Tales of our journey
through the digital
Super Bowl ’08 Anticipation
Some people anxiously await the eve of Super Bowl Sunday for the glory of the game, the thrilling competition, the astounding athleticism of the players, the stunning flexibility of the cheerleaders, or even the spicy buffalo wings and seven-layer dip assuredly perched on the table near the plasma TV.
I – like most Americans who enjoy a good competition of the greatest players in their sport – enjoy the Super Bowl…but for a slightly different reason. The commercials are what get me pumped for the multi-hour event that would otherwise never achieve recruiting me as a viewer. Don’t get angry boys, it’s not like I’ll ever see you watching USA Gymnastics. We all have our things. At least I’ll sit there and watch the game…keeping silent about my true purpose.
Think about it. A 30-second commercial spot during 2007’s Super Bowl cost advertisers an average of $2.6 mill. That’s a heck of a lot more than the average salary Jerry Jones is willing to dish out for his players…for an entire season! And like the teams playing on the field, the teams of advertisers competing on air are the best in the country.
In the name of the game, I thought I’d play “adcaster” – so here’s a bit of a recap of past Super Bowl ad seasons, along with my predictions of this year’s team play.
2004: The last great year of Super Bowl ads, made sadly forgettable by “Boobgate” (i.e. Miss Jackson and Mr. Timberlake’s misfortune in the costume department). No one talked about the commercials after the game…it was all about the Halftime Show. And to top it all off, the commercials in following years had to be much tamer to hold back another scandal (think: GoDaddy’s rip-off of the Jackson/Timberlake debacle). Because of this change in procedure, the “real” ads began to get posted online, where there were no censors or restrictions.
The funny thing about 2004’s Super Bowl commercials is that the best ones had no racy content whatsoever. Remember the Budweiser Clydesdales? Or Pepsi’s take on how Jimi Hendrix began playing music?
2005: A quieter commercial scene than in the past, due to ‘04’s debacle. Budweiser led the way with a somber “Thank You” to US troops with a depiction of American soldiers returning home from war.
2006: A sad year for the Super Bowl, advertising-wise. The FedEx cavemen were not at all funny. The Ford commercial with Kermit made me incapable of watching Muppets Take Manhattan ever again. Budweiser’s revolving beer fridge was not the company’s cleverest attempt. The only moderately decent commercial that year was Michelob’s Ultra Amber tackle of the girl. I get it. Michelob’s not just for dieting women; it can be for big, strong men too. Noted.
2007: I’m over Budweiser at this point. I was disappointed with the “Dalmatian” spot. I know everyone else thought it was the cutest thing ever, but honestly, look back…it had NOTHING to do with beer, let alone Budweiser! Ok so there was about .2 seconds of Clydesdales. Oh, and the logo popped up at the end. I guess that’s a luxury of universally known brands, but I still think the commercials need a bit more to do with their subjects. But that’s just me.
And then of course there was MasterCard’s divergence from their traditional tear jerking ads with one starring Homer Simpson. I like these commercials because they are clever, they have a humorous note, and they use the brand as the main element behind the commercial, unlike so many others (e.g. GoDaddy).
My favorite commercial this go-around was by Coke – “The Coke Side of Life” with an elderly man living it up after taking his first ever sip of Coke.Because of Coke, an old man calls the love of his life, gets a tattoo and a motorcycle, and belly flops into a pool. As unlikely as it is that someone could possibly go their whole lives without at least tasting a sip of Coke, this commercial is humorous and endearing and it gets the point across.
Then of course there was the Doritos commercial. A simple fan contest costing the winners a mere $12 to produce led to one of the greatest Super Bowl commercials (and campaigns leading up to the airing) of all time. “Live the Flavor”. Just don’t date it.
2008: The anticipation:
The usual all-stars will be showing, including Anheuser-Bush with a total of 10 spots (10 x $2.7mill = $27,000,000). Pepsi and Coke are likely to battle it out. Doritos will also be airing its newest winner in this year’s song contest. Way to go, Doritos, for your consumer involvement!
There are rumors that Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler will be making an appearance in certain commercials…not to mention Justin Timberlake’s daredevil driving for Pepsi.
I have to admit that despite the attraction of JT, the humor of the Saturday Night Live alums, and the sure-to-be great new music of whatever Doritos puts forth, the ad I’m looking forward to the most will be from Disney. The long awaited Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian (sequel to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) is my top pick. Go Disney!