Catching the ads ... not the big game


I open this week’s rambling with a pledge: If even half of my power goes out midway through writing this column, I promise to stick it out and finish, no matter how dim the lights go.

I don’t know anyone at CBS television or have any connection whatsoever to them. But I still feel like maybe I owe them a little bit of an apology. Since numbers like this are real important to the suits at any network, CBS was hoping and predicting that this past Sunday’s
Super Bowl was going to be the most-watched television show ever.

It wasn’t.

It fell just a little short. They gave it a game effort, but apparently 108.4 million viewers just gives you the bronze. It was the third most-watched TV show ever, behind the Super Bowl each of the last two years.

Thus, the thoughts of apologizing. Sorry, CBS, I missed most of it. I caught bits and pieces, but I don’t think you can count me.

Busy day

As the near-record-length national anthem ended and the kickoff ensued, my wife and I had just left a show in Grand Island. From there, it was over to Kearney to visit a family member coming out of a brief hospital stay. The game was on there, but wasn’t necessarily the center of attention. I didn’t even watch the halftime show close enough to decide if Beyonce was singing live or lip-synching. I understand the consensus was it was live.

We headed home during part of the power outage, but it was only a 34-minute delay during an hour-long drive (had to grab some french fries for the road).

With weak radio signals in the country, I even lost touch of what was going on as we drove home. Imagine my surprise when we made it home and I turned on the TV to see what was once a blowout in the making was now a two-point game. So I did see the rest of the game.
I guess CBS can count me as one of the 164.1 million people they say saw at least six minutes of the game, I just wasn’t a “kickoff to final gun” guy.

I felt more out of touch that I wasn’t able to participate in the “what was your favorite commercial” discussions that always come up the day after the big game. There was talk of whispering cookies, Paul Harvey, a Clydesdale heart-tugger and nerds kissing supermodels? Sorry, I’m out of the loop.

But hold on. Did you know there’s this thing called the Internet? And I’m told you can find anything on it. I’ll be back.

This just in

So, I took a break and just watched every commercial that ran during the Super Bowl. First of all, let me say now I know why the game lasted over four hours. That was a lot of commercials.

But at least now I know what everyone’s been talking about. Paul Harvey was more of a heart-tugger than the Clydesdale, no doubt in part due to the fact that most all of us around here know a farmer.

Not all was serious. There were a few laughs in there. I know now the cookies didn’t whisper, just the people talking about them. That was one little laugh. I like that the Doritos ads, which are the ones prepared by amateurs, I think, were better than most of the professional ones. And the Joe Montana stain on the shirt just might be my favorite.

One other thing to make ad agency people squirm a little. I just watched all the ads in rapid succession (thanks, YouTube), and I don’t think I’m going to be changing any buying habit as a result. But I guess it appears that as long as there are cars to sell and babies to be featured in ads, the next Super Bowl will be able to go on as scheduled.

I hope I’m not busy next Feb. 2. The game’s going to be in New Jersey. Can’t wait to see everyone freezing at the game.

Russ Batenhorst

Don't expect to detect a common topic or theme in Russ Batenhorst's weekly column in the Hastings Tribune. Usually it's whatever slice-of-life observation pops into his head just in time to make the deadline for it to appear each Friday.

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