Americana reaches its apex with Super Bowl LVII today, February 11, when the Philadelphia Eagles take the field against the Kansas City Chiefs. Some will be excited about the match-up on the field, while others eagerly await the always unique (and sometimes controversial) halftime show. This year, superstar Rihanna will be the headliner, and there is an expectation that she will deliver the goods to a wide range of viewers. Then there are the often entertaining, sometimes newsworthy, but always hyper-expensive commercials. This last part of the Super Bowl trifecta is cued up and ready to go. Here’s a preview.
Super Bowl Love Match – Football and Beer
For the first time in decades, Budweiser and its sister brews – Bud Light and Michelob Ultra – will have to share the spotlight with other brands because parent company Anheuser-Busch finally relinquished its exclusivity for today’s big game. So, expect loads of beer ads: Molson Coors and Heineken are but two of the breweries chasing the famed Busch Clydesdales down the field.
Perhaps the second most popular Super Bowl commercials are for automobiles. This year the macho, gas-guzzling Ford truck will take a back seat to electric vehicles. General Motors teams up with Netflix to hype their EVs which will literally “take center stage” in new movies and television shows, though there is a bit of desperation to a commercial that exists singularly to tout its wokeness.
Most of the Super Bowl ads are steeped in pop culture and may get lost on the over-50 crowd, but there is one tailor-made for them: the last remaining Blockbuster. Yes, there is a Blockbuster store that exists in the US. It’s located in Bend, Oregon, (go figure), and they are teasing an ad by asking, “Is the world coming to an end, or is Blockbuster releasing its first commercial in a really, really long time.” So, move over, big boys – here is the little guy coming down the tracks: It’s time to dust off that VCR and get ready to record.
Jesus Cameo Lights up the Super Bowl
In the “get ’em wherever you can find ’em” school of evangelism, two ads featuring Jesus will be aired during the Super Bowl. While some may adhere to the church of baseball, per the iconic film Bull Durham, a Christian group is out to introduce the Savior to an estimated 100 million football communicants. The ad theology appears to be that “when it comes to Jesus, ‘He gets Us,'” according to Fox Digital. A spokesperson for the group which the Christian-based Hobby Lobby company backs told the Associated Press, “We’re trying to get the message across to people who are spiritually open, but skeptical.”
Typically, the Super Bowl is the most viewed television program in America. This year a 30-second ad will cost approximately $6.5M, but advertisers appear unfazed by the astronomical costs associated with putting their messages before such a vast audience. Of course, the ads that are remembered well after game day are the ones that get people to laugh. In the past, those hilarious commercials had a reasonably long shelf life.
While State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ is the place to be today, millions of Americans will be huddling in family rooms with their nachos and friends, awaiting the much-anticipated kick-off. For those who worry about taking a bathroom break during the commercials and missing all the fun, they need only to pop on over to any social media platform where the ads have been previewing almost incessantly in anticipation of game day.
So, whether it’s football, entertainment, or amusing commercials, tonight’s gridiron pastime will have something for everyone. The only question is who will do the flyover today – American fighter jets or the Chinese floating by in a balloon.
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