...And it was a pretty darn good game. Surprising, in terms of scoring and the end result, but good.
And so, as is my annual custom, let's rundown the commercials - the good, the bad and the "why the heck did they waste time making that?"
Let's start with the phones and phone services to get them out of the way:
AT&T had a cute Flat Stanley sort of commercial with the man who brought his daughter's stuffed monkey on his business trip adventures. That was kinda cute - something, however, I could never do with my daughters' favorite plushies because they don't like being separated from them.
Sprint and TMobile also had fairly snicker-worthy commercials. TMobile had Charles Barkley harassing Dwayne Wade once he had him added to his favorites, and Sprint mocked the Fave 5 thing by kidnapping the friend of someone who insisted he had 5 friends and how can he choose...
There was nothing really standout about them that made us want to watch them again, so let's move on to hardware and software and other computer related items. They seemed to have a huge presence this year with online stocks, careers, and sales leads...and sadly, GoDaddy was back.
Comcast's attempt at being humorous with the singing Mom having dinner with her son who was talking about having HD television was just icky. Logitech tried to convince us that they have the most harmonious of all the universal remotes. Yawn. And Dell tried to emulate a little tiny piece of Apple's famous 1984 commercial with their own exploding screens, but failed. Miserably. Oh, and that whole red laptop thing with the guy being slapped and chased? Lame.
Elsewhere CareerBuilder tried to convince us that we needed to "start building". Due to all the political ads for Super Tuesday (today) in California, we missed a couple of those commercials. After watching the Help Yourself (with the guy picturing himself in everyone he sees) and Help You, Help You (with the guy who carried himself out of the store) I realize that I didn't miss anything and did get to see the best ones. While the lady whose heart ripped itself out of her chest in order to quit her job for her was a little gross, it did get the point across to follow your heart. But the one that captured my heart was the singing Firefly that got eaten by the Spider. "Wishing Won't Get You a Better Job" - no joke there, but it was funny. Maybe because I kept hoping someone would eat that cricket in Pinocchio.
eTrade engineered a couple of clever computer generated commercials with an 18 month old baby who was making his own stock trades and showing how easy it was. Apparently the one where the baby spit up was the most re-watched commercial according to Tivo. I think the clown one was funnier where he admits that he underestimated the creepy factor.
Garmin was back once again with Napoleon... and a pony. Eh. Good for a small smile but they really need a more creative ad push.
Cars.com got creative with their witch doctor who shrinks heads and Klondor who is willing to have a stone circle death match. Those actually left a smile on my face for awhile. But they weren't laugh out loud sorts of commercials.
That brings us to the last two - salesgenie.com and GoDaddy.com. I think salesgenie takes the cake for the most racist commercials ever. Between the panda stereotype with the psychic and the Indian stereotype, I'm not sure which was worse. They were both stupid.
And then there's GoDaddy who wins the award for the best teaser ploy in trying to gain traffic to the site. And attempting to break the internet. And if you haven't watched the Danica Patrick commercial, don't bother. It's totally awful. Truly, truly awful.
Let's move onto Auto commercials:
Ford - Mike Rowe rocks (he hosts Dirty Jobs on Discovery Channel). Ford just shows off.
Audi - Godfather ripoff - that actually wasn't bad.
Lexus doing doughnuts? Who cares?
Acura Advance MDX - It's a car. Yay.
Yukon Hybrid - with the guy rolling the rock up the hill. Um, folks, Sisyphus was condemned to roll that rock up the hill for eternity because it would keep rolling back down when he reached the top. I suspect that Yukon will be redesigning that hybrid within a year because something will go wrong with it. And honestly - a hybrid Yukon? That's just pure capitalistic ploy to get those with gas guzzlers (and who don't want to give them up) to feel like they're being good to the environment. I don't care what you say, nothing's going to convince me that a Yukon hybrid is going to be better for the environment than one of the non-hybrid equivalents. Just think of the stress that's going to be put on that engine to keep going...
Toyota... now Toyota had a couple of commercials. There was the Corolla commercial with the sleeping badgers. The girls loved that one and I'll admit I had a bit of a giggle with it. And there was the guy who changed his Chevy belt buckle for a Tundra one - that's a repeat. But what took the cake, and had us rewinding to see it again was the guy with the Ford tattoo that was getting it replaced with Tundra - and the reason we rewound it was because the guy sort of resembled Mike Rowe (the Ford spokesman mentioned earlier). The Sequoia commercial "Seats 8 crazies" with the adults riding trikes and big wheels was funny.
...and then there was the Hyundai Genesis commercials where they could tell us nothing about this new "revolutionary" car other than it's better than the others and it's releasing in Summer 2008. As if it were a blockbuster movie. Speaking of movies...
As compared to last year, there were a lot of movies being promoted this year. "Drillbit Taylor", "Fool's Gold", "Prince Caspian", "Jackie Moon", "Jumper", "Leatherheads"... but nothing that was really looking like it was going to be the big summer blockbuster. Where's the traditional July 4 release of something huge that involves explosions, action, and a multimillion dollar budget? "Wanted" looked like it was going to reach there, but it's releasing relatively soon. I think that blockbuster title is going to have to go to something that doesn't quite fit the summer blockbuster description: "Wall*e"
That was the commercial that had me laughing for sure. Buzz and Woody (of "Toy Story" fame) sitting and eating popcorn and critiquing Wall*e as he played with a shop-vac ripoff and trying to save a cricket. Best line? Woody saying "Oh yeah, he goes beyond" in response to Buzz stating that Wall*e goes to infinity, but not beyond. And the best scene? Wall*e trying to rub out his tracks...
I think you can maybe keep all the other movies... I'm going to see Wall*e. And that's a given anyway considering I'm a HUGE Pixar fan. They've replaced Disney as my favorite animation studio. Yes, I know Disney bought Pixar - I still look at them as a separate entity.
Oh, right, in cars I forgot to mention Bridgestone who probably had some of the best commercials in the whole run with the car avoiding hitting a deer, Alice Cooper, and briefly speeding up before swerving to miss Richard Simmons, and the whole screaming animals one (with the tiny cricket scream in there). I'm glad none of the creatures were rendered into road pizza, but Richard Simmons could have made a good hood ornament.
Oh right, food and drink. Let's see...
Taco Bell is trying to establish themselves as a full meal sort of fast food place - like El Pollo Loco has. Sorry Taco Bell, try again. Your platters do not interest me until you fix your rice recipe (it sucks).
Gatorade - you couldn't come up with something less lame than a dog drinking out of it's water bowl?
G2 - dumb.
Bud - Ok, Bud, you tried and you did ok this year. Granted, you're not going to equal the wonderfulness of last year's hitchhiker commercial (he's got a chainsaw!), but you did ok. The foreign accent commercial for Bud Light was bad. The Wine and Cheese party got a laugh and I always have a soft spot for the horses, so Hank being trained by the dalmatian was declared cute. The cavemen with the wheel (wheel suck) and bottle opener got a laugh, mostly because they weren't the Geico cavemen. By far, the best ones were Bud giving you the ability to fly, and the ability to breathe fire. I'll admit the breathing fire one was funnier to me because I am randomly allergic to cats and that had me laughing because I know what it's like to start sneezing like that.
Coke and Pepsi had their usual face off of commercials, but I think Pepsi won this year. Coke had the political pundits going off and sharing a coke while touring D.C. and then they had the big parade float balloons squaring off and chasing the Coke bottle. The kids were cheering for Stewie. I was cheering for Underdog... and then Charlie Brown finally got something good. And while that spot was good, it was nothing compared to watching Justin Timberlake get beat up - who apparently did his own stunts for that commercial. If you haven't seen it, do - you'll get to see Justin get banged against a mailbox in a very... ahem... place. *evil cackle* Pepsi can keep the Diet Pepsi Max commercial too...except where Chris Kattan tells everyone to stop it (the head bobbing was an in-joke from "A Night at the Roxbury") - they should integrate that into a less annoying commercial.
I think that pretty much wraps it all up - there were a few others with Vitamin Water, and Zantac, and the *tons* of California voting ads that the rest of the country didn't have to see, but probably had some of their own initiative ads showing up if they have a primary today. So...
Oh wait. I can't forget Sobe. I've been drinking Sobe for years. It doesn't surprise me that they have branched out into flavored waters and other energy style drinks. That's a natural evolution in the drink industry. What did surprise me is that they actually had a commercial. I don't think I've ever seen a Sobe commercial, and if I have then it clearly wasn't very good because it doesn't stand out in my mind. But this one did. This was the one with the pretty dancer and the lizards (one of whom ate a wayward cricket who joined the dance party) and they all jammed to Michael Jackson's "Thriller". By far, I think that might have been the best of the commercials, "Wall*e" notwithstanding.
So that wraps up my rundown of the Superbowl commercials for this year. Thank goodness I didn't try to live blog this although it did cross my mind. So, go out and be good consumers and buy those Yukon hybrids, drink those sodas, and oh right...
...don't forget your Under Armor shoes so that you too can be part of the revolution run by some guy in red spandex.