Several Random Things I Learned Before Super Bowl Halftime
This is the time of year when young men’s minds turn to thoughts of ranting about the the commercials in the Big Game!
Not this year.
Since this year’s event was so much different by being presented in a stadium filled with super-fan super spreaders consorting with photo cutouts of actual human beings who stayed home and enjoyed the televised soundtrack of crowd noise from Big Games past, we’re going to be different about this year’s screed on commercials.
Be prepared. You might decide that you want to quit your job and become a Canadian rapper.
Or quit your job as a Canadian rapper and do something else.
Then, you won’t have to compete with Drake or The Weeknd, both of whom were very much in evidence Sunday, and are too big for you to ever compete with them.
(If you are one of our many friends north of the border who subscribes to the screed, you might wish to become an American rapper who kicks ass and takes names. More on that in a moment.)
Here now, a short list of the things I learned before halftime of last Sunday’s game…
Logitech makes it clear everybody is a creator.
And even if they’re not, they are anyway. Buy more tools and mistake them for talent!
Ridley Scott has produced a documentary for YouTube.
It is based on the lowest of the low-budget footage possible: cell phone videos from around the world!
By the way, Mr. Scott is the man who created the most famous Super Bowl commercial ever, and the one that started the mega-commercial madness: Apple Computer’s 1984. How’s that for irony?
CBS is letting us know: The Equalizer is back!
Originally an old, rich white guy who's a retired covert ops specialist with a hint of James Bond, he’s returned to network TV as an American rapper, actor, producer and talk show host named Queen Latifah, kicking ass and taking names!
Will Ferrell is still ridiculous.
On purpose, of course. And he can get away with saying "Damn it!” in a national TV commercial.
Raymond James Stadium only looks like an ultra-super-spreader event.
I figured that out between commercials. More cutouts. Less behind-a-mask, mouth-breathing madness. Except for the wild cheering and/or booing during the respectful moment of silence for the 400,000 COVID dead. Way to go, America! Thank you and goodnight!
The Pringles Super Stack is now a huge deal.
In fact, judging from the message, it is far more important than human life or even just doing your job with a modicum of competence. Do Canadian rappers and/or Queen Latifah partake in this processed potato madness?
Mountain Dew is now pink.
I missed the reason why. Does it have anything to do with supporting breast cancer awareness? Asking for a friend.
Oops. Google just informed me that the new pink Mountain Dew product is called “Major Melon.” Unintentional bad joke. Apologies.
Using the Indeed app means your job search now comes with a caterwauling soundtrack.
Also, the job search in 2021 can mean just rolling over in bed and looking at your phone. Probably can be done from bed with a modicum of competence while Pringles Super Stacking. CAUTION: crumbs in the sheets.
State Farm is confusing.
Canadian rapper Drake is now inexplicably doubling for the inexplicably new Jake from State Farm. And is being a Canadian rapper in the US now a growth industry?
Plummeting fruit causing a guy to ride his bike into a pile of trash bins? Always funny.
So is a guy’s head suddenly jammed inside a plummeting bees nest. Slapstick never goes out of style!
Another new growth industry: developing dairy-free beverages by squeezing plants and calling it “Milk.”
Even though it is not milk. Milk comes from a female mammal or a coconut.
SIDEBAR: Does oat “milk” pair well with the Pringles stack?
And can Queen Latifah kick its ass? Will Jake, Drake and Will Ferrell just stand by and watch while collecting their SAG residuals? So many questions.
Salvador Dali would be impressed by Toyota’s ad agency.
Toyota’s ad agency suggested their client make a disturbingly surreal TV commercial and got away with it. (It’s loveable much in the way one loves having woken from a bad dream. Most people were probably freaked out by it. WWRD: What Would Ridley Scott Do?)
And speaking of surreal…
Turbo Tax and their invasion of the creeping desks makes me scared of them. Salvador Dali would not be impressed. It feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone gone wrong.
At almost halfway through the game, Vroom is the first advertiser to both a) get a laugh and b) clearly convey the benefit of their product.
SIDEBAR: 12 hours later, I couldn’t tell you who Vroom is or why I felt that way.
The advertising lesson here? Most of the time, one insertion does not work without a powerful offer. Most times, repetition and frequency are everything.
And finally, no Budweiser commercial clearly does not mean no advertising for other Anheuser Busch products—including, covertly, Budweiser.
There were many, many commercials for AB InBev products, including one for many, many of them that tells you it’s not about the beer. Budweiser logos were hidden about like Easter eggs.
No actual advertising for actual Budweiser was a canny PR move as well as a useful non-profit investment. Among other things, Budweiser is putting those millions into the Ad Council’s COVID Collaborative efforts at vaccine awareness.
And at halftime, I stopped trying to pay attention to the commercials.
That’s because I was at a small, COVID-bubble party where nobody cared about the advertising.
Every time CBS went to a break, my mask-free friends just began talking about other things.
Interestingly, they all kept coming back to the question of whether Queen Latifah could really kick ass and take names.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for me, you’ll find me rolling over in bed and jamming a Pringles Super Stack in the hole while searching the Indeed app for a new job milking oatmeal…
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in Park City
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Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.