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Viewers tune in for Super Bowl ads

But some Roseville residents don't care about commercials - or game
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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For some people, the Super Bowl is when that one team competes against that other team.

But for more than 100 million people around the world expected to tune in, this championship football game is a lot bigger than that. Plus, some of those people will watch for another reason: to see the high-priced commercials sprinkled throughout the broadcast.

FOX, which will air the sporting event, charged $3 million for 30 seconds of ad time, according to the Associated Press. For sports fans and advertisers, the Super Bowl represents a big deal and big payoff.

Not interested in football or commercials? The event will feature Black Eyed Peas during its halftime show. Usher and Slash, formerly of Guns N’ Roses, are also rumored to make an appearance.

But for some Roseville residents this Sunday will be like any other Sunday. Sameera Daas, for instance, will have to work a shift at It’s a Grind coffee house, which is fine with her.

“I don’t even know who’s playing,” Daas said Wednesday, as she stood behind the counter.

If she hears about any cool commercials, she might check them out on YouTube afterward, she said. But watching a Super Bowl just doesn’t rate high on her radar. She does recall one commercial, though.

“I remember a bunch of dancing babies,” Daas said. “That’s all I remember.”

She’s referring to an Evian bottled water commercial with babies wearing diapers and roller skates dancing around Central Park. The advertisement didn’t actually appear during last year’s Super Bowl. Instead, the ad debuted online and quickly became a viral sensation.

The past few decades have seen thousands of Super Bowl commercials come and go, although some have stood the test of time in viewers’ minds. They remember the 1995 Budweiser advertisement when three frogs sound out “Bud-weis-er” as they sit on lily pads.

Or, they fondly recall the 1993 McDonald’s commercial that pits Michael Jordan against Larry Bird in a shooting contest for a Big Mac and fries. They launch basketballs over billboards, through windows, over the river, off the expressway, sinking the shots with “nothing but net.”

There’s also the 2004 PepsiCo commercial that depicts Seattle in 1953 when Jimi Hendrix is 11 years old. He stops at a Pepsi vending machine to buy a soda only to look up and see a pawn shop selling electric guitars. Across the street there’s a Coca-Cola vending machine — near a store selling accordions.

Last year, Betty White drew laughs when she stopped during a muddy, tackle football game to eat a Snickers bar and replenish her energy.

Guthery Prosise of Roseville doesn’t plan to watch the Super Bowl, let alone the commercials, mainly because he doesn’t like the Green Bay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I don’t like the hype of the Super Bowl,” he said. “If it was the 49ers then I would be really interested.”

His friend Ed Matsuoka, of Rocklin, agrees. This San Francisco 49ers fan will watch the game but doesn’t care about the advertisements.

“I’m not one of them commercial fanatics,” he said.

So what to expect for commercials this time around? Fox rejected an ad by conservative comedy site JesusHatesObama.com but the station may garner some controversy with a new GoDaddy.com advertisement.

The company sparked interest and debate in recent years over its scandalous ads boasting attractive women nearly experiencing wardrobe malfunctions or preparing to undress. This year, GoDaddy promises the “hottest ads yet” featuring a Hollywood icon, according to its website.

This sort of exploitation and sexism is precisely what bothers Citrus Heights resident Jon Dumbelton, he said, as he visited friends at a coffee shop in Roseville.

“I’ve never paid any attention (to the Super Bowl),” Dumbelton said. “It’s just a cavalcade of advertisements. It’s a classic money grab that keeps us distracted from domestic and international issues.”

While our country faces real problems, the Super Bowl and its pricey advertising keep us focused instead, he said, “on buffalo wings.”

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com.

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Super Bowl XLV
Who: Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers
When: 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6
Station: FOX
Halftime show: Black Eyed Peas