Bowl me over and deflate me

Super? We’ll just see about that …

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in a cave far from any modern communications technology, then you know that this weekend is supposed to be “Super.” That major media event built around America’s gladiator sport, known around the universe as Super Bowl XLIX, finally takes place after weeks of hype and buildup. One can hope that the actual game will be worthy of the media circus.

If you have been following the buzz, then you know that the biggest story of the weekend, aside from Tom Brady’s deflated balls, is the GoDaddy Super Bowl commercial. The commercial won’t be aired during the game, but it has been viewed by millions online – probably more than would have barely seen it peripherally during the actual broadcast. So… what was the amazing marketing strategy that got GoDaddy all this extra attention for a commercial that won’t even air?

A puppy.

The story involves a puppy named Buddy that falls out of the back of a pickup truck and spends most of the rest of the commercial trying to get back home. After a long trek through miles of terrain and a rainstorm that soaks the poor little puppy (he looks so sad), Buddy finally makes it back to the barn he calls home – just in time to be shipped out to his new owner. Buddy’s human owners, you see, operate a puppy mill and used the services of GoDaddy to create their puppy brokerage website. The last the viewer sees of Buddy is the puppy delivery van door closing as Danica Patrick drives him away.

Animal lovers nationwide were incensed. Dog lovers in North Korea licked their chops. (Just kidding!) An outcry was heard, a veritable puppy uproar, and GoDaddy did the only thing it could do: apologize profusely, vow not to air the commercial during the game, and make sure it was posted online as the biggest Super Bowl media event unfolded. What a marketing coup! More people will see the commercial than otherwise would have, and GoDaddy got so much publicity – and as they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

So between that and the unfolding non-story that is Deflate-gate, we’re going into the Big Game with an underwhelming appreciation of the teams and players who will be putting their bodies out there to be tackled and blocked and bruised and bloodied so that corporations can make untold millions. (The players and coaches do all right as well.) Will Russell Wilson have a better game than his last one, or will it just not matter? Can the Seahawks defense stop Tom Brady and the Patriots offense? Will the running game of both teams play a crucial role in the outcome of the contest? Will either team’s defense stifle the offense of their opponent? Or will people be more preoccupied with things like Marshawn Lynch’s press conferences and banned golden shoes? And puppy commercials that don’t even air?

One thing that has slipped under the media’s collective radar is the Super Bowl Roman numeral controversy. There are rumors that the NFL may soon abandon the Roman numerals that number Super Bowls in favor of just using regular numerals. If they’re really going to make that move, they should have done it prior to a year where the numerator suggests a laxative or hooking up with a former spouse (XLIX = Ex Licks or Ex Lix).

And maybe – just maybe – the NFL will find some pigskin Viagra so that the Super Bowl balls won’t deflate.

  • • • • •

This Sunday, Josh Mothner, Jason Long, Neil Angiulo, and yours truly will do our final Monday Nite Madness pregame show live from Sparky’s Landing right before the Big Game. Stop on by for a whole lot of fun and a chance to win some cool prizes – starting after 4 p.m. and going until 6 p.m. See you there!

 

John Bartus is a singer/songwriter and the former Mayor of the City of Marathon. Currently serving on the Board of the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce, John is President of the Rotary Club of Marathon. John performs live Thursdays at Sparky’s Landing, this Saturday at the Key Colony Inn, and next Wednesday at Nowhere Bar & Grill. The entire January performance schedule can be seen at: www.johnbartus.com

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