Another Super Bowl has come and gone. Below are my thoughts about this year’s commercials, halftime show, and the game itself.
Mcdonald’s: One ad (that ran early on) featured a same-sex couple.
Google Pixel: The Pixel’s ad demonstrated humorously how to edit out unwanted images/people.
Paramount+: Sylvester Stallone (who has a show on the streaming service, “Tulsa King”) and Dora the Explorer in the same ad?
Super Mario Bros.: I missed this ad, but it apparently aired (and/or was released online) at some point on Sunday? It’s a trailer for the upcoming “Super Mario Bros.” animated film, presented as a fake TV ad for the Mario brothers’ plumbing service. The best part: the ad’s jingle is the theme song from the 1980s “Super Mario Bros.” cartoon! There’s also a functional website.
The “He Gets Us” Jesus ads: Sunday’s ads are part of a series of ads that’ve been running, urging people to be more tolerant of others, as Jesus would’ve done. Presumably, they also exist to encourage people to… go to church, I guess? However, one ad suggested “loving our enemies,” showing images of people yelling at each other. These included what I assume were Black Lives Matter protesters and… people protesting COVID-19 lockdowns, among other things. False equivalence is definitely in play here.
There are also reports the ads are quietly funded by conservative groups and individuals, such as the owners of the Hobby Lobby chain. If the goal’s to boost the image of Christianity (despite being the nation’s largest religion), being secretively funded by anti-LGBTQ/anti-abortion groups doesn’t help. Though said ads might also be a reaction to reports of a decline in the number of Americans who self-identify as Christian.
Tubi: Six foot (two meter) tall rabbits abducting people at random to… force them to watch Tubi, I guess? (The rabbits’ goal seemed vague in parts.) While I think Tubi is a decent free ad-supported streaming service, the ad didn’t do it any favors.
A mobile game urging us to scan a QR code with our phones. Didn’t they learn anything from the crypto ad that tried such last year?
Overall, the ad theme this year was heavily based on movie franchise sequels/reboots/spin-offs, or relied a lot on famous celebrities. Or knowing who said celebrities are, anyway; I didn’t recognize most of them. (Insert “I don’t know them from Adam Driver” pun here; Driver was one of the ad-appearing celebs.) But at least I now know who Jack Harlow is; thanks, Wikipedia.
I’d put the “Flash” movie trailer in the “worst ads” category, but it didn’t do anything wrong as an ad… it’s the movie’s lead actor that makes things problematic. Or the fact Warner Bros. Discovery decided it’s “full speed ahead” on this film in spite of Miller’s high profile problems, while shelving a finished “Batgirl” movie as a tax write-off.
The halftime show
This year’s halftime show was Rihanna. The show seemed OK, reminding me of my “favorite 2000s songs” music playlist.
The game itself
The Kansas City Chiefs won in the end, 38-35, over the Philadelphia Eagles. The game was OK, even if the ending seemed predictable. This also marks the Chiefs appearing in three of the last five Super Bowls (and winning two).
The game was also broadcast on Fox, as the promos for Fox programming reminded me. That and the shot of Rupert Murdoch seated next to Elon Musk; said shot also had the announcers praise the two billionaires. (*Sigh.*) I’m reminded why I don’t watch Fox unless I have to; unfortunately, the local football team’s games are mainly on Fox. At least I won’t have to tune in to Fox again until September, when football season returns.
Before the game, “America the Beautiful” was sung by R&B singer Babyface, who I hadn’t seen in some time. We also got a singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before the game. While well intended, it also reminds me Colin Kaepernick is still unfairly blacklisted from the NFL.
Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay