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6 Things I Learned From Watching Commercials During the NFL Playoffs

Date January 12, 2012
6 Things I Learned From Watching Commercials During the NFL Playoffs

In an era where commercials are fast-forwarded more often than previews before a movie boots up on a DVD, there is a time and a place where commercials are actually watched: Live sporting events. This weekend I watched every second of football in real time and thus watched every commercial break. Here's what I learned:

The Subway ad execs watch How I Met Your Mother.

During the HIMYM episode "How I Met Everyone Else," Ted explains to his kids that he met Marshall in his dorm room after he was "eating a sandwich." Ted didn't want to tell his kids they were smoking pot so a "sandwich" is put in it's place. This has been a recurring gag throughout the series now. This brings us to the Subway ad:

The spot begins with Michael Phelps at a house party and he is eating (smoking) an outrageously long sandwich (bong). Our buddy Jared, from Subway, informs Phelps that that sandwich (again, bong) is for everyone and he should pass it around. Phelps acknowledges this and then continues to smoke, eer, eat the sandwich.

Even if this isn't an inside joke with Phelps involved it feels like a How I met Your Mother outtake and I love it.

The Firm will be overacted and terrible.

NBC's The Firm is being called an event. Seriously, NBC? Just retire the word "Event" for a few more years. Don't even call this year's Super Bowl an event. The stink from last year's flop, The Event is still too fresh in our minds. Anyway, the spots for this show are just awful. From the Tom Cruise wannabe running in a fountain to his face when someone is shot right next to him (please Internet, make a gif of his face!). It feels tired. You know what else feels tired? The Inception horn throughout these promos. So about the show, are we to expect this lawyer to be running around D.C. week after week running for his life? Wouldn't that be a bit odd? Not to mention stupid? He's a lawyer, not Jack Bauer! Also, they want us to root for a lawyer. Good luck.

Are You There, Chelsea? doesn't have a good wig department.

The spot starts with Chelsea Handler and the girl from That '70s Show talking to the audience and then cuts to a clip of the show. Ummm, wait a second. In the show Handler has a terrible black wig on, yet when she's talking to us with her regular/normal blonde hair. What the what? Why is that happening exactly? Did NBC think the audience wouldn't be able to figure out which blonde is which? If that's the case why not ask Handler to put the wig back on for the spots? Also, pairing Are You There, Chelsea? with Whitney on most of these ads isn't helping. It's hurting the show's chances. Instead of bringing in Whitney's fan base they're actually bringing in Whitney's strong critics against the show and will now attack Chelsea by association. It's too bad the Sheinhardt Wig Company is only a fictional company on 30 Rock.

Jack Bauer is back and he's pissed his kid can't talk.

Kiefer Sutherland is back on Fox with a show called Touch. It looks like Sutherland is just a regular dad with a kid who has never spoken a word in his life. Normal. Except the kid is leaving his dad clues that something is going to happen on 3/18 (This show better air an episode on March 18 or that would be awkward). Also, what happens after March 18? What does this show do for May sweeps? Another vision from the kid? Is he like a Doomsday lottery ball dispenser or something? Damn it!

I love any commercial that has Eli Manning "acting."

This might not air in most of the states outside of the NY Tri-state area but Eli Manning's Toyota commercials are a riot. Especially this "Flag Football" ad. Not because it's well done, but because it's fun to see little Eli "acting." He's so bad at it, but you forgive him because he's doing his best. He's like a kid out there. Maybe I'm biased because Eli is the quarterback for the team I root for, but it's always funny to see. Look at his face when he goes to pull that trophy away. Classic.

I wonder what Don Draper thinks of the Jets Pepsi Max and the Aaron Rodgers State Farm ads?

Whose the ad wizard that came up with this one? I would love to hear what Don Draper would say after watching the husky cheesehead outside the State Farm office doing the "Discount Double Check" move. I wonder if the cigarette would fall out of his mouth after he watches the NY Jets Pepsi Max spot. Poor Pepsi Max. They bet on the wrong horse and they have to ride the Jets all the way through the playoffs. They should just put up a title card that says, "This is where the Jets Pepsi Max spot would be, but we figure we'd give you a break. Please buy some Pepsi Max." I'd salute them and even pick up some of their product. Instead I laugh at their spot and will never purchase their soda.

I really want to know what Don Draper thinks of these spots. I guess what I learned about this is that Mad Men can not come back fast enough! Thankfully the wait won't be for too much longer! Anyway, I'll sit through these dumb commercials because this NFL postseason is the best show on television right now. Until March 25 that is.

 

Follow Kris LoPresto on Twitter: www.twitter.com/krislopresto

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