Super Bowl XLII: The Commercials, the Food...the GAME

Adam LindemerSenior Analyst IJanuary 26, 2008

What could you get if you had $100,000? 

It’s a down payment on a house, a couple of cars, or maybe some TV time during the Super Bowl this year. 

Of course, that $100,000 would only get you one second of ad space (yes, ONE SECOND); seeing as how a 30-second spot might cost $3 million. All the big companies (Budweiser, Pepsi, Burger King, to name a few), will be dishing out the dough in order to make this year’s most memorable commercial.

The two commercials at the top of my list are Coca-Cola’s ‘Mean Joe’ Greene ad and Budweiser’s “Whaaaaazuuup!” guys. Other commercials have been good, but none have risen to that level in my mind. 

Actually, some non-Super Bowl commercials have come closer to that level than the ones that cost upwards of $3 million. I give those companies some credit; their commercials have been good, but not great.

The Super Bowl will be broadcast in over 200 countries and watched by millions (possibly billions), and yet people outside the New England states and the ones who place bets won’t care about the game at all.

Like the big companies, all viewers want to see what commercial will leave a lasting impression for years to come.  Even if people don’t like football, I’m sure they will be glued to their TVs whenever there is a game break.

Another thing people may focus on is what kind of performance will take place during halftime. 

Ever since Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s infamous “Nipplegate," or “wardrobe malfunction," or whatever they’re calling it now; viewers want to see who will be the next one to slip up. 

Also during halftime, people have chosen to switch to pay-per-view and watch scantily-clad women wearing lingerie, in the ever-so originally named ‘Lingerie Bowl.' Even as a 24 year-old bachelor, I won’t watch that.  I can see it for free on any network's primetime lineup. 

Has anyone ever checked the ratings for that? Apparently it’s worth continuous airtime year after year. Their slogan is ‘Halftime has never been this sexy!’ What?! Making halftime sexy? Halftime is when we all order another pizza, or go to the bathroom after we’ve digested the first one; there’s definitely nothing sexy about that, at least not in my house.

Let me ask a simple question that maybe somebody can give me the answer to. When did Super Bowl Sunday stop being about the actual game? 

If it’s not the commercials, it’s the halftime show or the pre-game performances. Some care more about what will be served at the parties they have been invited to, and then choosing the one with the best spread. “Jimmy’s got three eight-foot subs, but Al’s got hot wings with three dipping sauces; well guys, Al’s place it is.” 

Go back to 1967; did anyone care about anything but the game then? What, maybe I need to rephrase that, seeing as how the game wasn’t even a sellout in the glamour of Hollywood.  

What I mean is that the main focus in years past was the game itself, not all this other stuff. The Super Bowl was a battle between the two best teams in the league. Now it’s a battle between Coke and Pepsi to see who can have the best $3 million dollar commercial.

Well, I will have my TV tuned into this, the biggest football game of the year. I WILL stay alert for the commercials, to see if there will be a new No. 1 or No. 2 on my list, but I’m not holding my breath.

I WILL watch the halftime show, well at least until I get bored. I WILL be curious as to who could possibly be serving what, and where.

If you too, will be watching the game on Sunday, I have some advice for you. You can be over-anxious about the possibility of some new commercial gaining world popularity. You can also watch and see if the halftime show will contain any “surprises” this year. You can even stuff your face with whatever the hell you want; just remember that there may be others nearby who like fresh air. 

But please remember that the Giants and Patriots are actually playing a game that could go down in the history books.