Opinion

Waters: Kelowna viewers get to see Super Bowl ads

They have become as big as the big game itself.

The television ads that punctuate plays in the Super Bowl are now some of the most anticipated—and costly—advertisements out there.

But in Canada, we don't get to see them on the day of the big game. That's because whether you watch the Super Bowl on a Canadian or American channel in Canada, you get the Canadian broadcast feed, complete with Canadian ads you've seen a thousand times before and an irritating overdose of incessant promos for the same upcoming program on the Canadian network. But not this year. At least, not this year in the Kelowna market.

Someone, it seems, forget to flick the switch before kick-off, and replace the NBC feed with the CTV feed. So, if you were watching the game on KING-TV (the Seattle NBC affiliate), you saw what the U.S. viewers saw — the NBC broadcast complete with all the new Super Bowl ads.

And some of them were pretty good.

The most popular ad—yes, there is a company that tracks such things—was a Doritos spot that featured a baby in a slingshot who nabs his brother's chips after being taunted from afar.

Dogs were popular with advertisers this year. There was a collie getting in shape to chase a Volkswagan, a pug wearing Sketchers to outrace greyhounds and moonwalk over the finish line and a great dane using Doritos to keep his owner quiet about the fate of the family cat.

Sex, or the suggestion of it, was used to sell several innocuous items, including flowers and internet domain names, as well as the more appropriate line of men's underwear from scantily clad soccer star David Beckham.

This year's Super Bowl ads also provided a comeback of sorts for a couple of faded stars. Jerry Seinfeld and Matthew Broderick took turns hawking cars, with Broderick doing an adult remake of his most famous role, that of truant student Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

And what event could properly be called super without an appearance by current "it" girl, 90-year-old Betty White? She popped up as the voice in the shower in an elaborate promo for the singing competition show, The Voice, which aired after the game.

But while the ads, which fill spots that sell for more than $3 million per minute during the game, often grab the headlines, it's the fact we got to see them that's a story today. That was not supposed to happen. We were supposed to watch ads from Canadian advertisers.

But it's not like most of the U.S. ads were not available to us anyway prior to the game.

When you are shelling out the big bucks it costs to advertise on the mot watched television broadcast of the year on U.S. television, you want to get the most bang for your buck. So anyone with a computer and an internet connection could have seen most of the Super Bowl ads well in advance.

But when it comes to Super Bowl ads, there's something special about watching them between football plays. It makes the viewer feel they really are in the game.

Alistair Waters is the assistant editor of the Capital News.

 

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