Today is the longstanding, forty-three years to be exact, tradition of watching two US football teams battle it out in the Superbowl. A tradition that has become almost more about the tv commercials, marketing and now, micro sites and sneak peeks, than about the game itself.
This year, the event takes place in Tampa, Florida and features the Pittsburgh Steelers playing against the Arizona Cardinals. The Steelers could potentially take home their 6th Vince Lombardi trophy and the Cardinals, their first. Okay, enough about the sport. LOL.
Once upon a time people sat riveted to the halftime show, then competing tv channels started putting on their own halftime shows; the Bud bowl, the Victoria Secret Lingerie shows, even the Simpsons shows. This year, there are countless options on the internet featuring clever and co-op shows of their own.
The actual NFL halftime show will feature Bruce Springsteen and The E Street band. But, if you're not a big Bruce fan, you've got some fun alternative ways to spend that time (and for those who hate sports, and prefer sci-fi, chick flicks or reality tv, there's a list of counter programming for you at the end of this post).
Pepsi (a major sponsor of this year's game) has its own youtube channel with a series of hilarious videos that are incredibly entertaining-- featuring Will Arnett -- and you even have the option to upload your own.
Above: Will Arnett hosts his own hilarious Superbowl Party, courtesy of Pepsi and TBWA Chiat Day.
If you don't want to go to youtube, you can see the videos here as well on Pepsi's refresh everything site.
update: if you miss any, you can see them all here and rate them yourself.
This year, due to the explosion of social media and online promotions, most of the eagerly anticipated tv commercials have been 'leaked'. So much so that Adweek even has a preview page.
Already enjoyed by tons of fans has been the newest Pedigree commercial from TWBA Chiat Day which will air on today's game, featuring a view of the world if you opted for wild animals as pets in lieu of the good ol' domestic dog.
Especially nice, is that for each Pedigree video viewed, a bowl of dog food is given to a shelter, so be sure to watch them and help a dog!
a supplemental video:
There are more fun supplemental videos of the Pedigree spot that you can view here.
SB XLIII is bringing back some fan faves including commercials featuring E*Trade's "Talking Baby," Budweiser's Clydesdales (this time joined in the A-B stable by late-night host Conan O'Brien in an ad for Bud Light). And this year, Coke and Pepsi battle it out to prove which can create the happiest, most 'optimistic' ads.
Another spot which leaked and has fast become a favorite is this Career Builder spot:
and a fun spot for GoDaddy.com featuring Danica Patrick:
Why not have other people do the work for you?
Doritos "Crash the Superbowl" encouraged users to upload their own commercials, a rapidly growing trend. The contest is now over, and you'll see the winning spot air on the game today. The contest, which asked for user generated videos, awards the winning spot $100,000.00 and it will air during today's game.
You can view top 5 finalists at this online gallery.
We can even view ads that have been 'banned' from this years' Superbowl (rejected due to broadcast standards):
The much talked about PETA ad deemed too risqué for tv viewing:
and a behind the scenes.making of video of the Peta spot:
and the 2008 GoDaddy "Beaver" spot with Danica that didn't air:
Live Blogging and Twitter Feeds
And, of course, there will be lots of 'live' blogging'. You can even follow live tweets during the game. As of 9am west coast time this morning , the live NFL twitter feed had almost 2,500 followers.
There have been especially designed micro sites, packaging, music videos, youtube channels, ring tones, computer wallpaper, widgets, avatars and more. A virtual (literally and figuratively) superbowl blitz.
the NFL's live twitter feed
The NFL Superbowl Blog
Hilarious Superbowl Videos featuring Will Arnett for Pepsi.
Rihanna's exclusive Pepsi Superbowl Smash video can be seen here.
Adweek's superbowl site and coverage
A site that claims to be the oldest superbowl 'ads' site on the web.
And for those of you who don't like sports at all, here's a list of alternative programming for you, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly:
ABC: Wipeout Bowl I: Cheerleaders vs. Couch Potatoes (airing at halftime, and again immediately after the game): The title says it all. As do the results of an EW.com poll showing that 67 percent of our readers plan on sticking with Springsteen and The Office, which will feature guest stars Jack Black and Jessica Alba. (Twenty-four percent said they'd watch Wipeout at halftime and The Office post-game. Six percent said they'd watch Wipeout whenever possible. Only three percent said they'd watch Springsteen at halftime and Wipeout after.)
Animal Planet: Puppy Bowl V (on repeat, from 3 p.m. to 5 a.m.): Pepper the Parrot performs the anthem; kittens handle halftime, and a Chinese Crested 'Naked' dog streaks.
A&E: The Sopranos (noon until 4 a.m.)
BBC America: Doctor Who (3 p.m. to 8 p.m.)
Bravo: Law & Order: Criminal Intent (6 p.m. to 2 a.m.)
CMT: Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Daddy and Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy (2 p.m to 10 p.m.)
Discovery: MythBusters (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Jesus: The Complete Story (a three-part special, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.): I just like that juxtaposition.
DIY: Bathroom Renovations and Bathtastic! (7 a.m. to 3 a.m.)
FX: Chick flicks (Little Black Book, 2 p.m.; Maid in Manhattan, 4:30 p.m.; 13 Going on 30, 6:30 p.m.; The Devil Wears Prada, 8:30 p.m.)
Hallmark: I Love Lucy (8:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.)
Oxygen: America's Next Top Model (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.)
Sci Fi: Ghost Hunters International and Ghost Hunters (9 a.m. to 1 a.m.)
Spike: CSI (noon to 4 a.m.)
SPEED: Pimp My Ride (1 p.m. to 3 a.m.)
Style: Clean House (noon to 3 a.m.)
TBS: Chick Flicks (Clueless, 11:30 a.m.; My Best Friend's Wedding, 1:30 p.m.; Failure to Launch, 3:30 p.m.; What Women Want, 5:30 p.m.; My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 8 p.m.)
TLC: Dateline: Real Life Mysteries (1 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and sex documentaries (Forbidden Love: Polygamy, 7 p.m.; My Husbands Three Wives, 8 p.m.; Anatomy of Sex, 9 p.m.; Mother Knows Sex, 10 p.m.)
TNT: The Closer (noon to 11 p.m.)
USA: House (11 a.m. to 4 a.m.).
And, finally, last year I blogged about all the past Superbowl rings (some serious bling):
Check out the past Super Bowl bling here.