What To Watch For During The Big Game
Posted by Hal in Discernment, Entertainment, Parenting

It’s that time again, our annual preview of commercials rolling out for “the Superb Owl” as someone cleverly said. You know what we mean, the football championship with the jealously trademarked name. Right, that one.

Bloomberg reports that a thirty-second commercial for Sunday’s game has been selling for $5.1 to $5.3 million this year. Though analysts say that’s no change over the $5.24 million price for last year’s game, it’s still 30% higher than just five years ago, and CBS had sold over 90% of their ad space by mid-January.

So what can you expect from the advertisers this year? Here are some highlights both good and bad.

(Note – There are lots of celebrities in these spots and frankly, we don’t keep up with them, so forgive us for not mentioning your favorites who appear!)


Budweiser – What do you need to know? Clydesdales, a Dalmatian, amber waves of grain.

Honda – A fun, imaginative animation

Norfolk Southern – I admit, I love trains and I like the Toys movies so I was predisposed to like this one.

Pepsi and Kroger – Celebrating Pepsi drinkers in Atlanta (home of Coca-Cola)

Coke = A cartoon in the tradition of Coke’s international let’s-get-together ads. Kind of sweet.

Lexus – Dancing drones flying formations through shopping malls! Cool even if it’s CG.

Snapdragon – “This summer, a dragon is coming …” Epic opening turns apologetic. Funny.

Cartier – A really well-done dream sequence involving a snow leopard, the Great Wall of China, and a Wright Flyer. Sort of Narnia meets Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones.

Colgate Toothpaste – “I’m a close talker …” Office co-worker who has personal space issues but doesn’t care because his toothpaste gives him clean teeth and clean breath. His colleagues respond as you’d expect. Awkward funny.

Skittles – An actor explains to his therapist why he’s uncertain about a Skittles contract – then things get peculiar.

IKEA – A child’s eye view of a family party. Sort of weird/sweet/funny.


GE – “My mom …” – A young girl talks about all the neat technology her mother uses in her job at GE. My only gripe is that diesel locomotives don’t whistle like steam engines … but anyway.

Michelob Ultra – Robots are more athletic than humans but humans get to drink beer.

Kia – “Celebrities get big checks to be on these ads. Why don’t they spend them to help unknown people?”

Bon and Viv Spiked Seltzer – Two mermaids promoting seltzer water with alcohol. Bare midriffs but the costumes are surprisingly conservative.


“Devour” Frozen Foods – “My boyfriend is obsessed with frozen food porn.” This is meant to be funny but the heartbreaking effects of pornography strip all the humor out. It makes light of too many parallels of the true porn lifestyle – deception, obsession, shame, degrading behavior … and a sobbing loved one feeling the effects. Thumbs down. We’re not alone in this assessment.

OLAY – #killerskin.  This is played as scenes from a horror movie. “Killer skin” somehow becomes a creepy character who shows up  in a stormy night. Young viewers might find it disturbing.

Dollar Shave Club — This is actually pretty funny except for one glaring moment – when the spokesman asks “Are our blades any good? No …” then unveils a large sign which says, “OUR BLADES ARE F**KING GOOD” (and reads it as, “Our blades are f-beeeeep-ing good.”) If you don’t mind your elementary-schooler playing “Wheel of Fortune” with that slogan, then you may not be offended. It was unacceptable to me, and I’m a grown man with a military background.

Amazon Beta Test – There were several celebrity cameos that were amusing, but one with a pair of young women hit the same snag as DSC above – in their amazement, they answer Alexa in unison, “What the ffffffff–.” Not cool.

Enjoy the Big Game — and know when to change channels!