Each year, I dread Super Bowl Sunday. Growing up in Phoenix, I didn't have a football team for the first half of my childhood and, then, when we finally did buy a franchise, it was the crappy-ass Cardinals from St. Louis. Years passed, and we were supposed to get the Super Bowl, but it was seized from us when our state government refused to recognize Martin Luther King Day.
Finally, in 1996, Phoenix got it back and 12 years later we've got it again and still, I don't really care. But, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, I'm forced to participate nonetheless. And so, the only things that have saved me during the Super Bowl have been Janet Jackson's nipple and the best, most creative commercials of the year.
According to Advertising Age, FOX, which is broadcasting the game, has convinced advertisers to pay up to $3 million per 30-second spot. FOX has barred political campaigns from getting a piece of the action, but 40-something companies have landed slots, ranging from Planters Peanuts to E-Trade.
Viewers are invited to vote on the best and worst of the bowl ads at HeyNielson.com, the Nielson Rating's new social-networking site... but they're likely be disappointed. The New York Times notes that while last year's commercials were heavy on the cartoon violence, this year will showcase the kinder, gentler, fuzzy-wuzzier side of marketing.
No, I want stars. And the previews tell me I'm going to get them. Here's what you can expect:
Other cameos will include: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (on a camel), Carmen Electra (because what else is she gonna do?), Adriana Lama and Justin Timberlake, plus a whole host of professional athletes. And if that's not enough, the Super Bowl will feature all sorts of new film trailers, including Semi-Pro, You Don't Mess With The Zohan, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Iron Man and Hancock.