The smell of nachos and beer permeates the air. Shouting can be heard for miles around. Yet, for all of the war metaphors and the seeping testosterone inherent to football, the Super Bowl is the biggest event that both men and women look forward to every year. The show plays no small part in that, and for many, the excitement is centered around the expensive and often eye-catching commercials that fill the time during the too frequent breaks in play.
For many, the commercials are just as highly anticipated as the game itself. If anyone wasn’t into the action on the field, they may have found Super Bowl XLIV disappointing with its weak crop of commercials. A prime example was Dr. Pepper’s big rollout – a slight variation on a previous commercial starring KISS rocker Gene Simmons, with the twist being mini-me versions of the entire band, complete with matching face paint. At least it was less disturbing then the CareerBuilder.com “Casual Fridays” and Dockers “No Pants” commercials, featuring less than attractive men and women of all shapes and sizes in “tightie whities” and “granny panties.” Even more inexplicably, the commercials were played back to back in the same ad break.
Anheuser-Busch was a heavy advertiser during the game, with their strongest ad being for the “workhorse” brand, Budweiser. This ad shined with a satirical look at how far people will go for a cold one – in this case, forming a human bridge to help a beer truck cross into town to deliver the suds. Beyond just the high concept, several extras in the commercial delivered priceless looks as the tires rolled over them. Emerald Nuts and Pop Secret delivered a notable comedic ad with human dolphins performing tricks and jumping through hoops for a taste their products. Advertisers are no strangers to using sex appeal to try and sell a product, and Motorola outdid itself this year. If anyone can make another generic looking cell phone look sexy, it’s Megan Fox.
The real star of the show was Doritos, which again featured ads that received prior approval from the internet. All of their ads were memorable, including an adorable little boy turning tough on his mother’s date if he touches either her or the boy’s Doritos. In another ad, a gym rat, a little too possessive of his chips, inflicts a “death by Doritos” on a fellow gym goer. The highlight of the Doritos package featured a man who taunts a resourceful pup with the cheesy snack, and ends up wearing its shock collar.
Thankfully, the Colts and the Saints offered a strong game up for those who were a bit disappointed by the commercial offerings. Rest assured that soon, football diehards and casual fans alike will have forgotten about the bulk of them, with a few gems fresh in the mind giving rise to that eternal sports mantra – “there’s always next year.”