Super Bowl Ads
Super Bowl Sunday is a time when some people think of football.
Yes, yes, there is a scheduled game pitting two NFL teams from faded heartland towns as the noisy excuse to draw millions of pairs of eyes to Fox today.
But above all, it is a time for $uper Bowl ads, for selling stuff, any stuff, from politics to chips and -- gee, who knows? -- maybe even a Super Bowl ad or two for beer. The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend about $10 billion in and around today's single game. That used to seem like a lot of money until January 2009.
Snippets of football will be thrown into the TV mix. But according to a new poll out this weekend, more than one in three American viewers will be going to the bathroom during the athletic action.
Because they are there to watch the ads, the best part of the media extravaganza for them.
Rasmussen Reports reports that 35% of Americans overall like the commercials better than the game, which helps explain how Fox can get about $3 million for each 30-second ad.
For comparison, here's how much the national debt is increasing every second every hour every day.
Speaking of the exploding national debt, Democratic President Obama will take advantage of the gathering crowd. He will enter Bill O'Reilly's No-Spin Zone (yeah, right) for a 12-minute interview before the game.
Obama, who's been outed here as not really a Chicago Bears fan, is not dumb enough to appear to want to talk policy at such a fun time. And anyway, Obama already got his signature healthcare legislation, though now its validity is in some constitutional dispute.
O'Reilly is certain to ask something about Egypt, which is in play, though not in Dallas.
Obama won't be pitching a brand of shoes, like Kim Kardashian. That's her in the photo around here somewhere in case you hadn't noticed. (Shoes not shown)
Don't listen for Obama to say anything like: "Talk about winning, Bill, how about our country 'Winning the Future' with innovation, as I mentioned in my recent State of the State Address."
Nor: "Look how green the Dallas field is, Bill. Green like numerous clean energy programs I have proposed as part of my 'Keep on Investing for America Plan' for 2011."
But a Super Bowl appearance is a priceless opportunity for Obama or any president to sell himself as a regular guy. It's just harder for Harvard alums because they are so much smarter than others and so unsuccessful at hiding it.
And making a favorable impression on chewing Americans couldn't hurt the Democrat, given his deeply faded job approval since the early post-inaugural days and the rapidly melting 639 days remaining before American voters give him the Jimmy Carter one-term boot or extend his lease at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The president, who's hosting 100-plus guests for his own Super Bowl party, will be doing some political schmoozing there, too, as all presidents do in social gatherings. On Fox he will wisely appear to try to talk about the fun Super Bowl football day and America coming together -- to stuff its collective face and gut with all kinds of eats that First Lady Michelle Obama will not approve.
A plurality of women (49%) told Rasmussen they like the ads better than the game. But a surprisingly small 70% of prospective male watchers said they like the game itself best.
Make that 69%. Did we mention Kim Kardashian will be selling shoes during the game?
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photo: Joe Robbins / Getty Images (Doesn't every downtown have buildings like Dallas today?); Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images (Kim Kardashian will be selling shoes, not shown but who cares?).