Super Bowl 50 Diaries 4

This was written a year ago but never published because I left for Puerto Rico the day after the Super Bowl for my wife’s 30th birthday & promptly forgot about it.

The BIG GAME™®© is here, baby. And that means it’s the one time of year I actually force myself to write something that I don’t get paid or asked to write. For the fourth year now, I’ve ignored any link to YouTube directing me to a new Super Bowl ad teaser or full spot, because I’ve grown tired of BIG BRAND prematurely ejaculating its commercial load all over the internet just to get a few more eyeballs on its $5+ million investment. If you have to watch a :30 commercial more than once to “get it,” you’re doing it wrong.

But, as always, a few details tend to slip through the cracks. So here’s what I knew going into the night:

  • Amazon was advertising its Echo with Alec Baldwin
  • Colgate was going to advertise during the game for surprisingly first time
  • Death Wish Coffee won a contest for a free spot
  • Taco Bell had a big announcement planned
  • The Bud Light Party was forming
  • Key & Peele were doing something
  • SoFi and Marmot were airing their first commercials

PRE-KICK

5:15PM

  • Looks like KFC is swapping out Colonels again. Jim Gaffigan is answering the call of duty this time. This campaign is bizarre & I don’t know why they are switching colonels, but it’s working for me.
  • It’s Dabber Dan himself Cam Newton for Beats wireless headphones. Fits the brand. Nothing groundbreaking here.
  • Don’t go noseblind & let your entire room smell like a gym sock. Use Febreeze. I wish Febreeze would show a scene that hits a little more close to home:
    An overweight, acne-riddled teen is planted in his gaming chair on an oppressively hot summer afternoon. He’s hunched over the keyboard; gripping his mouse like it’s the Holy Grail amongst a wasteland of Dorito bags & Mt. Dew cans; the soft glow of red LEDs create a backdrop while the bright heat of his triple-monitor command center billows against his face. During this intense League of Legends match, not even a turbofan could stop the pools of sweat from forming on him. He shifts position in the chair, which reveals the wafting scent of stank ass & sweaty taint has dominated the room. His dad opens the door, the look of disappointment that has cascaded across his eyes quickly turns to disgust as the offensive odor fills his nostrils. He yells for his son to clean himself up, but nothing can penetrate the extra-thick padding of his elite gaming headset. Not until a bottle of Febreeze is angrily tossed by his father, shattering the organized chaos on his desk, is his concentration broken. Febreeze: Love stinks.
  • Trailer for Deadpool. I’ve got so much manlove for Ryan Reynolds. It sounds like he, or they, raised his voice slightly for this role which I wouldn’t understand because I’m not into Marvel.
  • Old (I think) NFL is Family spot with two rival teams’ merch being sent.
  • CBS TV show spots — who knew they were making Rush Hour a TV show? I guess CBS needs to start reaching across the aisle for any audience other than Cialis-addicted geriatrics.

5:23PM

  • Pizza Hut is introducing Garlic Goiters for your pizza crust … yum!
  • Super Hero Movie Trailer Count: 2 — Captain America: Civil War
  • Baby with a digital motor in his chest going through life’s trials & tribulations, Hyundai … better is the engine that drives us. Our first “what the fuck” ad of the night and we’re not even 10 deep.
  • The Masters on CBS … I don’t watch golf regularly, but I’ll be damned if I don’t get the best-quality naps in when I do. Outside of Bob Ross, I don’t think there’s better nap-inducing television out there.

Hey it’s Marlee Matlin the original BBW (beautiful ball woman for the Seinfeld fans out there). I had no idea she won an Oscar.

America the Beautiful with one of our Confederate-laden state flags in there.

That rendition was better than anything some bullshit pop star could do, aaaaaaand here’s Lady Gaga (who’s actually talented). Nice red outfit. Like a snowflake, no two looks of hers are ever the same. Kudos to both of those performances.

5:31PM

  • Trailer for Cloverfield sequel. A little bit different than the teaser trailer released a month or so ago. Still have no idea what it’s about.
  • Intel: quick cuts of everything that’s capable with Intel inside for amazing experiences outside. Tough job to advertise for a consumer product that 95% of the general population doesn’t understand.
  • Secret Soldier Jim from the Office is back for Esurance. Retweet their tweets for a chance to win a part of their $1,000,000 in savings. A sort-of-sequel to last year’s retweet giveaway, except they’re asking people to whore themselves out multiple times instead of once. I’m sure it will work, but last year was better.
  • A poem about saying good morning to the night for All Day Breakfast at McDonalds. A luke-warm, inoffensive, decent ad. Like the saltine cracker of ads. Read my suggested Febreeze spot above for what real “good morning gamers” are like.
  • More CBS shows

He Hate Me was the best name in the XFL. Clete Blakeman is the best name in the NFL.

5:36pm

  • Kevin Hart GPS tracking his daughter’s date thanks to his Hyundai; another one bites the dust playing; funny. Cashing in on Kevin Hart’s popularity; it gets the point of the feature across, although in a relatively creepy way.

KICKOFF TIME, DAN

5:46PM

  • Athletes breathing heavy while they work out. Michelob Ultra is brewed for those who go the extra mile. The sound of opening a bottle sounds like the exasperated breath of an athlete but it’s really the sigh of disappointment that you’re about to drink a Michelob Ultra. It felt more like a Nike or Under Armour ad, which was probably the point.
  • Snickers — Marilyn Monroe is the Williem Dafoe. Fun new spot for the campaign. Eugene Levy thrown in for good measure.
  • A ton of people are late for something. It’s SoFi’s first ad with great loans for great people. All shot with a (simulated) long take? I guess it works as an introduction for the company.
  • We’ve got some aliens going through internet memes from 21st century Earth. Anybody want to feed Scott Baio? Not sure how many millenials know who he is anymore. Irreverence again for Avocados from Mexico. An early favorite.

5:49PM

  • Girl & guy running through the woods from bears. Voice-activated remote start on the Hyundai Elantra. Bears talk about eating them at the end. Speaking of bears, I nearly upchucked during that maul scene in The Revenant, though it might have been because I mauled some theater nachos & a hot dog right before it.
  • Jeff Goldblum is Brad Bellflower (awesome character name) and he’s movin’ on up. The magic of Goldblum’s hands on the ebony & ivory keys. George (Washington) and Weezy (Lil Wayne) are there. I have ZERO idea what that was selling, other than the name of the company: Apartments.com
  • Super Bowl Babies are the uptick in births 9 months after a Super Bowl victory. Who doesn’t love banging it out after a bloatload of beer & buffalo wings?

5:54PM

  • Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllnold for Mobile Strike. Can’t believe these games make enough money to have Super Bowl ads.
  • Dumb dad is eating Doritos during the ultrasound. Baby wants the Dorito so bad he births himself. Another Super Bowl baby! Easily the frontrunner for worst ad so far.
  • Old vs. new money. Classic format of bold copy over quick cuts to upbeat music; PayPal is new money I guess except when you use them to sell on eBay then they take a massive cut of your loot like some kind of goddamn tax man.
  • Halftime show ad. All it should of said was, “QUEEN BEY IS COMING.”

5:59PM

  • Movie trailer for the Jumanji Jungle Book reboot which is clearly going to be shown in 3D.
  • Sad old astronaut reminiscing about going to the moon. Now I’m thinking about Apollo 13: They asked me to stir the damned tanks, and I STIRRED THE TANKS! He gets a space-age-looking Audi that makes him feel like an astronaut again. Probably shouldn’t put gramps behind the wheel of a car like that though. Audi goes for the cheap, capitalize-on-a-dead-celebrity gut-punch by using Bowie’s Starman, though the song makes sense here. Lincoln used a Bowie cover to a similar effect years ago.
  • More of CBS cramming it’s formulaic programming down our throats

6:03PM

6:08PM

  • Key & Peele are here with some sports commentator Real Talk. Somehow that was a Squarespace ad. They are this generation’s Chapelle’s Show. Almost always funny.

6:16PM

  • TJ Miller for Shock Top. Love him on Silicon Valley. Oh shit the Shock Top tap handle is burning him down hard. TJ’s comebacks were a little weak but the tap handle was spitting hot fire. I like it.
  • We’re at a wedding and some hot n’ desperate ladies are dying to catch the bouquet. One of them makes a diving one handed grab. She Odell’ed it. Dudebros: “I can’t believe ODB is at the wedding. I can’t believe the convertible is a Buick.” I can’t believe it’s not butter.
  • Advil with a bunch of people doing awesomely athletic things that would be otherwise painful to a semi-out-of-shape buttery person like me. Another spot with the tried-and-true bold copy/quick-cut tempo formula.

6:23PM

  • Movie trailer for the new Bourne movie. Matt Damon back to rocking the pre-potato-diet Mark Watney bod. Confession: I’ve never seen any Bourne film.
  • Dirty hillbilly razor is talking filthy. You gotta change that filthy razor. Dollar shave club with a surprise showing that was funny.
  • Lol it’s the vocals of Diamond David Lee Roth isolated from the classic Van Halen track Running With the Devil. That soundboard is pure gold. And we’re selling the Acura NSX here. Hey it works for me.
  • Someone is changing mortgages like the internet did for buying music & stuff wait now we’re talking about wooden leg makers? Another ad with a bunch of quick cuts but no bold copy this time until the end. Rocket Mortgage. I can tell you what they WEREN’T thinking was how their commercial for simplifying mortgages was incredibly convoluted. Rocket Mortgage: Failure to launch with a good ad.

6:32PM

  • The Bud Light Party is here with Amy Schumer & Seth Rogan. “Everybody loves Paul Rudd.” That’s so true. A lot of manlove for him next to Ryan Reynolds. Going with a nice dick joke on the word “caucus” now. A little Independence Day quote thrown in there for good measure. I like it Bud Light is the consummate .300 hitter for Super Bowl ads.
  • Steven Tyler for Skittles; lol wut
  • CBS TV ads

6:37PM

  • Trailer for Ninja Turtles; I was just wondering if Megan Fox was still alive
  • Steve Harvey for T-Mobile with yet another spoof on Verizon’s balls commercial. Look at how many more balls we have! The wireless industry has become a bunch of schoolchildren one-upping each other on the playground. Topical with the Steve Harvey angle but probably should have aired weeks ago.
  • Ryan Reynolds is back! And he’s apparently everywhere in this neighborhood. Girl is driving distracted by staring at all the Ryan Reynoldses. She’s treating him like a piece of meat. WE MEN ARE NOT OBJECTS #notallmen. Car automatically stops before she hits him. A car that doesn’t get distracted; another feature-demo spot for Hyundai that was effective. They’re on to something this year.

6:52PM

  • Persil laundry detergent beat every other detergent tested? Wtf I’ve never even heard of it and they’ve got the money for a Super Bowl spot?
  • FINAL SEASON OF THE GOOD WIFE!!!!!!
  • Another halftime show ad

6:57PM

  • A Coca-Cola Mini can comes to life. No wait it’s Ant Man carrying it but he’s being chased by The Hulk. Hulk can’t open the can so Ant Man has to. Is this some kind of teaser trailer in disguise? “Sometimes you just want a little.”
  • Weathertech spot. I think they constantly hammer home the Made in the USA thing because they have no competition so the only way they can get people to buy custom weather mats for cars is by tickling the hometown pride bone.
  • Another quick Super Bowl Babies spot

7:08PM (Two-Minute Warning)

  • Independence Day trailer. I’m hesitantly optimistic for this movie. (Ed’s note: I still haven’t seen it)
  • Bank robbers car gets towed. 3 of them are with T-Mobile & 1 with Verizon. They steal a Toyota Prius and lead cops on a Speed-Limit Chase. Looks like it was shot in Chicago. I guess this ad is saying that the Prius is no longer a lame-ass car but that it’s so cool you’ll want it to be your next getaway vehicle? Entertaining spot I guess.
  • CBS TV ad for Criminal Minds

HALFTIME

7:20PM

  • CBS TV ad, but all about how you watch CBS today on all different devices.
  • CBS Late Night ad
  • CBS TV ad again
  • Local ad for Advocate Heart Institute, White Castle, BMO Harris Blackhawks Mastercard the team is always with you, Advocate Heart Institute again (diff ad), local CBS news

7:27PM

  • Amazing Race ad
  • CBS news programs ad
  • Halftime Show celebrating past, present, future; Janelle Monay going through different eras with Pepsi; my dad works for Pepsi & laughs at how much cost-cutting they have to do at the plant but then sees how much money they waste on shit like this. Ahhhh the all mighty marketing dollar.

SECOND HALF

7:42PM

  • Sexy B&W Beyonce for her tour ad
  • Amazon Echo party full of celebs starring Alec Baldwin. I see Dan Marino’s acting skills have not improved since Ace Ventura. Jason Schwartzman is everything. Pretty funny.
  • Military ad with a bunch of faces; nope it’s an ad for Jeep. Personifying the brand with “I’ve done this & I’ve been there” type voice over with cuts of different famous people, locations, events, and random Jeeps thrown in along the way. “We don’t make Jeep, you do.” Chrysler hits another home run.

7:46PM

  • iMessage convo illustrating how subtle signs of domestic violence can be. This ad is more effective than the shell corporation NoMore appears to be (Ed’s note: apparently this was a NoMore ad)
  • CBS TV ad for Limitless; Big Bang Theory; Life In Pieces
  • Guaranteed Rate ad with the guy from Extreme Home Makeover playing a gameshow host. How many families who were awarded those houses can still afford to live in them?
  • GoPro with the Ramones. There’s really no better way to advertise this product than to show the camera in action.
  • Subaru: dog driving, puppy in the back; dog-tested, dog approved. I don’t get it.
  • Yo. Horse whisper thug is pitching you a new beverage and he doesn’t make sense just like his Bai drink. Bai: Tastes good. No sugar. Has antioxidants. “None of this makes sense.” I actually bought this stuff on an Amazon Gold Box deal last summer and it really is damn good. Hi, my name is Adam & I’m addicted to Amazon.

8:00PM

  • No dogs allowed in store to get Doritos; trying to do different things to get them; dresses up like a person to get in the store; fucking stupid.
  • Mini Cooper going against stereotypes for their car. Serena: This is a chick’s car. Abby: this is a gay car.” Thought it was a spot for Fiat at first. “Defy labels.” I like it. In college, we had a campaign for Coca-Cola in our American Advertising Federation called “Beyond the Label” which was akin to this. We were ahead of our time and completely robbed at a chance for the title due to some new split-division rule where we’d have 2 schools advance to the finals but one would come from a group of 4 & the other would come from a group of 10. I am still extremely bitter about this almost a decade later.
  • Anthony Hopkins for TurboTax; it’s free, there’s nothing to sell.
  • Kids say “I can do that”; Live Pokemon battle? Train On. What? Gotta catch ’em all.
  • Madam Secretary TV ad

8:07PM

  • Looks like another pharma commercial; oh we’re bringing out the big guns now: Irritable Bowel Syndrome WITH Diarrhea. Someone should tell BIG PHARMA that anytime someone hears “IBS,” the first thing that pops into their head is that the person has uncontrollable diarrhea
  • Liam Nieson’s LG ad; the future must be protected, OLED. Liam has a particular set of skills, but shilling LG’s technology is not one of them. Joe Six Pack FOOTBAW Fan has no idea what he just saw in that ad.

8:10PM

  • Another super hero movie trailer; X Men I think?
  • Vikings on the seas preparing for battle. Their trip to Valhalla ends down a dude’s gullet. Death Wish coffee. Bought this on Amazon a few months ago & had no idea it was a small business or that it was in the Intuit contest for this ad. Respectable.
  • Bull rider on a plane, jumping is bold, bolder than bolder than bolder than bold; Butterfinger is bold? Uhh ok. Peanut butter + chocolate…whooaaaaa really going out on a limb there. Look out for these risk takers!
  • Showtime shows for free on Showtime.com. Not sure what the sell was here. Might just be fatigued from trying to keep up with this subpar year of spots.

8:16PM

  • Fitbit Blaze; real life activities cut with shots of exercise. A well-done, no-nonsense spot. Probably just convinced a bunch of people with lesser Fitbits to upgrade.
  • Wix.com with KungFu Panda spoofing other big commercials. This is what we call trying really fucking hard to make a flashy Super Bowl ad for the sake of making a flashy Super Bowl ad.
  • Hot dog dogs in hot dog costumes running in a field along. Omg the puppy. They’re all running to Heinz bottles to “meet the ketchups.” I get why mustard is there, but why the hell is there a bottle of BBQ sauce? Big Budweiser ad vibe to this. Thumbs up.

8:22PM

  • Using a Honda truck to shepherd sheep. Truck is playing Queen & the sheep start singing it after they’re dropped off because of the truck bed audio. This feels like the 100th talking animal commercial.
  • Budweiser Clydesdales are not ponies. They’re not small. Another spot with big words that go with the beats of the music. Going with the contrarian angle here.
  • CBS TV ad for scorpion

8:30PM (End of 3rd Quarter)

  • Another commercial for Super Bowl Babies. Looks like an extended version. All the kids are singing a Kiss from a Rose parody but it’s about sex. Seal is still alive! Going through a bunch of different eras of Super Bowl Babies, kids & adults. My wife liked this. I’m indifferent.
  • James Corden
  • Local Ford Ad
  • Paralyzed former race car driver designs a car he can drive with his head thanks to Arrow’s help. Five years out. No idea who Arrow is, but that was a sentimental spot. Reminds me of Microsoft last year.
  • Xfinity X1 ad. Fuck Comcast.

8:36PM

  • Hip hop rock song for Jeep; bunch of outdoor/adventure shots. Should have just stuck with the first Jeep spot but I guess this 1 is 4 the millennyals lol <insert emoji here> #hashtag
  • Schick Hydro is a transformer that fights a different one. What?
  • Old Axe commercial Axe grooming for men

8:43PM

  • Jublia toenail fungus ad god damnit.
  • Christopher Walken is back from the dead in an ad for Kia comparing mid-sized sedans to socks. Kinda good I guess. Would have been better if it was just a commercial for socks.

8:46PM

  • Drake spot for T-Mobile. Legal team interrupts his cell phone song to have him add a million different things. Anyone in advertising (including us doing telecomm work) knows this is way too true.
  • CBS & Marvin Gaye for the CBS App that apparently took a shit at kickoff.
  • Kids talking about Super Bowl 100.

8:54PM

9:12PM (Two-minute Warning)

  • Trailer for the talking pet movie
  • Ad for Colgate to turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth. Why would they waste this much money on something they could have gotten the Ad Council to do? And does anyone really leave the water running the entire time they’re brushing their teeth?
  • Hold your breath. Gary Sinise (?) for financial stress, Suntrust? I have no idea. Way too late in the game for some cryptic banking ad.
  • CBS TV ads

9:25PM (Game over)

  • Esurance keeps passing on the savings after the game so keep retweeting.
  • LG ad again
  • Local ad for Dream House Raffle
  • Sleep Number bed with dancers, shape the sleep of your life or something.

9:30PM

Ed’s Note: Though it started strong, this had to be the worst, most-forgettable bunch of ads I’ve seen in my 4 years of doing this, which brings me to a final thought:

Also, fuck CBS: