I love the Super Bowl. To me, a full day dedicated to professional football while cramming various salted snacks in various shapes down my gullet is the closest thing to a perfect day. Of course over the years my method of watching the game has changed. Instead of sitting around a small television in a cramped apartment with six other guys fighting over the last imported beer, I’m in the comfort of my den watching it on high-def while battling my four kids over the last mozzarella stick. That’s a battle I usually win because, let’s face it, I’m bigger than they are (for now).
Now while I’m all about the game, my kids wait with eager anticipation for the commercials. Well, at least the older three are into it; the youngest will want to know why we’re not watching “Yo Gabba Gabba.” Considering the fun they had last year watching with me, I thought it’d be interesting this year to find out which commercials they’ll like and which ones they think should never be aired again – and how their best/worst choices compare to the experts.
Let’s meet our panel:
Annabelle (age 11): The oldest. She’s our analytical one. She usually has her head buried in a Harry Potter or Dilbert book, listening her iPod or playing The Sims. She’s a “My Little Pony” fan, and Rainbow Dash is her favorite, which is insane because everyone knows Pinkie Pie is the best pony (but that’s for another time).
Jack (age 10): The talker. A lot of things interest Jack and he’ll want to tell you about them all at once. He’ll tell you what his favorite Disney Racers are, then bounce to his favorite Nickelodeon shows from the ’90s and then to his favorite Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons – including a brief history of said balloons – within 30 seconds. He is a huge fan of the production cards at the end of television shows, good old-fashioned slapstick humor and (being 10) poop jokes.
Meghan (age 7): Our free spirit, Meghan is the only person I know who can pull off wearing a plaid top with polka dot pants. She loves everything princess-y, frilly and shiny. She can talk continuously – and convincingly – about subjects she’s unfamiliar with, like the Loch Ness Monster or the Great Wall of China. Like Annabelle, she’s a fan of “My Little Pony” but she’ll also watch “How It’s Made” on demand. She’s probably the only one who’ll actually watch the game.
Brendan (age 3): The youngest. Chances are he’ll be spending game time having Superman and Batman save Thomas the Tank Engine from the clutches of The Joker and a bunch of pirates riding a dinosaur equipped with armor and cannons. Or he’ll be stuffing his face with goodies and fall into a food coma before halftime.
Mary (The Wife): The wild card. She’ll be there doing what she does best: Keeping the mayhem in order, even though she’s the one who usually starts it. If she actually has a chance to pay attention to anything happening on screen, she’ll have the best quip about it.
And that’s the panel. We’ll only be reviewing new commercials. For example, if the original “Hump Day” Camel shows up, it’s disqualified. However, if our camel friend is in a new location, it’s fair game. That’s about it. I’ll be back after the game with which commercials should go to the Hall of Fame and which ones should be loaded onto a rocket headed for Neptune and left there forever.
Ken Auld, Data Manager of Direct Mail Services for Austin & Williams, spends his days running the lettershop at the Long Island advertising agency and his evenings wrangling his four children. To read more about Ken, visit his bio on the A&W web site.
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