Posts Tagged ‘Super Bowl’

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?


Read Full Post »

Social Media has ruined my annual Super Bowl viewing tradition. I still have the big game, the half time entertainment and great food. But, what made it stand out for me personally were the commercials, or I should say my commercials.

Living here in Canada, it used to be that most of these commercials were never seen until after the game. When Canadian cable companies simulcast an American program they’re allowed to insert their signal over the Canadian one. Meaning, even if you tune to the American channel, you will receive the American one. Unless, you watch TV as I do, with a rooftop antenna, thereby receiving your American signals pure and untouched.  My very first blog posting here dealt with this very topic. (Read Posting)

This was my special time of year- my chance to say ha to all those cable bound Canadians. But now that has changed. These days many of these ads are released days prior to Super Bowl Sunday on various social media channels. You no longer have to wait and they are viewable regardless of where you live.

I try to avoid this temptation. Call me a traditionalist. Call me old-fashioned. I still want to watch them as they unroll during the game on my couch, popcorn and root beer in hand. I just can’t watch them beforehand. I would liken it to peaking at your presents before Christmas morning, if I actually celebrated Christmas.

So what did I think of the commercials this year? As usual they never seem to match the build-up. Some made me laugh, at least a little, like Amy Poehler at Best Buy or some of the Doritos ads . Some disgusted me, like the Go Daddy ad. And some just confused me. But my favorites are always the ones that pull at my heartstrings and this year there were quite a few, particularly the Budweiser Clydesdale returning and remembering the trainer who made him who he was. I also love the ones that touched on Americana such as the Oprah voiced over Jeep ad featuring military families waiting for loved ones to return or Dodge Ram’s God made a farmer.

Did you see them all yet? What was your favorite?

I can understand why brands would want to release their ads before hand: the ability to grab attention and generate conversation, building a social media campaign around it, continuing up to and during the game. I get what Oreo did on twitter after the stadium power went out.

I guess times are changing faster than I would like them to. But I think I can still hold to my traditions. As Charlie Brown might say (I seem to paraphrase him a lot) ‘I won’t let social media ruin my Super Bowl watching’. I will still wait for those ads to reveal themselves during the game. I won’t watch them before on social media channels. So, don’t ask me how I liked them until after Super Bowl Sunday. Then I’ll gladly tell you on twitter and Facebook.

Read Full Post »

It’s been just about a year since I’ve been writing this blog. My first entry dealt with Super Bowl commercials; or more precisely, that most people in Canada don’t actually see those ads during the big game because of Canadian regulations. (To read that post, click here )But as many of you might remember, I’m an Over The Air TV viewer and as a result  get my signals direct from the good old USA untouched by any Canadian simulcasting. So, Super Bowl commercials are one of my annual traditions.

First off, I have to say I’m not into this releasing of the commercials online beforehand. Call me old-fashioned, but I look forward to the surprise element, watching the commercials unfold during breaks in the football game. It’s like waiting until Christmas morning to unwrap all your presents. Actually I’m Jewish so I don’t really know how the whole Christmas thing works, but you get my point.

Here’s a breakdown of this years batch of Super Bowl commercials:

The Celebrity Sighting

From Elton John to Clint Eastwood, celebrities were everywhere this year. Also among the rich and famous appearing this year: Matthew Broderick, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Donald Trump, Regis Philbin, a scantily clad David Beckham, and the ubiquitous Betty White.

More Talking Babies and Funny Monkeys

I believe it was W.C. Fields who once said never work with children and animals. Once again this year ads featured plenty of both. Besides the annual appearance by the E-trade talking baby we also had babies used as projectiles and a boy relieving himself in the family pool. On the animal side besides monkeys and the famous Coca-Cola bears we saw a dog that could fetch beer, a dog on a fitness regime, and a dog with possible murder implications.

A Trip Back in Time

Many of this year’s commercials had us feeling nostalgic. We saw Matthew Broderick re-creating his Ferris Bueller character and Jerry Seinfeld reuniting with the Soup Nazi. We also saw Hyundai employee humming the theme from Rocky, another Star Wars reference, and a cameo from the now bankrupt Twinkie.

Time once again to take a poll. Which was your favourite of this year’s Super Bowl commercials? I can’t list them all, but here were some of the most talked about.

I also would like to hear your opinion on releasing these ads online before the Super Bowl.

Read Full Post »

Super Bowl Commercials Part II – Did I see them?

Last week in this space, I posted on whether I would be able to watch this years batch of Super Bowl commercials live on my television. For those of you who have been anxiously waiting to find out, you probably need to get more interests in your life. But for those who need to know- Yes I Did. 

This year’s commercials left me underwhelmed. I think we all have had enough of monkeys and talking babies. It felt a lot like years back with many ads for automakers and dot coms. For those unable to see them the first time around or if you want to see them again, this years commercials can be viewed at sites such as www.youtube.com/adblitz and www.foxsports.com/ads.

I am conducting a poll on some of the more popular commercials this year. Scroll down to the bottom and I’ll tell you my favourite.

As for my favorite, while I laughed at the Dorito’s ad and loved seeing all my favourite old TV characters in the NFL Network’s creative spot, I am going with Volkswagen and the The Darth Vader kid. Although not as flashy as some of the other ads, this sweet and simple ad brought back the innocence of childhood.

Read Full Post »