It's time to talk about brands. And not just your typical brands, either. Super Bowl brands. The Super kind. The we've-got-$4 million-to-spend-on-30-seconds kind.
The kind that have combined with inane columns about establishing a personal brand that have consigned that word to Internet memedom, only to be spoken in the most snarky and dismissive of terms.
But it's these companies—a much better word if you want to avoid the snarky snark—that will help shape our Super Bowl viewing experience. These are the people who help pay for everything we see on Super Sunday, from the higher production values to the multi-cam setup to the mute button that helps drown out our least favorite announcers.
And, frankly, we have a ton of advertising agencies to thank for helping advance the at-home experience as well. Commercials are inherently a drag because they take time away from game action, but Super Bowl commercials are decidedly the least-draggy (is that a word?) of all ads.
There is real, actual effort and money put into these spots. They're meant to surprise. They're meant to excite. Most of all, they're meant to stand out from the crowd and make you, the consumer, buy their product.
From what we've seen thus far, it's a good bet we'll at least be entertained throughout the broadcast. Here's a look at the essential information for Super Bowl XLVIII between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, followed by some of the leaked teasers and ads that have stoked our excitement.
When: Sunday, Feb. 2, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Spread: Denver (-2.5), according to Vegas Insider
Dannon Wins Everything With Full House Reunion
I'm conflicted here.
As a child of the '90s, I'm required by law to have watched every episode of Full House known to mankind. And I have. Probably six times, thanks to late-night airings on Nick at Nite and other avenues. (Note: This rule also applies to Boy Meets World, Saved By the Bell and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. If you have not done this, run—don't walk—to the nearest television and do so before continuing.)
On the other hand, I do not like yogurt. I understand its health value and why others would find it a fulfilling snack, but I am a horribly unhealthy person who struggles through anything that doesn't warn "high sodium content" on the front.
But you know what? I'll be damned if seeing Danny Tanner (Bob Saget), Jesse Katsopolis (John Stamos) and Joey Gladstone (Dave Coulier) didn't make me want to go to the store and purchase ALL THE DANNON OIKOS.
It also makes me want to go all Full House fanfic on the world. Please make this a more regular thing, companies. If Stephanie, D.J. and Michelle aren't sharing a studio apartment in San Francisco in the sequel to this ad, something went horribly wrong.
Coca-Cola Wins With a Good Cause
If you don't want to tap into the nostalgia wellspring, it's always good play our heartstrings with a great cause. It also helps when your ad during a football game actually has something to do with the sport.
So, even though Coca-Cola's ad doesn't necessarily wow you in the same way as having a major celebrity might, it's wholly effective in its intent. The company plans to donate $50,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of America when the video reaches 10,000 shares and is using the Super Bowl platform to launch the "Go All the Way" program.
It's all cool, good-hearted stuff.
ScarJo Pitches SodaStream
The gauntlet has been laid down. Scarlett Johansson is the new spokesperson for SodaStream, and the company's first viral ad with the Her actress is already making waves. Not only has it dropped into the millions of views already, but it also calls out SodaStream's top competitors by name.
Coke, Pepsi, it's on like Donkey Kong.
Granted, that's not actually the ad you'll see on Sunday. Fox nixed the initial cut of the commercial, specifically because it called out Coke and Pepsi. While others often take shots at the bow of their competitors, it's understandable that the negativity toward others is usually minimal on such an expensive stage.
You can't go making people who might give you $4 million for 30 seconds angry. But if the point of SodaStream releasing that ad was to pique our interest in the niche product, well played.
Ya'll Gotta Tell Me What's Going on Here With Arnold, Bud Light
America's most popular light beer is at it again. Budweiser (along with offshoot Bud Light) is arguably the king of these commercial games. Some of the most iconic spots in history go to that brand in particular, and it's only in the rarest occasions does the ad team involved with crafting the commercials turn in a dud.
Throwing a bodybuilder turned actor turned California governor turned actor again into short white shorts as some sort of ping-pong king? SOLD. Actually, just give me all the cases of Bud Light. No one else is allowed to drink this beverage—it's all mine.
Now, we don't know what's next. Bud Light is one of only a select few campaigns to not allow us to see the full ad in its entirety before the so-called "Big Game." But there's just too much rich comedy here for this not to work out.
Stay winning, Mr. Schwarzenegger.
On the surface, it seems like a semi-terrible fit. Pistachios are a difficult food to eat. I swear my fingers erode to the core every time I buy a bag. And don't you dare try just chomping through them with your teeth. That's a one-way ticket to the dentist's office.
This is also the Super Bowl we're talking about here. Where hot wings and pizza—the greatest handfoods of all—are being consumed at a rate that would embarrass the average competitive eater. Typically, it's not a nut-you-need-to-crack-type of event.
Wait a second. Did I see Stephen Colbert?
Forget everything I said. Pistachios are the superest of all Super Bowl treats and I implore you to go buy every bag. If only to support all things Colbert. The funniest late-night talk-show host on television deserves to have his campaign go as swimmingly as possible. After all, it will help his brand.
And that's really all that matters in this world, right?
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