Tag Archives: Superbowl

Never mind the show, let’s watch the adverts

It’s the biggest day of America’s televisual year tomorrow – a day so big that retailers such as Best Buy are ramping up their marketing to capture the trade of all those people tempted to upgrade their televisions in preparation. Food is being readied, beer being bought, and corner shopsbodegas are running out of ice across the country. And all because millions of people want to watch a few advertscommercials.

Unfortunately the most eagerly anticipated ads of the year are interspersed with short breaks featuring the Superbowl,  the most overhyped sports game of the year. Apart from this year, of course, where the match-up between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers has all the allure of a game between Derby County and Fulham on a wet Monday night in November.

Never mind, there’s still the ads to look forward to. The Superbowl offers one of the few opportunities left for advertisers to reach a mass audience in one go, with last year’s clash between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots attracting an audience of around 97 million. As a result, brands are falling over themselves to get into the breaks, with each attempting to outdo each other with big budgets, Hollywood production values, and a healthy dose of humour thrown in for good measure.

To be fair, many of them are pretty amusing or impressive. Certainly impressive enough to get featured in shows such as The Greatest Superbowl Commercials Ever, at least. There’s no getting around the fact that, during the live broadcast of the ads, you have to watch some overpaid men try to move a ball ten yards forward, but you can’t have everything.

The strange thing is that the UK doesn’t have an equivalent ad-fest, despite the attempts of broadcasters to create one. Nobody puts a particularly special effort into their FA Cup Final ads, for instance, or fight amongst each other to get into the Christmas special of Heartbeat. Personally I’d like to see the World Darts Championship final declared the focus of UK marketing efforts, if for no other reason than it will take your mind off how big Raymond van Barneveld’s gut is these days.

Incidentally, the Superbowl broadcaster NBC today announced that it is currently in talks to sell the last two of the 67 spots for the game, the rest of which have already been sold for between $2. 4 million and $3 million per 30-second slot. And that’s before the advertisers have even thought about the cost of creating the commercial itself.

Economic crisis? What economic crisis?

Champions

So the New York Giants are the Super Bowl champions…pretty incredible game, and not just because of the number of burgers I managed to stuff down my neck.

Watching the TV broadcast, a few things sprang to mind:

1. How can one sports game last four hours? That’s not a sport, that’s some kind of endurance hell.

2. Speaking after the game, one New York Giants player claimed that he was just happy to win the world championship. Erm, anybody want to let me know how many other countries were allowed to compete in the NFL this season?

3. Even though I started watching the game wanting the New England Patriots to complete an unbeaten season, I couldn’t help but be caught up in the excitement of the New York Giants coming back to win the game in the final minute. Maybe I’m actually a lucky omen for New York sports teams, given how awful they’ve been over the last few years?

4. Apparently Mayor Bloomberg has agreed that there will be a ticker tape parade in New York this week, to celebrate the Giants victory. Given that the Giants (and the Jets) play in New Jersey, it’s like Manchester United winning the FA Cup, and then having an open-top bus parade in Birmingham.

5. The winning catch was made by Plaxico Burress, who had last week confounded pundits by predicting a 23-17 victory for the Giants. I so wish I could have been a fly-on-the-wall when Mr & Mrs Burress were thinking about a name for their soon-to-be born son.

Mr Burress: I’m thinking that maybe we should call him Philip after my dad.
Mrs Burress: I prefer Thomas, after my great grandfather who was such an inspiration to me when I was young.
Mr B: I just don’t like the name Thomas? What about Mike?
Mrs B: Mike? I hate that name. What about Billy?
Mr B: Over my dead body
Mrs B: OK, we’re getting nowhere here. Look, this is going to seem a little bit out of leftfield, but what about Plaxico?
Mr B: Perfect!

The car horns are blasting out left, right and centre in Brooklyn right now. With any luck, there might even be smiling faces on the subway tomorrow morning.

This is New York though, so I wouldn’t count on it.