Super Bowl Commercials ... Is There Anything You Can't Do?S

Time again for Waxing Off, the feature that will stick by you, even when you're old and destitute. Well, when you're old. This week's topic: Super Bowl advertising.

J-Money:

On Super Bowl Sunday, I'm not a fan of the 'I'm just here for the commercials' crew. I drop them into the same bucket with the people who go to hockey games just to see a fight, those who upend their Coke because they only wanted the commemorative cup and anyone who has ever watched porn for the interior decorating tips.

Even though an SB43 spot costs $100 Gs per second, it's still just a commercial, the break in the action when you go take care of the third-trimester pee baby that's been gestating since you poured a tallboy down your throat about the time Philly started scoring. It's when you take the dog out, urging him to release the hostages in the neighbor's back yard and hoping they blame someone else when they dip their foot into one of his uncollected cakesters. Commercials are for calling people to remind them that their team is a tumor on the prostate of the game, for returning shit-talking text messages, and to wipe the detergent off the chicken fingers you dropped face-down in the dishwasher during the last set of Alltel ads.

Unless you're talking about single malts, just because something's expensive doesn't make it better (see: Michael Bay movies, anything stocked in a minibar, the Yankees). But sometimes there are exceptions, a commercial that makes you pause mid-stream to crane your neck toward the television to see what's up and why everyone else just stopped talking.

One of those ads was dropped into '99's Denver/Atlanta matchup. My memories of the game itself are spotty, save for three hours of comments about Atlanta's D sucking so hard that Eugene Robinson tried to pay it for sex, but thirty seconds of Monster.com stuck with me.

That ad was one of the best ever, or so I thought until I went to work for the agency who wrote it. "When I grow up, I want to file all day" is hilarious when a cornfed kid in a Cousin Eddie hat says it but considerably less so when it packs up and moves to your job description. Within two years I was unsurprisingly and unspectacularly fired, which just gave me more time to spend at home, swaddled in sweatpants and watching TV. I still ignore the commercials.

—J-Money writes much longer at The Typing Makes Me Sound Busy and much shorter on Twitter.

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Ellie:

Dear big companies:

Your ads aren't that important anymore. I barely remember them. The beer ads have just blended in together. I can't remember which animals sell what product. Boobs aren't going to do anything (hello, we have the internet for that). And really, celebrity spokespeople? No. Save the appearance fee. All of these tactics haven't worked so it's time to step it up.

What's my advice? In these economic times, appeal to everyone's fantasies. I'm not talking about beautiful girls, fast cars, etc. I'm talking about something like the Terry Tate Reebok ad. First off, the ad is hysterical. Who doesn't like physical comedy? Second, the ad starts off by saying the company was called crazy. I love self-disclosure of psycho. And finally, the ad was RELATABLE. I mean seriously, you know you've always wanted to tackle someone in your office. It's wish fulfillment!!

Basically, find out what the people want and show it to them. That's all. This is a new era of hope. Show us this hope in 30 second frames, dammit. It's just enough to distract us from whatever ails us in reality.

Thanks.

— Ellie is boycotting this year's Super Bowl as they will inevitably show 1,000 replays of the Helmet Catch. For more of her insight, ramblings and ideas, go to thewhoristorian.blogspot.com.

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Sarah Sprague:

I cannot remember a single goddamn commercial, but I can tell you exactly every thing that was happening in the game, my apartment, and the air outside when Neil O'Donnell threw his second pick to Larry Brown.

And that I wish they had not remade the Coca-Cola ad with nice guy Troy. Would much rather see James Harrison scare the child into never wanting another soda for the rest of his life, saving him from a life of diabetes.

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The Steezer:

First, I really hope this post is preceded by a picture of the Waxing Off boobs. Otherwise The Steezer is going on strike.

"The best part of the Super Bowl are the commercials." This statement annoys the shit out of me every year. It's mostly repeated by people who would not otherwise be watching football; people who would not otherwise be drinking Busch and eating hot wings on a Sunday night; people who don't deserve to live.

Let's face it, nine times out of ten, NFL games are not really that exciting (college football games, on the other hand: always exciting). They're not often gun-slinging high-scoring affairs, or hard-fought defensive battles won in the trenches. Though the Super Bowl theoretically puts the two best teams against each other, it's still pretty likely that it will be as exciting as a mid-season NBA game. But still, it's the last football game for 8 months, so I'd much rather be watching it then another rerun of House on USA.

I was at a Super Bowl party a couple years ago with a group of girls who could have cared less; they were there because their boyfriends were all there. When the game was on screen they were reading books (one was re-reading one of the Harry Potters) or cross stitching (I kid you not). But when commercial break came along, they put these to the side and paid attention. All I could think was "WHY ARE YOU HERE!?" Unfortunately, watching the Super Bowl has become part of the American experience (YES WE CAN!). People feel like they have to watch it in order to fit in…and they're not happy about it. So a bunch of poindexters gather together to begrudgingly "watch the game" and then they say, "The best part of the Super Bowl are the commercials." Every time I hear it my motherboard overheats…and not in the good way.

That said, the best Super Bowl commercial of all time was one for Pepsi in the early 2000s starring the love of my life, Beyonce Knowles.

— The Steezer is a Texas Longhorn fan living in Washington, D.C. who decided to dip and now you wanna trip.

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KatNi:

I cannot for the life of me think of a single Super Bowl commercial that I either loved, hated or was indifferent about. Not one. I began analyzing why that might be. It's not that I don't watch them. It's not that I don't have an opinion about them one way or the other at the time. I just don't retain them (and judging by the fact that Rick had to ask repeatedly for submissions on this topic, I'm guessing I'm not the only female who feels this way.) And yet, it seems that most of my male acquaintances are able to recall Super Bowl commercials many years past. But think about what gets advertised most during the Super Bowl:

• Beer. Don't get me wrong, I love beer. Even shitty domestic beer. But chances are, A) I'm already drinking it, and B) no amount of funny or sexy is going to sway my decision the next time I'm at the corner bodega. I'll buy whatever sounds good and/or is on sale.

• Junk food. Ditto. I also love junk food. But unless it's some newfangled junk food ("Ooooh, look, Taco Bell formed their five sole ingredients into a trapezoid this time! I gotta have one of those!" ), I'm probably not going to take note.

• Trucks. This actually holds true for all car commercials. Unless I'm in the market for a car (and I'm not currently), car commercials don't even hit my radar. Plus, truck commercials are generally physically impossible. I've driven trucks almost exclusively for my entire driving adulthood, and have never once done anything as awesome as what you see in the commercials. (BDD summed this up perfectly and hilariously.) But then, maybe that's just my vagina getting in the way of my ruggedness.

• Man-scriptions. I don't have a prostate or a penis. And the prostates and penises that I'm most familiar with are in perfect working order, knock on wood. (See what I did there?) At this point, the sight of a clawfoot tub makes me want to become celibate.

It's not even that all the commercials are man-centric. Men just seem to be wired to retain this information, the same way they can quote crappy 80's movies chapter-and-verse, and tell you who was on the cover of any given year's swimsuit issue. I'm not even on some "women are more high-minded than that" screed, 'cause we're not. (I, for one, have devoted myself to being able to recognize all 4658 songs on my iPod within the first three notes. Useful AND marketable!) Just understand that come Monday morning, if you attempt to discuss the commercials with me, I will have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. And then I'll drive off in my Jeep and do donuts at the summit of Everest, because I am BAD. ASS.

— Katni is a middle management cube-slave in San Diego, and a fan of the Padres, Broncos and Sooners. But you can only pick one of those reasons to dislike her, so make it count.

If you want to become a member of our Waxing Off writing staff, write your name and address on your telephone number, and send them to Rick Chandler, Behind the Water Pipes, 1012 Rupee Buildings, London.