The Ad Bowl

The Super Bowl is often (OK, always) overshadowed by what transpires off the field. The game’s halftime entertainment has become an event in and of itself in recent years, and that ill-received evolution from marching bands to strip shows is having an effect on which commercials make it on the air. Indeed, Janet and Justin’s forbidden dance in ’04 inspired so much “moral outrage” advertisers (namely Budweiser and Ford) are engaging in self-censorship, voluntarily pulling their own randy ads before they have a chance to offend anyone. Of course, these attempts to keep doe-eyed Americans away from impure thoughts have only served to increase interest in the too hot for TV commercials — searches on “Budweiser commercial” are up 1,640% this week. Goodness gracious, it’s like prohibition all over again! Interest in Ford’s defunct ad featuring a defrocked priest is soaring as well. Just like the game itself, we’ll have to wait to see which surviving ads come out as winners, but from the looks of search, most armchair critics are running out of patience. Searches on “2005 Super Bowl commercials” have already surged 123%, and we’re still days away from kickoff.