people to care" about commercials, Super Bowl or otherwise. Your site is but one of over half a million search results for "super bowl commercials".

Which brings us to the top. Your "prediction" is wholly unsupported by your argument. Our model proves, once and for all, that marketing can be entertaining AND effective. And that viewers will gladly watch commercials. They just don't like to be interrupted...and won't watch bad commercials.

With marketing efforts increasingly infiltrating everything we see and do, why wouldn't we encourage advertisers to make it more beautiful?

I'm open to discuss this further at any time, and thanks for your interest in Firebrand.


Shari F. Leventhal
CMO Firebrand

Posted by: Shari on January 29, 2008 4:32 PM

the irony here is that just a few short weeks after Shari's comment above, Firebrand is gone...

Posted by: Bob on March 11, 2008 6:34 PM