Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Ads and other thoughts

Aint Nobody Better.

The Super Bowl is a special time for me. With an advertising background and a love of football I literally watch the entire game start to finish. Add on a great half-time show and thank God for DVR or I would never get to pee. So here are my thoughts on the ads, entertainment and the game.

The Ads:
First off, they were disappointing to me. I felt that most ads had a good idea that never got developed. Take the Griswold's checking into a hotel for Home Away. I would totally watch a whole movie of that, but the ad just didn't pack enough punch. Even the Clydesdale commercial was completely predictable. In the end my taste in ads vastly differed from what I consider the official rankings from USA Today. I thoughts Denny's did a great job promoting their free give-away. Who knew chickens screamed like girls? My favorite Doritos ad was the one where the boy tells his mom's date "Don't touch my mom, and don't touch my Doritos." That one made me laugh. Otherwise, two ads really left an impression.

The Simpsons and Coca-Cola:
The Simpsons have been around 20 years and in my opinion represent Americana. They tackle all issues, they guest star sooooo many of the best pop figures of the last 20 years. I view them as a classic that has still got it going on. Which is why pairing them with Coke was genious, as they both have the same selling points. "Remember how we were awesome 20 years ago? Still Awesome!" Plus....Burns losing his money and the town not appreciating his collection was just funny. I think in time we will see the beauty of this ad.

Flo TV Ad:
I think this ad aired during half-time so it didn't "count" in the standings, but I loved it. This ad took the biggest TV moments of the last oh 50 years and put them into one ad to the tune of "My Generation" by The Who. I can't begin to describe how genius this is. But I will try. First, props for using The Who when they were playing half-time. Second, what better way to drive home the idea of a hand held TV then to remind people of the "Where were you when" moments of the last 2-3 generations??? Think about it. I mean, this was a history lesson in 1 minute!! It even carried all the way to the present with the Haiti earthquake. Total brilliance, and again the more we see this ad the more we will appreciate it.

The Winner: Snickers Tackles Betty White
I must say, I was surprised that a) Anheuser-Busch lost for the second straight year and b) this is what beat it. I know that seeing Betty White getting slammed was funny, but really that was it. I mean of course seeing old people getting tackled is funny! I guess I felt that ad was too easy of a joke. Maybe that's the beauty of it.

The Who at Halftime:
Ever since Justin killed Janet's career the halftime show has been aging artists who the networks need not worry about doing anything naughty. And while it's fun to sing along to great hits, some of these artists just don't pack the punch they used too. (cough Rolling Stones cough)

Not The Who. They brought it. Roger has his voice, Peter has his windmill. I was really entertained. I was more impressed by how loud the fans were singing along. I had never heard that before and it really added to the performance. Add on that amazing stage and it was definitely the best performance since U2 in '02 and in my opinion a top 5 halftime show up there with Michael Jackson and the Mo-Town tribute.

Special points for almost every song promoting the CSI series which just so happens to air on CBS. Clever.

The Game:
I loved this game. I picked the Saints and was rooting hard for them. I truly felt it was a perfect game up until the Manning interception. Sure there were some drops and a stopped 4th down, but honesly those plays happen. I really felt both teams went and executed their game plans and in the end the Saints made two big plays with the Pick-6 and the onside kick. Those plays literally made up for the difference on the score board.

I think Manning played great. Turns out the Saints defense is really good. Manning made a ton of top notch throws just to put points on the board. He had to be perfect, and most of his completions were perfect. Give credit to the Saint Defense who just made one big play at the right time. I think Drew Brees kept his head and made so many smart decisions. He made safe throws and let his receivers get the yards. That's great football.

How to build a franchise:
I think the St. Louis Rams can learn a lot about how to build a a championship team. Both the Colts and Saints built themselves in impressive manners and here is how I view them.

Indianapolis Colts "The Model" That roster is littered with players who have never played for another team other than the Colts. That means that the Colts have made a killing on great drafts after great drafts. It helps that they drafted future hall-of-famer Peyton Manning early in this development, but still they make the most of what they have in house year after year. This takes some time to build, but once you do you become the winning-est team of the decade. This is what every franchise tries to do.

New Orleans Saints "The Best of what's around" The Saints went out and signed great free agents at key positions and built around them in the draft. This is probably where the Rams are headed since we have drafted so poorly in recent years. I actually think the answer will be in between for the Rams. Find your "franchise" players in the draft and fill in need with quality free agents. At least we have two models to learn from.

The Future:
The Saints have a ton of free agents, and Super Bowl players tend to get money thrown at them. The good news for the Saints is they won, and other quality players will want to get in on this action while the Saints still have a core of great players.

The Colts have a different problem. Losing the Super Bowl hurts. A Lot. Like try forever. Who is the last team to lose a Super Bowl and return? (Answer: The Giants took 7 years to return, the Patriots took 5 and the Steelers took 10. The Bills....lets not talk about the Bills.) Even past Super Bowl winners have troubles recovering from a loss (New England and St. Louis). So keep your chin up, Indianapolis. Keep Peyton Manning protected in the pocket and I think you will be fine. I think he is durable enough that they won't suffer the same fate as the Patriots and Rams.

Finally, I believe I predicted 7 of the 10 Super Bowl winners last decade (before the game, not the season. I didn't get any of those). That's not a bad stat! I missed The Giants/Patriots, the Seahawks/Steelers and of course the Rams/Patriots.


Klick4MU said...

Totally disagree with your half time entertainment evaluation. The Who did not bring it. They seemed and played "old". I think they had the Who on in "south Florida" to save on expenses they just had to drive them down the street from their retirement home. Sorry I know you're a rock purist and I appreciate their musicality and respect their place within rock history but as a whole that half time show blew. Bring back "nipplegate" at least then you get some eye candy to look at and you get people talking. Oh and to the point that CBS had the who play their TV theme songs, good move for the network but for you rock purists I'm surprised there isn't blood in the street from that!

Ricky said...

dang man. You certainly brought it with that comment! If I said that about Boyz II Men you would be pissed! Who would you rather see? Maybe it is time to go for some more modern bands (the Killers or Cold Play?), but I think the old bands cross enough generations to get people to actually watch.