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Madison Avenue

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Now, as an avid fan of the NFL, I look forward to Super Bowl Sunday like billions of others around the world. I go through the painstaking enjoyment of putting together a party (including cooking), participating in office pools (which I won a piece of this year) and connecting numerous TVs together so that everyone can enjoy the game no matter what room they are in. The game is a blast, but it's more about hanging out with friends and family and having a good time.

One of the big events of the Super Bowl are the commercials. A 30-second spot goes for millions. Madison Avenue employees work all year coming up with Super Bowl campaigns as it kicks off what they will do for the entire year. Heck, we see a memorable Super Bowl commercial show every year. That's the power and prestige of the Super Bowl. Everyone has the ones they remember the most from a Coke guzzling Steeler, a computer screen shattering right before our eyes and then there's three frogs in simplistic harmony working together to formulate a word. It's these commercials that help us bridge the gap between the myriad of timeouts in the game and it's the one event that it's not an automatic run to the restroom.

Well, nowadays, the commercials have been lackluster. And last night, was not Madison Avenue's finest moments. NBC hyped up a 3D commercial montage. They even supplied glasses to viewers. We saw numerous commercials leading up to the 3D commercials. And when it happened, it was a complete waste. When you think of 3D vision, you think about those trips to the movies where everything jumps off the screen and looks like it's going to hit you. Well, the first instant was a paddle and a ball. The ball did the job. After that, the effects were awful. Nothing jumped out. All it did was give a little definition to the characters. And at the end of it, it left viewers with nothing than a epileptic headache. To top it off, there are doing an hour-long episode of Chuck tonight in 3D. I can only imagine how bad that will be if they couldn't get the commercials right.

Even Budweiser, the "King" of Super Bowl commercials let us down. There was one about a horse telling the story of his heritage and his great-grandfather coming to America and eventually becoming a Clydesdale. Funny, I thought a clydesdale was a breed of horse. If so, wouldn't he already be one? I know the gist of the commercial and understand that, but that was really a waste of millions as what purpose did it serve. Commercials like that turn viewers off to a product, not towards it. Sure, there were other spots with a few chuckles like the horse racing across the country to be with the horse he loves, but it's not memorable. What happened to the days of the Bud Bowl and Louie hiring a weasel to "off" the frogs? Those are the commercials we want.

The Go Daddy ad was quite subpar. I'm not sure how many viewers (probably men as the ad was geared to) went to Go Daddy to see the extra footage, but I didn't. Do you seriously think you were going to see something if you did? You weren't going to see the teacher and Danica Patrick in compromising positions. Danica is a race car driver trying hard to solidify her ground in racing and tells people to look past her looks when she's on the track. Yes, there's nothing wrong with her doing ads and showing off her body, but she's not going to put herself in a situation where she will throw away her racing career. Just a shameless ad and leaves another question. Wouldn't it have made more sense to use Candice Michelle, the other spokesmodel, as the second woman?

The highlight had to be the spoof on the all-time classic Mean Joe Greene and the kid ad for Coke. This time, it was Troy Polamalu walking up the corridor and the kid offering his Coke Zero. Troy didn't want it but the kid insists. You see him take it and begin to drink it when the two guys from the Coke Zero ads that always want to sue Coke appear and snatch. They start walking away talking about how Coke is not going to steal their brand for this commercial. Troy then chases on of them down and tackles him. He then rips the shirt off the tackled guy and tosses it to kid, who is just left dumbfounded. Now that's a commercial you will talk about around the water cooler, with friends and family or even on a sports card trading and discussion site like SCF.

But in the end, Madison Avenue failed in its goal to deliver amazing commercials and leaves me wondering why, in this era of downsizing and tightening wallets, companies would waste their money on such ads. Personally, if that's what you waited all year to air, you would have been better off saving the money and giving it your employees so that they wouldn't be out looking for new employment. Heck, give it to me to create your commercial as anything I produced couldn't have been worse. There's a challenge to all the bigwigs on Madison Avenue right there. Let me design your commercial for next year's Super Bowl. And after it airs, if the public lashes out about it, then I will publicly write another blog/article commending the hard work you all do on a dialy basis. However, if it succeeds, then you can either pay me for my services or offer me a job. Either way, you win, so what do you say? Otherwise, I guess it's being stuck watching the boredom and doldrum that I can get at any time during the year while my TV is in use.
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