My Superbowl ad review: highlights, blackouts, and live blogging on Mashable.
February 4, 2013
And so went another Super Bowl, like sands through the hourglass. I had the dubious honor of “live blogging” about the commercials for Mashable. I say dubious because I had to do it at someone’s Super Bowl party. Basically, that meant I stayed put in a corner of the TV room, laptop on my lap, tapping away, trying not to get nacho cheese on my Powerbook. I’m not a terribly social guy but this was downright isolationist. The host referred to me as “Hey, Blogger!” As in, “Hey Blogger, do you need a beer?” God forbid I tell him I didn’t drink. Then I’d really be an outcast. Truth be known, I greatly enjoyed the engagement. I’m not good at parties. Thankfully, given I now live in San Francisco, the game was most everyone’s priority. Some geek on his computer caused little distraction. Regardless, I am appreciative of my wife for tolerating my boorish behavior.
While it was tough hearing the commercials over the party’s din I did see and comprehend most of them. I’m not sure there were any blockbuster ads in the lot but I did enjoy several. The few that stood out were Ram’s “Ode to a Farmer,” Tide’s “Montana Stain” and the VW Bug commercial featuring a white dude from Minnesota channeling a very happy Jamaican. His line “Land of ten thousand lakes!” was one of my favorites of the night.
The blog feed suggested Samsung’s epic, star-studded “New Thing” commercial was a winner. But since it was dialog driven I heard virtually none of it. I couldn’t help but think of the old adage that in order for a commercial to be truly good it has to make sense with the sound turned off. I don’t agree with the sentiment but I do wonder how many millions couldn’t hear the actor’s lines. I suppose that’s what the Internet is for.
By far the biggest crowd pleaser was Bud’s commercial, featuring a long lost Clydesdale reuniting with its owner, now driving a beer truck. This over the melodic strains of Stevie Nicks. Derivative of War Horse it was a sweet commercial, very well done. Still, I couldn’t help Tweeting “Fleetwood Mac & Cheese.”
As for the game itself it turned out to be an exciting affair, the Niners coming back from a huge deficit only to botch a set of downs at the goal line and lose. The whole game was mired by an interminable power outage, lasting 30 minutes. It was after the delay that the 49ers made their comeback. Had they won I’m sure all the talk would be about the power failure stymieing Baltimore’s momentum. Either way, the fail moment was an embarrassment for the league, network and maybe even the United States. It is one of the biggest events in the world. Heads will roll. In the end, who gives a shit?
The blackout did result in a marketing highlight from Oreo. The brand Tweeted about “dunking in the dark,” causing a blow-up in the Twitterverse. Will anyone buy more Oreos this week? I doubt it. But what does that have to do with anything?
Alas, I found Beyonce’s Half Time show a disappointment. She doesn’t lack for confidence and good looks but her spectacle struck me as an endless Pepsi commercial, circa 1980’s. My Tweet: “I miss U2.” Call me old but by her second number even the teens in our room began leaving.
Speaking of Pepsi commercials, one of my fellow live bloggers, the famed adman, Lee Garfinkel took Taco Bell to task for ripping off his long-ago “Stay Young” campaign for the number two soft drink. He was right but then wasn’t Ron Howard’s Cocoon about rocking octogenarians as well? In any event, products making people feel young is old as dirt.
Despite Ray Lewis’s checkered past and dumb pot game comment about God being on their side, I wish to congratulate the Baltimore Ravens for a dramatic win. Baltimore could use it. I also want to thank Mashable for the opportunity to participate on their platform. Hopefully, I added something. And to San Francisco: Nice comeback guys. Next year will be fun.