CBS Gave Americans A “Watered Down” Version of Last Year’s Super Bowl
Against the backdrop of a highly controversial Super Bowl a year ago, it appears that Fox learned from the mistakes of their counterparts at CBS and handed the American public a watered down version in 2005.
With one-time Beetle, Sir Paul McCartney performing at half time, the network ensured that there would be no snafus like the “wardrobe malfunction” of 2004. McCartney even joked the week before the event that there would be no malfunction as he was to, “play naked.” Amidst the knight’s tomfoolery, Fox did all they could turn the focus away from the 2004 stripped down version.
The network also ensured that the 2005 commercials would follow suit.
Long before kick-off, the network banned a commercial that poked fun at last year’s half time show. Budweiser, who had produced an ad that jokingly depicted why the malfunction happened, was forced to pull the slot just days before the big game.
“They probably felt it was a little too racy,” explained international business major Dermel Franklin of Howard University.
Apart from the initial hiccups, the Super Bowl commercial slots went off with little controversy. One of the most noticeable trends this year was the inclusion of stars in most commercials. Celebrities like P. Diddy, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Rodman, Brad Pitt, Gladys Knight and Cedric The Entertainer all rocked the screen, promoting anything from beer to soft drinks and even designer bathtubs.
Probably the most star-studded commercial was Verizon’s new V-Cast. The new V-Cast is a service now being provided that allows users to download news clips, sports highlights, music and other cool features onto their phone. The commercial featured a concoction of mini-sized celebrities which included the gargantuan Shaquille O’Neal, Christina Aguilera, rocker Kid Rock and Baltimore Raven Deion Sanders. The mini-sized participants were used to highlight the small and easy-to-use features of this service.
The biggest winner of the night, however, had to be Budweiser. The brewing company’s usually comedic commercials did a lot to grab the attention of many viewers.
“The commercial where the guy jumped out of the plane after the beer was too funny,” explained marketing major Nikote Etienne, also of Howard. “That one grabbed my attention.”
According to AOL’s latest polls, the 30 second spot grabbed an overwhelming 11 percent of the vote for best commercial. The ad featured a pilot who jumped out of a skydiving plane for a six-pack. Only Anheuser-Busch’s warming “Thank You” to the U.S. armed corps and troops grabbed a higher vote at 12 percent.
However, the non-football segment of the evening did not go off without controversy. GoDaddy.com certainly picked up a fair share of fanfare after the company’s spot sent viewers into cyberspace. The company, which offers web hosting for as little as $3.95 a month, used a gyrating female in a senatorial hearing-like setting, who experiences a “wardrobe malfunction”. Although the commercial was not compounded by any nudity, the ad pushed the NFL to make Fox removed the company’s second spot which was scheduled for the two-minute warning in the second half.
For actual NFL fans, however, the biggest winner of the night in the commercial arena was the NFL itself. In a minute-long slot, football stars like Daunte Culpepper, Ben Roethlisburger and Curtis Martin were all ruing their loses and the fact that they weren’t in the Super Bowl themselves. The commercial ended with the encouraging thought that “tomorrow, we are all undefeated.”