Tracking a 17-year-old "watching" Superbowl ads

A 17-year-old zaps Superbowl ads--and then spends $12 to download The Office from iTunes.
Stephen Baker

Advertisers are desperate to grab the attention of young men, like my 17-year-old son. They spend $2.5 million for 30-second ads on the Superbowl, and jam them with his kind of humor. He controlled the TiVo remote for most of the game. Here's a report on what he watched:

He zapped through practically everything. And when the rest of us complained, he got testy. So he slowed down, but just a bit. He enjoyed the caveman ad for FedEx. He tolerated the Pepsi ads featuring P. Diddy. (It wasn't an ad, but he ditched the Stones halfway through the first song.)

But here's the interesting part. He abandoned the game midway through the fourth quarter and went into the computer room, where he spent $12 of his own money to download six episodes of NBC's The Office. We could hear him laughing as the Superbowl wound down.

Mark Cuban, who (like my oldest son)went to Mt. Lebanon high school outside Pittsburgh, bought a Superbowl ad for a movie. He hoped the game would stay close through the 3rd quarter, when the ad would air, and that the Steelers would blow them out in the fourth quarter. Is that guy lucky or what?

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