One may be familiar with the concept of the armchair quarterback or the Monday morning quarterback, but over the past 45 years, the aftermath of the Super Bowl has changed considerably. The Monday morning quarterbacks discussing the various aspects of the previous day’s game (and identifying what their particular team could have/should have done differently to bring about a more satisfactory outcome) have been replaced by the Monday morning Ad Executives.
When I went to work this morning, I expected to hear discussions regarding last night’s Super Bowl. The Steelers fans would be talking about how their team just did not pick up enough steam soon enough, and while they played their hearts out during the second half, if it had only come sooner or lasted longer, they would have won. The Packer fans would be talking about how amazing it was that they were able to fight off the Steelers in the second half despite a plethora of injuries to key players. But no. The vast majority of discussions centered around the Super Bowl commercials. What was your favorite? Which ones did you like? Which ones just did not work? Everyone seems to know how and why the different ads worked or didn’t work. Fox Sports has even gone so far as to allow web viewers to vote on the ads, giving a “thumbs up” to the ones they like and the “thumbs down” to the ones that just don’t do it. And just in case you were lured away from this great American tradition by the likes of the Puppy Bowl, Enchanted, or Netflix (or you were just in a cave somewhere), you can screen the Super Bowl ads here.
Personally, there were a couple that caught my attention. As a parent, the Volkswagen/Star Wars commercial has to be my favorite. For pure fun, I like the Bud Light “Product Placement“, Bridgestone Tires, and Doritos “Healing Chips”. I thought there were a few too many upcoming movie ads. I can understand the studios wanting to put their new releases into the minds of the public, but it just seemed like a little bit of overkill, considering that these same movie trailer commercials will be airing on every station day and night for the next one-to-six months, depending upon when the movie is released. There were a few ads that really didn’t work for me. I could have skipped both of the Eminem ads. I felt the tea one was lame, and the Chrysler commercial was somewhat ambiguous, in that it was hard to tell if Eminem was endorsing Chrysler or the city of Detroit. Actually, many of the car commercials were just humdrum – not a lot of entertainment value, just “here’s our new car and this is what makes it special”. And none of them really seemed that special (aside from the aforementioned VW ad).
Over the past 45 years, Super Bowl ads have evolved from just putting a product in front of one of the annually largest TV viewing audiences to being part of why that audience is so large. The comment that seemed to be repeated the most this morning was, “I didn’t really have a great interest in the game, I just watched it for the commercials.” In truth, there was a point during the evening that I was in my son’s room, putting away clean clothes, and racing out to the living room only when the action on the field was coming to a stop. All of this begs the question: What is the future evolution of the Super Bowl ad? I foresee a day when a DVD of the ads is available to order as soon as the game is over, with the proceeds going to some charity or cause endorsed by the NFL. Or, possibly a TV special, airing a week or so after the game, that consists of nothing but Super Bowl TV spots. Of course, if that ever happens, only the football fans would watch the game. The rest of us would be free to watch the Puppy Bowl, or whatever else tickled our fancies, and set our TIVO’s up to record the commercials. Just don’t hit that “skip the ads” button.