Excellent news! Thanks to some generous donations from a loyal reader, I now have EVERY SUPER BOWL! That is to say, every Super Bowl that matters ad-wise, from 1985 to the present day. Because of your support, you'll now get a Super Bowl Past-Blast every year. If you want free stuff too, just spend hundreds of unpaid hours building up your own website. You can reap such occasional fruits as well! This time we're traveling to the dawn of the third millennium for one of the most unique batches of ads the Bowl has ever hosted.
|Wow, this first break is
long -- three solid minutes. It's before the kickoff, so
people wouldn't miss much, but still -- there's a lot to
absorb. A trailer for Pitch Black, something
about talking dolphins driving a car, a man sitting in an
airport...and Shaq's opinions on Mickey Mouse. I'm
inclined to believe these were scripted opinions
because...does anyone really HAVE an opinion on Mickey
These were the latter Eisner years when Disney would make a bunch of quick cheap stuff, then point their finger at you and order you to like it as much as Snow White. I really couldn't stand the company in those days. Compare this strategy with Bob Iger's..."if people don't care about Mickey anymore, instead of making a bunch of ads where celebrities claim he's relevant...how about we actually make some Mickey cartoons that are good?" Leagues better.
2000 was the peak of Tony Hawk mania...."maybe if we compare Tony Hawk to our take on Tarzan, people will think Tony Hawk = Tarzan." In a sense, they eventually got what they wanted....today, Tony Hawk and Disney's Tarzan are equally as popular as each other.
|Ha ha, Tara Lipinski is knitting in a
retirement home and she looks like she's around eight
years old. Charles Schwab's gag is a decent one, if a bit
dated now. Lipinski did not retire after all, she just
switched vocations. As anyone who watches the Olympics
knows, she met the flamboyant Johnny Weir and they became
Ah, I was wrong about the New Yorker Pizza....it lasted at least one year. And they were giving away CDs! Through the Internet! At the dawn of the nationwide switch to MP3 files! Oh, you guys.
This Pepsi ad would be the single most repeated ad from this Bowl. It aired repeatedly on every show for the next few months. If you were around in 2000, you permanently associate "Rock The Boat" with people sitting in a swaying cafeteria drinking each other's soda cans without knowing it.
|The break between the coin flip and the kickoff was only long enough for one ad. It stars some guy who knows a lot of words that rhyme with "lation" and sounds kinda like Wakko from Animaniacs.|
|Imagine having a snake in your pants
and the only source of information as to what to do about
it being a Motorola with a tiny text screen. What a
nightmare. How'd we ever survive back then?
I very much enjoyed the ad that appeared before it (the first one that appears here). I didn't remember it airing, and I'm going to say nothing about it or what it's selling, because it's best viewed cold.
|Here's another soft drink ad that got
a lot of play after the Big Game was over. The 60 second
version, however, was exclusive to the Bowl.
After that....well, what can you say? Eddie Murphy's career was pretty much in the toilet.
|What I was alluding to earlier in the
article by "unique" was this: Super Bowl 34
occurred right at the peak of the dot-com bubble, meaning
dozens of start-ups were lining up to blow their entire
advertising budget on a Super Bowl spot. Some of those
dot-com businesses lasted to this day, others didn't.
WebMD is still around, and judging solely by the ad they
chose to represent themselves, I have no idea why. This
may be the worst ad of the game. A boxer breathes heavily
into your face for thirty seconds -- that sells the
website. Except it doesn't.
For how badly Titan AE performed at the cinemas, you'd be forgiven for not knowing Fox spent a good effort trying to promote it. The first promo for the film appeared in front of The Phantom Menace and the next time they mentioned the movie was during the Super Bowl. It may have been a risky picture, but they wanted you to know it existed.
|Number of ads so far targeting big
business investors: 4
Number of ads so far involving jungle cats in some way: 2
So far if you don't have at least one million dollars and you don't like cats, the Super Bowl has nothing to offer you. The middle ad, however, is the one most remembered from this batch. The price of a 30-second spot had crossed the two million mark, and ETrade kind of made it the punchline. The monkey would star in two more Super Bowl spots of theirs.
|Number of ads so far targeting big
business investors: 5
Nuveen thought they had something hot here by digitally making Reeve walk. They blew it by leaking the clip to the news a few days before it aired. And talk about your false promises.
|You know the truly miraculous thing? It's 2000 and none of these ads have used "All-Star" yet. That award went to ABC themselves!|
|Budweiser just isn't bringing it in
Year Zero. This dog ad is a lot worse than their previous
dog ad; you know what the "sad moment" is going
to be; it's too predictable to be funny.
As for this Oldsmobile ad, I'm just baffled by it.
|The next customer who bought a Super
Bowl ad was none other than the federal government. A new
decade had just begun, which meant it was Census Time. A
national ad campaign was launched in an effort to
convince people to take it. It makes me wonder how many
people will choose to fill out the Census in an age of
misinformation and government paranoia. Guess we're about
to find out!
Despite the number of gadgets introduced during this Bowl that weakly connect to the Web, the stereotype "only nerds use the Internet" was still a thing. Hence this ad for some kind of device that lets you surf the Net without a computer (WOOOOOW MIND BLOWN) and to illustrate how common Internet access will be, they've fitted every type of American in thick taped-up glasses. Hnurk hnurk, got any cheeeeeese?
To be honest here....I really miss the days when the Internet was predominantly nerdy. It seemed far more tolerable back then. I've noticed most modern technology seems to take these steps:
First nerds get into it
|Oh yeah, I forgot. Speaking of
annoying things. Yes, this was the year that aired.
I don't blame you if you choose to skip the first thirty
seconds of this.
But when you do, you'll probably land directly on a frame displaying somebody's gigantic butt, because the ad following it was 7Up's edgy "Show Us Your Can" spot. Fair warning.
|There's an unexpected ad heralding the
Oxygen cable network in this. As the ad suggests, it was
targeted at women. And it stuck to its original purpose
for quite a long time, until recently. Now like every
other network that doesn't know what to do with itself,
it just airs dry procedural reruns.
And then we finally have a spot for an expired dot-com business that blew all its cash on the Super Bowl! I honestly thought there were far more of these. I picked this year because I thought we'd be drowning in them! Turns out some of their ads ran during the pre- and post-game show, and don't technically count.
|FedEx gets my vote for 2000 Super Bowl
MVP. Unlike all those ads with dogs craving beer, I
couldn't guess where this spot was going until it got
there. The punchline genuinely took me by surprise and
got me to laugh. So far no one else has accomplished
that, so...take your trophy, FedEx!
You may have noticed by now ABC's been heavily lampshading the fact that Regis Philbin is all over their schedule....or rather, his game show is. The network overcooked Millionaire and sent it to an early grave, but here...they seem to be aware of how ridiculous and unsustainable that scheduling was. Then why did they do it?
|For the first five hours this page was published, I made the claim that the Pets.com ad, one of the most cited ads from this year of the Super Bowl, did not actually air during the game. I didn't see it there. But Wikipedia said it aired, so I inspected the recording more thoroughly...and found out I somehow skipped over an ad break. Sure enough, that's where the sock puppet was hiding. Sorry for the brief misinformation, gang. In case you ever wondered why some of these videos have the numbering scheme they do, this is why.
One thing I did NOT see was ABC's promo for Clerks: The Animated Series, which some people have asked about. It's possible the affiliate papered over that spot with a local ad. I remember it airing in Portland.
|The fact that an anti-smoking PSA is in the Super Bowl isn't unusual. The fact that it was bought and paid for by Philip Morris is. As you might expect, the "charity gesture" didn't go over well. Notice how the reasons the kids have for not smoking are....kinda vague. They don't smoke because...they simply don't want to, not out of any health concerns. It glosses over the danger to the point that there has to be a Surgeon General's Warning on the ad.|
|Halftime was a Walt Disney World
commercial featuring Phil Collins. A good time to drive
to the store and restock your supply of chips.
But when the game came back, we got the legendary Mountain Dew "Bohemian Rhapsody" spot. Enjoy the full version!
|The annual Budweiser Clydesdales appearance, followed by another dot-com business (Britannica.com) that tried the strategy of going completely silent. It might've worked better if it was placed against one of the louder spots this year, but it had to follow a sleepy horse ad.|
|This, dear friends, is the 2000 flop Mission
to Mars. It's like Prometheus, only worse.
When an ad began with beauty pageant contestants tackling and punching each other I thought "this HAS to be a dot-com business." Instead it was World Wrestling making a second Super Bowl attempt. The wait is excruciating; where are all you guys?
|Now we get to Bill
Clinton's favorite Super Bowl ad (not a joke, it's his
favorite), the Cat Herders. It was one of the undisputed
hits of that year's game, knocking Chris Reeve off his
artificial legs. Despite the buzz, no one could figure
out what it was selling. The cats stuck in people's
minds, but you had a good memory if you could recall the
initials "EDS" at the end. According to the ad,
what EDS does is kind of like this....only it's not this.
I still don't know what they were for either.
The less said about a turtle falling in love with a phone, the better. I don't get it.
|It's interesting that some of the more viral Super Bowl ads that year premiered in the back half. That usually doesn't happen as commercial overload and fatigue set in. Here's the phrase everybody was repeating the morning after: "He's got money out the wazoo!"|
|Now we're getting to what I came for. The fourth quarter was sponsored by several dot-commers, and their ads are the only evidence of completely failed business ventures. The creepily-named "Epidemic.com" offered to pay you to spam your friends' inboxes. It's a good thing the collapse crushed some of these.|
|This next spot boldly proclaims it's "THE WORST SPOT ON THE SUPER BOWL!" ETrade already beat them to the joke and WebMD already beat them to the worst ad. What have they got left? Their concept, which was "We send highly personalized E-mails on topics you ask for, for free!" Pft, good luck, "Lifeminders.com."|
|This break is mostly a snore, except for the M&M spot. They came in late.|
|Finally, we have.....Computer.com.
It's not redundant -- "com" is short for
"commercial purposes," not
"computer." But still. It looks bland and the
ad doesn't help that perception.
Before that we have a Designated Driver appeal with Wayne Gretzky...and we got the title card for this one by accident! Nice!
Another thing we got...was THE FRIGGIN' WEBMD SPOT A SECOND TIME. I've clipped it out of the video.
Now that I have access to EVERY
Super Bowl....which year would you like to see covered next time?
Sound off in the forums, and if you behave yourselves, I'll consider the most popular request.
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