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Tuesday, December 05, 2023
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"Beers, Bears and Beyonce: Spectrum Editors Judge Super Bowl Commercials"

Few things can be considered mainstays of the Super Bowl: happy fans, mad fans and commercials. Every year, millions of dollars are spent on 12-second advertisements for products we already use, as well as some we've never heard of. Competition is no longer just for on-field play, but for the advertising game as well.

Without Apple's "1984" commercial, which introduced the world to the then-unreleased Macintosh personal computer, we might not have had Cindy Crawford remind us why Pepsi was so hot to drink. We might not have even had to mumble "Wazzzzzuppp" every time we pop open a can of beer.

So, with this year's additions to the already long list of famous - and infamous - Super Bowl commercials, three Spectrum editors share their thoughts on the best, the worst and the most confusing.

Benjamin Siegel, Arts & Life Editor

Favorite pick: Apple and Pepsi's Million Song Giveaway.

Without's anti-Bush ad (that CBS refused to run after it was finally deemed to be too political), Apple and Pepsi's creative crack at the administration's anti-piracy laws was funny, enlightening and still somewhat non-political. Featuring children who were sued by the government for illegal file-swapping, the spot reminded us that there are too many bigger issues in this world to be worrying about besides which nine-year-old downloaded a copy of Britney Spears' latest.

Overall analysis:

In the spirit of commercialism, capitalism and all-around entertainment, nothing beats the million-dollar power of a Super Bowl ad. We're all the better for knowing that Bud Light is better than Anheuser-Busch, I'm sure. But if advertisers are going to make that big of a statement - for that much money - make it count. I know Pepsi's the "un-Cola," but do Beyonce and Enrique Iglesias need to tell me? Mmmm, not so much.

Ben R. Cady, Campus News Editor

Favorite Pick: Budweiser, Donkey Joins the Clydesdales.

Like Ben Siegel I enjoyed Apple and Pepsi's middle finger to the recording industry and the lamentably cancelled ad. But for pure American class nothing topped this year's Clydesdale spot in which a donkey joins the fabled legion of horses. The production values were Hollywood-perfect. And what could be a better theme for the hard-working underdogs of New England and Carolina than a tenacious donkey?

Overall analysis:

Overall, I thought it was a weak year for ads. For one, there were far too many movie previews. Isn't a half hour of previews in theaters enough?

Thumbs down to played-out themes -- it seemed that many of the ads tried to re-create the animal (e.g. Budweiser frog) humor of the mid-90s rather than pushing the envelope with new ideas.

And double thumbs down to CBS for limiting political speech by canceling's brilliant anti-Bush ad.

But thumbs up to the Pats and Panthers for a great night of football. Last night the game was greater than the spectacle. That's the way it should be.

Jim Byrne, Senior Sports Editor

Favorite pick: Musical NFL commercial

After the ... well, I can't even put into words what I thought of the horrifying half time show, but there surely was an antidote in the immediate aftermath. And no, I am not talking about Janet Jackson's ta-ta. The National Football League's commercial (you thought I, the sports editor, would pick a Pepsi commercial? Ha) featuring players and coaches singing "Tomorrow" from the musical "Annie" was, to put it simply, amazing.

The obvious clincher came at the end when a stunt double for the Dallas Cowboys' owner, Jerry Jones, started doing back flips down the field to end the commercial. I laughed, I cried, I thought about Janet's boob.

Overall analysis:

I'd be lying if I said that I'm not entertained by the Super Bowl commercials. It's great that for one game in the year you don't have to see a Cellino and Barnes "wear your helmet kids" ad or that stupid Value (they don't have everything I need) guy do his stupid dance. Sometimes you get to see some entertaining ads, like the aforementioned one, and sometimes these commercials go down in pop culture history.



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