For the second year in a row, my wonderful wife has planned a kid birthday party during the Super Bowl. It's not intentional, but it sure is coincidental and without TiVO would be rather unforgivable. After all, I was born and raised in Connecticut by native New Yorker parents.
Last year, I spent half the party in the parking lot listening to the game on the car radio and then blogging about the radio ads. This year, I am stocking up on pre-game shows before the 4pm PST birthday party and have come to a few quick conclusions about the TV coverage and ads.
1) The Ryan Seacrest celebrity pre-game show became really old after 5 minutes. Watching NFL commissioner Roger Goodell point to his family and say, "yes, Ryan, this is my first walk down the red carpet" is already my personal Super Bowl XLII lowlight and the game hasn't even started.
OK, a late edit. The interview of Lawrence Fishburne where Seacrest asked how celebrities respond to such "media scrutinization" is the new low of the day. Editor's note to Fox Network: outside of "American Idol" host interviews, the correct noun is "scrutiny".
2) Truck ads are off to an early start, with Howie Long basically welded to a Chevy pickup and Toyota re-running the ad where a big pickup drives up ramps and slams on the brakes.
Another late edit. Chevy is now positioning their trucks using E85 as "vegetarian". Great. I'm tired of fueling up my car at In-N-Out Burger.
3) What is an "Amp Energy Drink" (hint: it's a skinny-can caffeine jolt from Mountain Dew) and why are they sponsoring the pre-game show? "Four days, hundreds of bikers and 42 stationary bikes all powered by human energy to produce enough energy to power this portion of the broadcast". Great website about the campaign here. An interesting angle on both energy drinks and green power. I like the "humanenergy" angle better than Dale Earnhardt Jr carrying a camel.
4) I'm glad State Farm used the tag-line, "there's no substitute for great protection" at the END and not BEGINNING of their ad saluting great offensive linemen in football. It gave me the chance to think it was a deodorant ad.
5) Taco Bell introduced the 99 cent animated numbers, a new angle on how cheap food can have its own mascot.
6) I liked the 15 second plug for the Bridgestone Halftime Show with Tom Petty. Only 12 minutes of music, so there must be ton of ads. Waiting really is the hardest part. But it may be more expensive and less effective than the ads Michelin is running, which I am disappointed to say I have seen before.
7) The Hillary Clinton ad with comments from the sons of Robert F. Kennedy and Cesar Chavez was OK, but not as good as the Obama ad earlier this morning. Super Bowl Sunday before Super Tuesday. It's a great week to be an American.
The pre-game show is going through a ton of statistics (how many avocados and potatoes eaten today) including the claim that the average company advertising during the Super Bowl sees a 400% increase in website traffic following their advertisements.
OK, it's 2pm PST and time to prepare for the birthday party. More later.