Sunday, February 12, 2012

Super (?) Bowl XLVI - Belated Wrap-Up

Needless to say, the lead-up to the Super Bowl is always interesting…
My fave parts?  Jimmy Fallon cum Shaq running in pink bikini bottom with “Jimmy” emblazoned on the butt because he lost to Jimmy at a basketball video game.  See it at
Shaq, just before handing Jimmy
the gym sock inside the bikini bottom.

Another precious moment?  The Giants prematurely claiming — as of early Saturday night that they’d already won the Super Bowl!  They had all the Super Bowl championship merchandise up on their site, ready for the ordering, and kickoff was still a day away. 
I know New York and New Yorkers can be obnoxious, but this was an EPIC failure.  Wonder if someone lost a job over that – YIKES!

Screenshot of Giants website Sat. night
It may be called the Super Bowl, but, was any part of the event actually super this year?  I kinda didn’t think so, despite the fact that it was, apparently, the most-watched TV event of all time – with 166.8 million total viewers, according to statistics released on Twitter by the New England Patriots (#NewEnglandPatriots, @Patriots) early this week.

The game
I’m not a sports commentator, so, all I’ll say is that it didn’t seem like either team was playing really well; it was more a question of who was playing worse.  Feel free to dispute this, but I did hear “real” sports experts saying this, instead of just talking about how the Pats (have I mentioned I’m from Boston?) “played dropsy.”

Half-time show

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few months, you know that Madonna was the star of the half-time show.  IMHO, not a great choice.  The Boss?  YES.  The Stones?  YES. Aerosmith?  YES.  Tom Petty?  Yes.  Madonna?  NO.
I heard they actually had to lengthen the half-time break in order to have enough time to get her elaborate stage set up.  Americans waited with bated breath as Madonna and an army’s worth of dancers took to the stage wearing Egyptian-inspired (read: stupid looking) costumes. 

Madonna and LMFAO
She performed a 5-song set, including hits “Vogue,” “Music,” “Open Your Heart” and “Like a Prayer” with a new song, “Give Me All Your Luvin” — complete with cheerleader-like moves and repetition — thrown in.  One of my fave Tweets of the night referred to this new ditty, saying, “Madonna, the 80’s called...Toni Basil wants her sound back.”

L - U - V Madonna
Then, there were her guests, LMFAO, M.I.A., Nicki Minaj and Cee Lo Green.  This American, for one, was underwhelmed.  They didn’t add anything to the performance, except when M.I.A. flipped the bird at the camera, eliciting apologies from NBC and giving tabloids fodder for days to come.

M.I.A. flips off America

Madonna was great when I was in junior high, and, arguably, still is great.  Kudos to her for her ability to continually reinvent herself over the years and for bringing a new perception to “The Big 50.”  As someone Tweeted, “She may be the sexiest AARP recipient ever.”  Super Bowl-worthy half-time entertainment though? No.  Even advertising/branding maven Donny Deutsch commented on The Today Show, “Males don’t go for Madonna, the show was over-produced, and it was not Americana a la Bon Jovi or The Stones.”
For me, the best part of the half-time show was the video intro which featured Madonna in an elevator with Jay Leno whose smartphone ring, we learn, awkwardly, is “Like a Virgin.”  In case you missed it, you can watch the full performance on YouTube at

All that having been said, according to Billboard, 114 million Americans watched the half-time show, 3 million more than watched the game itself.  Moreover, despite the wildly mixed reviews the performance garnered, Madonna succeeded, as always, in boosting her own brand, said The Hollywood Reporter, even if not my viewing pleasure.  So, who am I to judge?
The Ads – aka Brand Bowl

There were very few tech ads (How many years running can “Go Daddy” repeat the totally neither here nor there, as far as marketing a product goes, hot girl ad?) and not too many celebrities, Deutsch noted.  There were LOTS AND LOTS of dogs and babies though.  YAWN.  “Cars, babies and dogs dominated,” Deutsch commented on Access Hollywood Live.  “You saw real back to basics stuff this year.”

What WAS great?  The Matthew Broderick “pulls a Ferris Bueller” ad for Honda CR-V.  It gave us children of the 80’s a piece of welcome nostalgia and showcased the product amazingly well. 

Matthew Broderick calls in sick to play in his Honda CR-V

Also super clever?  The VW Dog/Darth Vader follow-up to last year’s Kid Vader.  Another auto ad, bringing us nostalgia — this time, in the form of Star Wars — and playfully piggybacking on last year’s uber-successful ad. 

Cue Rocky theme as newly-slim dog runs beside VW

Doritos, too, succeeded.  Their crowd-sourced ad — flying baby steals Doritos from snarky older brother thanks to Granny and super-slingshot — was a HUGE crowdpleaser.  All three of these ads will be remembered, and the products they advertised will be remembered.

Go get those Doritos!
Oh, honorable mention…must throw in H&M’s David Beckham ad…because, why not?  YUM.  Apparently, the ad inspired more than 850,000 Tweets (!) and, additionally, earned H&M the “8th most talked about” company slot, according to social media experts, Mashable.

The Aftermath
Three words:  Gisele, Gisele, Gisele.  The Brazilian supermodel stood by her man, Pats QB Tom Brady, publicly slamming hubby’s teammates in the face of hecklers.  Us Magazine shows the recap: 

Gisele Bundchen consoles hubby Tom Brady

Now, now, Gisele.  I love Tommy (even though he did break my heart Sunday night and the hearts of all my New England family and friends), but Gisele should know better than to engage in the fray.  It’s not like she’s not a super-celebrity in her own right.  Some praised her.  More bashed her.  Personally, I thought it sweet — yet simultaneously emasculating — that she came to his rescue, but the way she did it was wrong.  Don’t slam the team, Gisele.  Stick to modeling.

That’s all I got.  Here’s hoping next year will be just a little more super…