I have been jamming on this concept of "Know Control." The notion of Know Control is a direct reaction to everything we're seeing and hearing about brand democratization, Web 2.0 (which seems so yesterday) and consumer generated content.
I'm not one hundred percent certain that companies really grasp how much brand control the customer has assumed. I feel like today could well become The Tipping Point of brand democratization and the beginning of companies realizing that they no longer need to leverage 2.5 million dollars for a 30 second spot.
If we're going to see anything on this Super Bowl Sunday, I think we're going to see consumers consuming these TV spots in very different ways. I'm based in Canada and the Super Bowl feed I get will not be airing many of the ads that people in the States will get. I'm still going to catch every single ad because they will be posted on the web (in multiple locations).
Budweiser is using their paid time to launch their own, web-only, channel that will include branded entertainment, original programming, downloads, etc... Take a read of this article from Media Post: King Of Beers Becomes King Of Content, Uses Super Bowl To Launch Direct-To-Consumer Channel.
What about the Tivo people? They'll be able to record the Super Bowl commercials (or skip them) and watch them as they wish.
The days of "did you catch the commercial of so-and-so during the third quarter?" has become an email that says, "hey, check out this link... great ad."
That is true brand democratization. A thirty-second TV spot has just become a form of branded entertainment that is viral, can be seen on multiple screens (TV, web and mobile), has tremendous PR legs (if done right - think GoDaddy.com) and is being leveraged into other/additional media properties.
All of this and the public have not even begun the spoofing process yet.
I am hoping that today we can look back and say that Super Bowl Sunday, February 5th, 2006 was when advertising, marketing and communications got smarter and accepted the fact that whether you are a company pushing products or a consumer on the couch watching, we all must understand the world of Know Control.