As a sports fan, I’m a latecomer, but I’ve been lucky. My initiation began with the San Francisco Giants in 2010, and we won the World Series. Next up? Football and the 49ers. Along comes Jim Harbaugh, who improbably turns a bunch of losers into fiercely competitive warriors. When the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman stole both the ball and our chance of going to the Super Bowl, there was a collective gasp heard all around the Bay Area.
So we gathered together to cheer for the Broncos—what’s not to love, after all, about Peyton Manning—hardworking competitor, a modest guy with integrity and class who may just be the best quarterback to ever play the game. Sadly, the Broncos were hopelessly outmaneuvered by the same defense that defeated the 49ers in what may have been the most boring Super Bowl on record. No wonder people turned their attention to the Super Bowl ads.
It’s been a week or so—which ads do you remember?
Even uber-coach Bill Belichick couldn’t figure out what to do with a quarterback who can’t throw the ball, yet T-Mobile asked Tim Tebow to carry the ball for their new campaign about contracts, of which Tim likely knows thing or two. Arnold, frustrated with thinning hair, has both a new wig and career path—that of ping pong player. There was that grotesque Audi ad about compromise—combining a Chihuahua with a Doberman—even digitally–is just plain wrong.
But the winner? Those ads whose stories were totally American
The reclusive, gravel-voiced Bob Dylan emerged as an unlikely spokesman for Chrysler: “Let Germany make your beer, let Switzerland make your watch, but we will build your car.” Budweiser told a sentimental story of family, community—and beer. Who didn’t love the heartwarming visual of the puppy and the horse or Chuck’s homecoming parade with those magnificent Clydesdales?
The Super Bowl is, after all, one of the most enduring American spectacles, and we love the ads that celebrate the images and traditions of our country. It’s sentiment, pure and simple, and we eat it up—year after year.
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