Tuesday, February 3, 2009


By now you likely know that the Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII, 27 to 23 over the Arizona Cardinals... equally where have you been hiding if you missed the mixed reviews of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's typically energetic (halftime) show. Maybe even one of the best 12 minutes of SB Halftime shows.

If you want to learn about the details of the scoring and set-list for Bruce (although he did open with my all-time favorite song "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out"), read about that elsewhere.

Hmmmm... THE VIEW!

Here we go again! Yet another year of playing armchair quarterback when it comes to evaluating the "Big Game's" ads and given the economic situation, I wonder if everyone has been tougher than ever in judging the commercials. Me, I always see the greatness of creative thinking or risk taking.

I'm sure the CMO that gave the go-ahead to spend $3 million for each 30-seconds of air time are going to be under extreme pressure to show a true return on investment, and add to that the cost production on any given spot.

NBC, who broadcast Super Bowl XLIII proudly, announced that it sold out all available Super Bowl Ad spots. What this meant was, NBC sold a record $206 million worth of advertising for the game. The whole day starting with a "pre-games show" that started at Noon, NBC reached an advertising sales mark of $261 million.

A total of 32 advertisers spent money to get your attention during the Super Bowl XLIII game. Of course the most impressive fact is that during current economic downturn, there is a winner in this crisis - NBC and the NFL. Next year’s Super Bowl XLIV too be held in Miami and to be shown on CBS, watch for the price tag to reach $3.3USD per: 30 seconds. Consider this, last years and this year’s Super Bowl's were the top two ratings grabbers in SB history and proved the game can live up to the hype.

Missing from the advertiser roster this time was no American automakers. None of the big three were involved, a first in SB history.


Was it just me but did it seem that much of the "physical" humor overall. In the "bad times" are we looking for meaningless violence and "Three Stooges" slapstick? Among the rough-and-tumble ad executions: a skier hits a tree, a guy gets hit by a bus and another guy falls off the roof... but ask yourself what as the spot for. Bud Light through a guy out a window and Pepsi sent a big voltage charge to another, and Doritos’s hit the ultimate male soft spot on yet another. Yikes!!!

Anheuser Busch vs. PepsiCo

Anheuser-Busch has been the king of Super Bowl advertising for the past few years — buying up more ad time than any other "Big Game" advertiser. But this year, PepsiCo beat 'em out — snatching up extra commercial time days before the game. Final score: A-B with 4.5 minutes of commercial time for its brews and Pepsi with 5.5 minutes for its drinks and chips. Interesting take I had on the PepsiMax spot was it felt like a beer ad and not a diet soda ad... nailed the target.

Overall the 60 minutes of football broke down the following way: 11 spots shown nationally during the first quarter, 19 in the second quarter, 10 in the third quarter and 11 in the fourth quarter. The final commercials of the game came around the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. Although with a contest so close to the end, perhaps a few advertisers wished they had scheduled spots deeper into the game.


I loved the Doritos CGC "Lucky Day" better then "Crystal Ball", not sure why. Maybe it's the simplicity of it and lack of pain to male genitalia. Bud Light and spot “The Meeting" had the typical Bud Light chuckle, but also delivered the brand DNA of "Drinkability" without sacrifice. Then there was a spot for all the male drivers, including "spuds", what a great reference back to the childadult film Toy Story II, "...pack your angry eyes"... If you want to get the most out of your car... better buy Bridgestone tires... even the eyes can speak loudly.

Coca-Cola once again created CGI magic. "The Heist" is eye-candy and just fells so right for these times. Gone was any reference to last year’s "Grand Theft"


The list was a little too easy this year... Buy some Castrol Oil lubricant and get free grease monkeys …And they’ll do some really bizarre stuff to / with you... follow that with the idea of; why is it that the worst movies blow their budgets on Super bowl advertising? Oh well we get Vin Diesel who stars in Fast and Furious 27!


Among the spots that may fall short are the spots for GoDaddy.com, which could prove problematic to female viewers. Really Danica, if you want to be taken seriously as a top flight Indy car driver... don't sell out... or are your 15 minutes running out since you haven't won anything big. Then there is a spot for H&R Block that features Death, who is rarely welcome at Super Bowl parties and I guess the big idea here is death and taxes... hmmmm fun! There were the usual spots for movies, which once again offered few reasons to buy tickets to the films being advertised.

And the Best of the Best...

Great, now that gold is up, you can sell your gold fillings, hip replacements and all your bling for CASH..."Cash4Gold" uses the in much need of cash Ed McMahon and the where has he been MC Hammer. My next prediction - cash crashes, gold triples within 2 years... Super Bowl XLV: 30 second spot will sell for one gold bar.

Here are a few to view, but the rest can be found at www.superbowl-commercials.org:



Coca-Cola - The Heist

H&R Block - Death and Taxes

Bridgestone - Mr. Potatoehead

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