You're in the Britney Generation: Is it our memory that's going or Pepsi's?

By Steve Burgess

How about that. For once the football game was as interesting as the commercials. Which meant that for almost four solid hours on Sunday, millions of viewers could not safely dash to the bathroom. The drawdown at approximately 10:10 p.m. EST must have made city reservoirs swirl like toilet bowls.

You can’t ignore the ads anymore. They have their own Web site. Ever since director Ridley Scott’s 1984 Macintosh spot, the commercials have been a major part of the annual Super Bowl show — a telecast that draws approximately 800 million viewers worldwide. (One survey claims that 16 percent of viewers tune in only for the commercials, and 58 percent pay more attention to the ads than to the game.) Even as endless player interviews and game prognosticators droned on through the week, particular ads were generating their own pre-telecast hype. This year’s advertisers included surprise newcomers — the White House — and surprising dropouts, like EDS, whose “Herding Cats” and “Running With the Squirrels” ads were previous Super Bowl standouts.

Receiving the most pre-game publicity was Pepsi’s Britney Spears extravaganza