Super Bowl Sunday: Everything But The Game Matters
For years now, even decades, Super Bowl Sunday has been one of the most important days in professional American sports. The game to end all games for the ultimate bragging rights and to know once and for all which team is supreme. Recently, many of the games played have shifted the hearts and minds of even the most casual football fan. From ‘the immaculate reception’ that put an end to the Patriots undefeated perfect season to the now very proud and recovering city of New Orleans who won their first Super Bowl in the history of the franchise.
But I don’t want to talk about the game. I want to talk about the other things that make this game unique. The things that end up drawing millions of viewers each year: the very expensive and creative commercials that air every year for the first time (and sometimes only time) during that brief timetable, and the usually over-elaborate Half Time musical performer. Well lots of changes have been made to both over the last decade. Up until the year 2000, the Super Bowl was always broadcast on ABC. Being that ABC is owned by Disney, at the end of the game, the winning quarterback is filmed saying, “I’m going to Disneyland.” The year 2000 was the last time the game was broadcast on ABC and the last time they showed any player saying that after the game. What sparked the change? The infamous ‘Wardrobe Malfunction.’
A ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’ was a newly created term for it’s day when Janet Jackson’s dress was partly removed during a halftime performance. It happened so fast and was so surprising, if not for instant replay, most of us probably would’ve missed it. But because of it, the NFL and its partners decided quickly that it was in the best interest of it’s partners, sponsors, and fans to move the big game to a different network and change the Halftime Show performers from flavor of the month R&B/Hip Hop artists to mostly international Rock and Roll legends that most people younger than me have never heard of. This year, the Halftime show was performed by England’s ‘The Who.’ As a result, at least for me, it’s been harder and harder to get excited or anticipate who the performer will be. If you want to put in classic rockers, that’s fine, but have them do a rendition with a popular rock band or musician of today. (I remember an MTV Awards Show from a few years back that brilliantly paired Sir Elton John with, above all people, Eminem.)
The other entertaining aspect of the game that isn’t the game are the commercials. Companies fork over millions for just a few seconds of airtime every year on the night of the big game. Some companies even gamble or put all their reserves into one 30-second ad that can make the company a million dollar sensation overnight or bankrupt them faster than they can say, ‘I’m broke.’ Over the years, Super Bowl commercials have become synonymous with creativity, humor, drama, and marketing genius. E*Trade came up with talking babies, Budweiser came up with talking frogs and Clydesdale horses, and Google came up with telling entire life-stories on a single search bar just to name a few. And yes some of them are pretty damn good and funny, but I have an idea that would make them more interesting.
I think whichever company that has plans to place a commercial on the Super Bowl should hold a contest asking Marketing reps, Advertising reps, and filmmakers to present their best and most creative idea for an ad. The winner would have their ad play during the Super Bowl, possibly a cash prize, and a one-year contract to work with that company’s Advertising team. And why stop at the Super Bowl? Why not The World Series, or the NBA and Stanley Cup finals as well? So every fan can be inspired. Imagination is everything in my world and my life. I don’t think it would be such a bad idea if other people was inspired by that also. ‘Dream On.’ 😉