At Least the Game Turned Out to be Exciting: Super Bowl Ad Thoughts from a True Sports Fan

I’ll have to admit that this was the first year that I focused my attention on the Super Bowl ads. As a big sports fan, I’m always into the game. The commercial breaks and stoppages in play were always meant as a time to visit the little boy’s room, grab another adult beverage or re-load the food plate.

Anyhow, the Niners were in the Bowl and, although I’m a Raiders fan, I followed the Niners closely this year. They are the local team; almost all of my friends are Niner’s fans; and somehow my place was nominated to watch the big game. I knew I was going to be tuned into the game from beginning to end, including the breaks, so I just moved the cooler closer to my seat.

The game started and quickly swung in Baltimore’s favor. The ads, well, they were more in line with San Francisco’s sideline – they didn’t come to play in the first half. All of the ads were very underwhelming and it’s not like I’m a tough critic or anything. But I just thought the ads were whack. There were the usual car ads, CBS show previews, NFL Evolution spots, beer ads, upcoming movie previews, etc.

Nothing stood out to me. I mean, I’ll remember most of them, but nothing made me really laugh and spit my beer out – the true effect for which all advertisers should aim. The funniest part was the commentary and boos raining down from our houseguests after each ad. Even Go Daddy’s “Perfect Match” Bar Rafaeli kiss commercial lacked creativity. 😉

I think I laughed and appreciated only  two ads in the first half – Century 21 with the “Wedding” spot and M&M’s “Love Ballad: I Would Do Anything” spot. The M&M’s spot was funny — or maybe it was just coincidence that the ad ran at the exact same time I reached and grabbed a handful of peanut M&M’s from the coffee table. Or maybe just because I was singing along with the M and wondering when my next karaoke night was going to be… But still, it was my favorite commercial of the first half.

After Beyonce’s gyrating hips sucked up all of NOLA’s energy, the second half started and the superdome half blackout occurred. The ensuing 34 minutes of play stoppage allowed for more food, more game analysis and, I was thinking to myself, more ads? Would companies get spots run at value-add? Or did CBS just play more house ads touting their show lineup?It turns out, many of the advertisers lost audience due to those who tuned out. And CBS issued a statement saying it will “honor all commercial commitments.” And, did you notice how well Mercedes made out with their logo at the top of the dome eerily highlighted? Other than that, it was the savvy social advertisers who took advantage and quickly turned to twitter.

Once the action started again, the game swung in San Francisco’s favor. And the ads, well, they were now mirroring Baltimore’s sideline and uninspired play. My interest in the ads was waning already, but I was ready to not pay any attention at all since San Francisco was making such a (sasha) Fierce comeback! Now only if the ads made a comeback too!

However, only a few ads made me carry on conversation after the fact – NFL Network’s “Leon Sandcastle” spot and Tide’s controversial “Joe Montana Stain” ad. The Tide spot had my Facebook feed inundated with comments from my loyal Niner fan friends. Almost all of them were vowing to ban Tide when doing their next loads of laundry!


Round of applause to San Francisco for making it a game and for such an entertaining and nail-biting finish! Big congratulations to Baltimore for winning the big game and getting the ring. I wish I could say the same about the ads. After the game finished, I switched over to ESPN to watch, well, more coverage and analysis of the game, and to stumble upon, well, the best ad of the night!

Cheers to all Bay Area Forty Niner fans for a great season and pat on the back to the team for such a valiant effort!

And finally, “Congratulations San Francisco, you might not be getting a trophy, but you will be getting a cup…. of JELL-O pudding…”

 Joel Villezar
Just Media, Inc.

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