Super Bowl Commercials: Liveblogging The Reason This All Happens

SB Nation's Spencer Hall offered his thoughts on the real reason Super Bowl Sunday is so celebrated: the commercials. This year's theme: men in their underwear.

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12 Total Updates since February 7, 2010
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Underwear, Animals, And Dated Internet Memes

To recap, the things that have been prevalent in commercials:

1. Men in their underwear

2. Random animals.

3. Ancient internet memes.

At least the Denny’s commercial does animal-driven ads correctly.

It’s the silent chicken scream in space that sells it.


Google's Commercials Are Way Funnier When Slate Does Them

Google’s Search Bar Commercials are clever, but the Tiger Woods one may be just a tad over the line of good taste.

(That’s actually a parody by Slate, but the point stands: it’s better than the original.)


Stevie Wonder and Volkswagen Win The Night

The hallmark of all great commercials is that at no point should you, the viewer, consciously think about the fact you’re watching a commercial. VW is uncannily good at this on Super Bowl Ads: they’re the ones who brought you one of my favorite ads of all time, “Sunday Afternoon," and generally give good ad whenever possible.

This year’s entry is no exception:

See? Seamless product placement, an instant emotional bond with the viewer over the universal game of Punch-Bug, and a killer tag scene with Tracey Morgan and Stevie Wonder. Do you see that, Doritos? You see that Bud Light? PERFECT ADVERTISING. It exists, and for American dollars it can be purchased.


Jim Nantz Will Teach You To Be A Man

You know, you can avoid whatever hell most oppressed American men live in on weekends by marrying a woman who likes football. They exist, they’re fantastic, and they understand the need to spend an entire weekend on the couch watching football. It doesn’t have to be this way, America.

So this is a slightly amusing entry from FloTV…

…but take your advice on manliness from Jim Nantz at your own risk. He couldn’t even talk his wife into hanging up a portrait of him in his house, and it’s a matter of public record that it hurt his feelings. Is that the guy you want to be taking man-law from?

P.S. And lavender is soothing, dammit. #aromatherapyisgangsta


Buy A Dodge Charger, Collect The Blood Of Your Victims in Specimen Slides

I will lose my audience in the first ten seconds by complaining in monotone about doing the things adults do in life. I will have the guy from Dexter narrate my advertisement, thus infecting the entire ad with creepy serial killer cooties. I will moan about performing basic personal hygiene because you know brushing your teeth is like sooooo hard. I will appeal to the most misogynistic and yet spineless of men by blaming women for the hellish misery of my employed, pampered existence.

I will make a really, really creepy commercial. Then, I will ask you to buy a car.


A Note To All Advertisers


All men in commercials should wear these and not tighty-whiteys. 




A Theory To Make This Commercial Far More Interesting

So, here’s what’s really happening in this ad. Four guys leave for a bachelor party in Mexico. One dies in a tragic Tiujuana bullriding accident, and then the other three panic. Somehow they end up muling drugs across the border in the belly of a killer whale kept like the original Free Willy in a dingy Oaxaca aquarium, and what you’re seeing is the end of sequence where they shoot the whale into the ocean where the pickup ship will meet it and take the bales of cocaine strapped to its belly into the boat and into LA for sale on the open market.

Oh, and their friend’s body is safely in the body of the whale. I’m pretty certain that’s what’s happening here.


Fiddling Beavers And Killer Whales

The fiddling beaver is a real Horatio Alger story for our time: a talent working its way through hardship and then to the peak of success, which disturbingly enough is sitting in a hot tub in the back of a limo in a romantic situation with an animal not of your species. Add that in with the Bridgestone Killer Whale commercial, and animals in strange situations clearly equals ad gold.


Tebow and Boost Mobile Ads Both Trojan Horses To Make You Go On The Internet

The Tebow ad was far, far milder than you could have imagined, save for the son-on-mother violence in the ad. At best it was an audition for Tebow’s future as a linebacker at the pro level, and a good one since Pam Tebow has wicked open field moves and was a feared rec league flag football player in her day.

The weird similarity between it and the Boost Mobile Super Bowl Shuffle ad—a monstrosity featuring spray-tan jokes and Jim McMahon earning beer money the easy way—is that both were cheap Trojan Horse ads pointing you to the real schpiel on the internet. No deliciously packaged marriage of product and image, no management of image, no gags or hook: just an elaborate “GO HERE” sign posted on the road to somewhere else. Don Draper just threw up his fifth Old Fashioned thinking about what advertising has come to in the 21st century.


Betty White And Snickers Has Our First Winner Of The Night

There’s our first guaranteed winner of the night: Betty White taking a hard hit across the middle, something which is perfectly brilliant because a.) it’s Betty White, and b.) her brilliant performance where she acts like she can’t get open against loose man coverage in a pickup football game. Betty White is way too mad ballerish for that not to be “acting.”


In A World Consumed By Darkness, Dwight Howard and Lebron James Don't Need CGI

We kick off with an ad for Airbender, which as far as I can tell is a CGI—heavy kung-fu epic directed by M. Night Shymalan. This means that the film will end with the surprise twist of the hero being a giant animatronic hamster who has been dead the entire time.

Another abuse of CGI came with the Lebron/Dwight Howard remake of the famous Jordan/Bird shootout commercial, where somehow the admeisters behind this thought they needed digital effects to make two nearly 7 foot tall men with Herculean physiques and the ability to jump five feet in the air look impressive on camera.

The punchline: Larry Bird needs free food! I’d like to think this is part of the script, but seriously, Larry Bird will steal your food. Lock your cabinets accordingly.


Super Bowl Commercials: Liveblogging The Reason This All Happens

I'll be covering the most important part of the Super Bowl tonight, the paid advertisements making all of this grunting and slamming and Peyton Manning face-ing possible. Designers have Fashion Week, arsonists have Halloween, and advertisers have the Super Bowl, the big review of the year's most expensive ads made by the biggest advertising agencies for America's most behemothish companies. For this privilege this year they will pay $2.5 to 2.8 million for a 30 second ad, unless they opt for the fantastic one second option Miller High Life used in the greatest Super Bowl ad ever. 

These lofty heights will not be approached again, but we can only hope someone comes within a mile or two of this high water mark of advertising genius tonight. 

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