Super Bowl XL, pregame show

Super_bowl_xl_logo_5_1  6:25 p.m.
  The Seahawks won the coin toss. We have absolutely no historical data on hand that would indicate what this might mean for their chances of winning the game.
  6:22 p.m.
  AT&T. Special effects make the world look transparent. This campaign has gotten quite a bit of flack. Our friend Barbara Lippert wrote that “obviously the goal wasn’t to be revolutionary, but rather to remind us that the brand is still here, familiar and approachable.” The wow here comes from the special effects, not the creative idea. Bonus link: Will people miss the old AT&T logo?
  6:19 p.m.
  PIZZA HUT. Leaving aside the whole issue of whether pizza crust can’t just be pizza crust (do we need constant crust innovations?), this commercial is fun, and Jessica looks great. The other way to go would have been to have her wash a car while eating Cheesy Bites. But the Cheesy Bites would’ve gotten all soggy, probably. Also, is anyone concerned that using Miss Piggy in commercials can connect them to obesity? Bonus link: Jessica’s official Web site.
  6:11 p.m.
  There’s a lot of bad driving in the Full Throttle ad, not just by the Full Throttle driver. It’s hilarious when he forces the Red Bull car off the road. I see that silly Red Bull car in New York all the time. This spot is a celebration of trucking, really. Trucks are about power and force. And the Red Bull guy actually isn’t really forced off the road. It’s more like he’s encouraged to get off the road. The Monster spot with the out-of-control truck was more worthy of complaints. Let’s hope the majority of truckers enjoyed the Full Throttle spot.
  That introduction of all the old Super Bowl MVPs wasn’t a great ad for professional football. They’re all limping.
  6:03 P.M.
  First we’re getting a bunch of Full Throttle teasers, which are effective enough. "Prepare to be initiated" is the line ending these teasers. OK, we’re prepared. The ABC announcer just said the Full Throttle tagline, "16 ounces of raw," which is a little bizarre.
  5:55 p.m.
  It’s now the Full Throttle Energy Drink Kickoff Show, so I guess we’ll be soon be seeing the ad that the truckers have been complaining about.
  5:42 p.m.
  Stevie Wonder is being introduced now. Detroit-born, yet he gets stuck performing an hour before game time. I have to say, though, despite Bob Garfield’s opinion, that the Rolling Stones are just about the perfect halftime performers imaginable.
  VNU Research Fun Fact No. 1: Pittsburgh is the No. 1 local market for loyal NFL fans—64 percent of Pittsburgh consumers say they are “very interested” or somewhat interested in the NFL. Only 39 percent of Seattle consumers say the same.
  It appears to be the RadioShack pregame show. Which is a tad confusing, since the face of RadioShack is Howie Long, a broadcaster for Fox, yet this is ABC. I’m just saying.
  5:21 p.m.
  There’s the thorny issue right now just when the Super Bowl ads begin. Who knows? There’s certainly a lot of pregame stuff, although I suppose the first real big Super Bowl commercial is the first one after kickoff.
  As a side note, I’m watching at my friends Rod and Gretchen’s apartment on 28th and Park in New York. They have a great view of the Empire State Building, done up tonight in red, white and blue. They also have an amazing plasma HD television. I haven’t watched a lot of HD. I think it was Amy Poehler who said, at last year’s upfront, that HD is so clear that you can see Matt LeBlanc’s panic. You really can see almost every blade of grass. Also every pore and blemish on the broadcasters. John Madden looks like he has a lot of makeup on.

—Posted by Tim Nudd