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Six Observations About Super Bowl XLV

Okay, so I didn’t watch the entire Super Bowl. Frankly, I was bored. It was anything but a boring game, so I’m not sure why I felt so impatient. Perhaps because I’m in the middle of an interesting book.

I did watch until nearly the end of halftime. Which, I believe, qualifies me to make a half dozen observations about the event:

1. The sideshows have now overwhelmed the game. Unless you’re a fan of one of the contenders, the actual football game has become so subordinate to the hoopla that it’s almost beside the point. The billions–something like $10 billion spent by Americans on Super Bowl-related activities–don’t have a whole lot to do with football. Even the sports chatterers I listened to Monday had more to say about the commercials and the halftime show and Xtina than the game.

2. The Black Eyed Peas kinda sucked. I do not love the Black Eyed Peas, but I was, at least, interested to hear them. I was happy that the halftime show was not going to feature another dinosaur rock act like Springsteen or the Stones or  CBS’s very-own CSI commercial, the Who. (Perhaps Bill Haley and His Comets were unavailable.) But–holy crap, they were bad. The halftime show is always an exercise in bombast, but this was amusical, as well. Best worst part: Fergie’s Axl Rose impression on “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Horrid.

3. Some people should not live blog. During big events, Twitter becomes a stream of bad jokes and painfully obvious observations. Facebook, too. It’s mostly annoying. For every smart commentator, there are twenty people doing schtick. I’m sure I’ve underestimated here.

4. Aaron Rodgers is the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL. Everyone just knew Aaron Rodgers was going to take over the game and lead his team, the Green Bay Packers, to victory, right? I mean, it was manifest destiny. Unless he has a concussion, he’s basically unstoppable. I don’t see any reason why the Pack will not win the next ten Super Bowls in a row. It doesn’t matter who else the Packers have. Aaron Rodgers and the Noblesville Pee Wee Tigers could have beaten the Steelers. Why bother waiting to enshrine him at Canton? (The hyperbole is ridiculous. Yes, Aaron Rodgers had a fine game, and I’m sure he’ll have a fine career.)

5. Big Advertising is out of ideas. Yes, that’s a little harsh. A few of the spots were good. The Volkswagen spot with the Darth Vader kid was really cute. The Audi spot featuring Kenny G was funny. But mostly, Advertising’s Big Night was filled with the same, old overblown crap: windy special effects spectacles, funny animals, talking babies, crotch shots, celebrities. Yawn. If you missed the game, watch them all for yourself here. Bring a pillow.

6. Our Doritos spot was better than the ones they chose. Okay, I know we didn’t hit the demographic–which is, apparently, twenty-something men with pea-sized brains. But the three Doritos Crash the Super Bowl spots that were chosen were disappointing. “Pug” was predictable and pedestrian. “Finger Licking” was funny but disgusting and cast the product in a bad light. “House Sitting” was the best spot of the three–but wasn’t anything special. None of them could touch the brilliance of Kipp Normand.

And the best part is that, next year, we get to experience it all first hand, right here in Indianapolis. Bring it on, NFL. My recommendation for next year’s halftime show: Yoko Moment. I promise we won’t cover any Guns N’ Roses tunes.

5 thoughts on “Six Observations About Super Bowl XLV

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Six Observations About Super Bowl XLV | Well Done Marketing --

  2. Aaron Rodgers is no Peyton. Period.

    Your Doritos spot was much better.

    Clearly, you missed my clever remark about Slash on facebook.

    Yes. — “Best worst part: Fergie’s Axl Rose impression on “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Horrid.”

    Sadly, my favorite commercial was Ozzy and Beiber. I do not understand what the “G”s are either.

    The big news here in Philly was about the ticket-holders without seats. And the Michael Vick “Key to the city. Ooops. Not” situation.

    In a word — B O R I N G.

  3. Specifically to your point #5, I’ve been saying this for a while. Bud Light ads are the worst. They try waaay too hard. “Drinkability” was their best concept (and most cynical): What’s the defining characteristic of an over-marketed watered down beer: Uh, well, it’s drinkable. (I’m sure a brainstorming meeting at Leo Burnett went exactly like this.)

    My conjecture is that when the bottom fell out of the economy, corporate revenues fell, then ad budgets, and the big firms sacked their more experienced creative directors for “young, fresh” talent that they can underpay for less solid ideas that aren’t well thought out or executed.

    And while most ads now are moving toward the visual (think the return of silent movie gags) to catch us as we fast forward through them, it’s the Super Bowl. People are watching with baited breath. Enough with the gratuitous sight gags and crotch shots!

  4. re:out of ideas.
    It’s a year stale and in advertising that’s 20 human years but I still think the Old Spice rebranding from last year’s Superbowl carries some lasting effects. That was a fresh idea on so many levels from the choreography of the commercial to the use of a strong black character (Team Mustafa!) to to their brilliant 24 hours of social media bombing.

    I was in Target staring at the wall of deodorant and had picked up one of the Old Spice products. It’s been a while since I’ve bought some, so I was marveling at the revised Old Spice packaging. Definitely attracted to it. A fairly normal looking 16-18 year kid and his mom walked by and he leaned over and said, “That’s my favorite scent, although I like the mountain one too.”

    I figure if you can turn a normal looking 16 year old kid into an expert on the Old Spice line-up, you’ve done something, even if your commercial is more of the same this year.

  5. Interesting observations, Ken. I take exception to only one point. Peyton Manning is the best QB, but then you probably tee-ed that up to lure me in, LOL.

    I did like the Doritos commercial. They have all been good. The Go Daddy’s spot was lame.

    No mention of the ticket debacle or the national anthem. These were the lowest of lows from my perspective.

    Can’t wait till the next and best Super Bowl here in the sports capital of the world. We will figure out the messes. Just hope Mother Nature gives us a wee bit of a break weather wise.

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