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Super Sunday

Super Bowl XLI is sure to be the most over-hyped event in history—that is, until next season.  Every year the annual event swells in size not only in vewership, but in money and exposure as well.  Add in a mix of uncommonly juicy storylines, and you’ve got a media and advertising giant on your hands.  But before you get caught up in things like pioneers in African-American coaching history, superstars like Peyton Manning and Brian Urlacher making it to their first Super Bowl, and other issues of a trivial nature, first consider the impact of this event on important things like advertising and the opportunity to make a TON of money.Peyton Manning, possibly the most talented quarterback of this generation (or any other, depending on who you talk to), is finally headed to the Super Bowl after ten years.  Sure, its big for his football career, but what about his career as a paid endorser?  How can someone as over-exposed as Manning possibly become even more sought after in the realm of advertising?  Easy—become a champion.  I can see long, nine-minute stretches where every commercial showcases a smiling Peyton Manning, telling jokes and pushing cell phones.  He may, in fact, become the most famous person on the planet.

That kind of clout is incredibly valuable.  Forget a championship.  If Manning wins on Super Sunday, he may have won any political campaign he chooses to embark upon in his imminent retirement.  Get used to the phrase “Gov. Manning”, Louisianans.  

Also, if you watched the respective championship games this past Sunday, then you saw a revolution in the world of advertising—that’s right, commercials advertising other commercials.  The hype has been extended.  It is no longer simply the media hyping the game for two weeks, no.  Now advertisers are starting early as well, airing ads aimed at reminding consumers to watch out for their commercials which will air during the most-watched sporting event of the year.

Companies have made their names on Super Bowl commercials.  Ever here of godaddy.com before 2005?  I don’t think so.  How about careerbuilders.com?  The name may not sound familiar, but one can hardly watch a game without being inundated with their quasi-humorous monkey commercials, one of which claims that their ads will “evolve” come the Super Bowl. It’s not just the flash-in-the-pan web companies either.  Coke, Pepsi—all the big boys come out to play on Sunday.  Just ask everyone’s favorite ex-boy toy, Kevin Federline.  He’s doing a commercial for Nationwide insurance that could not be more perfectly suited to him.  He is the poster-boy for the phrase “Life comes at you fast.”  This year, everyone’s cashing in.  

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the game of football.  I love the tasteful super-imposing of the scrimmage and first down lines onto the field, as well as the giant graphic reminding me that its second and four, a staple of any respectable FOX broadcast.  I love the Chevrolet Keys to Victory, the starting lineups presented by Dr. Pepper, and the Subway Post-Game Show.  I have always thought to myself, how much better would this game be if it were accompanied by a live performance by the rugged, the manly, the lumber jack-esque Prince?

It seems to be a common theme in our generation.  Excess.  Too Much of a good thing.  Fast food makes you fat.  Smoking causes cancer.  Burning fossil fuels causes global climate change.  Uncontrolled advertising causes Super Bowl Sunday.  We may not like to believe it, football fans, but its our own fault.  Every time we watched the Super Bowl and thought “This is ridiculous and out of control,” and then followed it with the thought “Oh well, who cares.  Pass the Doritos, Bill?” you and I were contributing in our own little way.

This game will be amazing.  Peyton vs. Urlacher, Bear’s D vs. Colt’s Offense.  Dungy vs. Lovie.  The only question is, will we be able to find it in the jungle of advertising and hype?

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