So I have been thinking of the greatness of the NFL and how the Super Bowl might just be the single most brilliant marketing event ever. This year set an all time record of 111 million viewers, which beat last years record setting number by 4 million. That’s pretty impressive. But it gets better.
The Super Bowl is a truly win-win situation. It doesn’t matter if small market teams with low fan bases make the championship (like the Arizona Cardinals) or big market, popular teams do (like Green Bay and Pittsburg), the ratings are always staggering. The NBA, MLB and NHL wish they were so lucky. Everyone knows the NBA is desperate to have their marquee teams in the finals. Not only that but the NFL has put together a good enough system that most of the Super Bowls in recent years have been really good games.
Not only that, when is the last time you have heard of ANYBODY tuning into a television show just to watch the commercials? It’s crazy. The networks have to love it and the advertisers have a guaranteed audience. Many care more about the commercials then the actual game. (I’m old school, I watch for the game.) How brilliant is that?
Then there is the half-time show, which also keeps people glued to their seats. This however, is the weakest link of the Super Bowl chain. Every year top performers trot out to do their best to wow an audience, and America, all in the span of about twenty minutes. This year it was the Black Eyes Peas turn, which leads us to this question. How did they do?
The general agreement is that they under whelmed everyone. Personally I tend to agree. I thought the momentum was sluggish and the transitions were awkward. I liked the Tron theme going on down on the field, but I couldn’t exactly tell what all the shapes they were making were for. I also thought the Black Eyed Peas costumes were a little excessive. Will I Am was okay, the other black guy was okay, but Fergie looked like a Disco Road Warrior and there is no way you can keep the white guy from looking creepy no matter how hard you try.
Usher was a nice touch and is hip and cool. But what the heck was Slash doing on the field? If this were the Super Bowl from twenty years ago it would have been awesome, but alas it was not. I know it was their attempt to lure in the middle aged, rock loving white guy, but they could do better then that.
The song selections weren’t bad, I just didn’t think the arrangements really went well. “I’ve Got A Feeling” was good, but why on earth did they sing “I Had the Time of My Life?” The song is old, outdated and really killed the buzz (another attempt to lure the older crowd.) I like the Black Eyed Peas, they are fun and talented, but they just felt stiff and awkward.
Truth be told, I think the NFL asks the impossible from any artist for a halftime show. They want something electric, something rocking, something hip that will also appeal to older crowds. The give performers twenty minutes to go in and wow everyone, but give them no real time to set up momentum or create energy. There have been good shows, U2 put on the most amazing show ever, but more shows are misses then hits, which is to bad, because they do line up some really talented artist. So in a situation that is normally a win-win, this might be the one real loss excpet for the team who losses of course.
Good thing the Super Bowl is still about football right?