Tuesday, February 3, 2009

So how much did that ad cost us?

For the most part, we ended up skipping the Super Bowl, despite what I wrote earlier. Sure, we flipped to it now and then but there was no "don't miss a minute" commitment to watching it and much of what we saw was rather dull (can't anybody run the ball in these game anymore?). On the other hand, we did manage to catch the night's most memorable moments:
  • James Harrison's 100-yard interception return for a touchdown at the end of the game -- now that was exciting, even if on replay it looked like a Pittsburgh player clipped a Cardinal, which would have negated it if any of the refs had been looking or cared to call it
  • the final two minutes as we flipped to the game just in time to see the Cardinals take the lead on a beautiful pass play only to cough it up on defense thanks to blown coverage on Santonio Homes for 40 yards and then Holmes' drag-your-toes catch for a touchdown, the likes of which I've never managed to pull off when playing Madden Football
Often, on dull Super Bowls, we'll keep it on just to see the commercials. However, through the magic of the Internet that wasn't even necessary anymore as Hulu.com posted the commercials in almost-real time (conveniently, Hulu is co-owned by NBC, which was showing the game). From what I saw in looking at some of the commercials, the $3.0 to $3.5 million spent on some of them would have been better spent as insulation or fuel for the furnace in some poor family's house. Still, there were a few that stood out as just plain funny:
  • Hulu.com's spot with Alec Baldwin, highlighted by lines like "Hello, Earth. I'm Alec Baldwin, TV star" and "You know, they say TV will rot your brain. Ha, that's absurd. TV only softens the brain, like a ripe banana."
  • Monster.com's "need a new job" spot with its nice dig at the fat cats in the corporate office and the sad grunts who do the work
  • and Bridgestone's ad took a page out of "Toy Story"
Of course, there were a host of bad ones. The sight of dancing NFL players with animated lizards was mildly disturbing, the talking babies are still just plain creepy, most viewers are not thinking of web site registration during GoDaddy's ads (yes, I know that's the point but really...) and when Toyota's narrator talks about a steep grade and a tunnel of fire being bad for their tranny, I'm sure there is a segment of the population thinking about something (or someone) other than a transmission.

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