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Archive for February, 2014

I usually write a blog post on Super Bowl commercials the day following the Super Bowl. For various reasons, this year’s edition is a bit late. But when it comes to the Super Bowl and those famous commercials is there ever an expiry date?

This year the Super Bowl was just a strange experience. Starting with the first lopsided game in over twenty years (what happened Peyton?) to a better than expected half time show, (nice job Bruno Mars) to my own unfortunate viewing experience, this year was just different all around.

Those of you familiar with my personal television habits know that I use a large antenna and view my programming OTA (Over the Air) in Toronto, Canada. In addition to avoiding ever rising cable bills, this also allows me to bring in my USA channels direct from Buffalo. No Canadian signal substitutions allowed. At no time is this more important than the Super Bowl so I can watch those ads unveiled in real-time. This set-up works great with one exception for the last couple of months I have had extraordinary trouble bringing in one channel-FOX29. This year’s Super Bowl carrier-FOX!

I had no choice but to set my television to local Canadian channel-minus American commercials, and for some reason, also the trophy presentation and post game interviews. What’s up with that CTV? But, I digress. I streamed the Fox feed on my laptop but had to watch the commercials through a separate link. Throw in a stomach virus and a Super Bowl buffet of ginger ale, soda crackers, and Jell-O and this won’t go down as one of my favorite Super Bowls.

Now to those commercials. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think the appeal of these ads is starting to wean. The cleverness and originality just doesn’t seem to be there for me anymore. We had all the familiar elements again this year, plenty of American sentiment, familiar television stars, and cute animals. But I never felt that ‘awe moment’. I think the fact that most of the ads are released a week before the big game has a lot to do with it. John Stamos was everywhere plugging his yogurt commercial featuring his “Full House” reunion. Budweiser’s ‘Puppy Love’ had so much exposure prior to kick off, it became a hit with viewers before the Seahawks charter even landed in NY. Anything with a cute puppy, Clydesdale horses, and touching music couldn’t lose anyway.

But I guess, I have to choose a favourite. I really enjoyed the viewer-made Doritos Ads. I wonder if that says anything about where the real creativity lies. I loved Radio Shack’s ‘phone call’ featuring all those 80’s references and was touched by Coke’s tribute to the diversity of America. But I have a soft spot for Audi’s Doberhuahua, even though I saw it before the game, which I traditionally don’t like to do. I can’t help it, I think those little guys with the big heads are just adorable.

Maybe in a year with such an unusual Super Bowl day it’s fitting that I have a soft spot for a mutt.

You can watch all the ads here:

What did you think of the commercials this year? Any favorites?

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