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Superb Owl spots commentary

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Mark Suszko
Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 2, 2015 at 5:17:33 am

Super Spots 2015 review

Pregame:

I enjoyed John Legend on the piano, but thought the Anthem was over-done as usual.

The Chevy pickup truck campaign: #trying WAY 2 hard 2 over-compensate


1st Quarter:

McDonald’s new “Loving it” campaign: seems a hard concept to get across; less like “pay it forward” and more like: “do stunts to get your food. Dance! Dance, monkey!”.

e-surance Lindsey Lohan: *kind* of funny, but the one that happens later, with Bryan Cranston in character as Mr. White/Heisenberg, works much better, I think, because he’s playing a fictional character, and the point of the spot was imitations of reality.

Amy Purdy, differently-abled athlete for .... Camry? I was engrossed until the car enters the story, but they didn’t really connect the two things.

Boston Tea Party vs. turbotax.... It looked like they spent a lot of money to get the look, but I frankly found it a tad offensive... maybe because I’ve been watching the History Channel series on the AMerican Revolution?:-)

BMW 1-3. Katy Couric reminds me how much I always was annoyed by Bryant Gumble. Also, selling an expensive car only rich people can afford, it makes no sense to paint older boomers as so dumb and out of touch.


Best Spot of the night: Snickers Brady Bunch with Danny Trejo and the inspired casting of, and performance by, Steve Buschemi, who BECOMES Jan Brady. You magnificent bastards.


2nd quarter:
Skittles settle it the regular way- arm wrestling. Not bad.
Kim Kardashian as Sally Struthers for lost phone pics - amusing, and at least she can laugh at herself. But do you recall it was for a particular phone service?

One of the top spots of the night: the Budweiser “500 miles” puppy reunited with the horses. This doesn’t sell beer, what it does is try to make you think fine thoughts when you see the bud name, assuming you then buy their beer.

Invisible Mindy Kaling: Not bad, but thought it was a TV or movie promo until the reveal.

Coke heals the angry internet: kind of okay, but should have used more powerful memes to fight.

Avocados from mexico, in the first Draft ever.. elaborate silliness, I enjoyed this.

Men Care “daddy” for Dove - will moisten your eyeballs if you’re a parent. Well executed.

Empty center seat on airplane for Doritos. Meh, okay, but telegraphs the punchline.

Nationwide prevent child accidents- this was well- executed but a downer overall.

Weight Watcher’s montage spot was really powerful. showing you how you’ve been brainwashed by marketing to over-eat and eat bad things. This should play around New year’s Resolution time too. It made me put down the guacamole dip.

Weathertech floor mats, made just outside of Chicago, pretty impressive looking.

Fiat eats a viagra, becomes a crossover... that joke is too old now.

Go Daddy spot without objectified women, praising instead the noble entrepreneur’s startup sacrifices. Which you will never remember after today.

Hysterical promo of The Black List, singing “I gotta be me” while lead character rambles thru armageddon all around. Captures the essence of the show’s appeal. Spader.

Jeff Bridges, on peyote, with a buddhist singing bowl. WTF award runner-up

911 Pizza call PSA about domestic violence: Shocking but based on a true story, really hits hard.

American Family insurance brings Hopper’s “Nighthawks at the Diner” to life... looks lovely, and I love the painting... but I don’t think the spot will deliver them any business.

Being a Dad/ Camry: these spots work better if you get to see all of them in one sitting, like the Bowl game. This one hits all the emotional notes. The racing theme had me wondering though, if the mom and dad had divorced and the dad was now there to take custody of the son since he's old enough to go on the road.

Half-Time Show:

It might be that I’m not wired for Surround at home, but it was hard to hear Katy’s lead vocals over too much ambience. It ruined the event for me, though some of the effects with projections on the flooring and the illuminated spheres were quite striking, as was the crane move with her "flying " on a star.

3rd quarter:

Always feminine hygiene products “(do sports) like a girl”. Wonderful message, powerfully promoted. Obvious, but with all the misogyny in the world today, still necessary.

Pete Rose in his own Hall for Sketchers.... I LOL’d.

“Thunderdome” promo for NBC’s’The Voice” - WOW, well over the top. And that was just the effects for Levine’s hair! Still, maybe more entertaining than the actual show.

Liam Neeson for Clash Of Clans online game. Funny and I like that he’s able to laugh at himself, but also conforms for me the notion Liam will take literally any role you offer.

Lexus RC cars.... This was confusing though the video effects and stunt driving were amazing. Are they selling your kids toy Lexus RC models?

Dodge at 100... This was neat because it was so different a direction for car marketing than the focus on youth... though, all those centenarians made me expect the spot would be for Buick:-) (Buick: the Official Car of Farmers Market Accidents)

Right after this spot, NBC did a little “stats animation package”, and I happened to notice they used a “cityscape” template from Apple Motion 4, almost un-modified.

Pierce Brosnan “the pitch” for Kia. Well-developed and executed parody, but I never once looked at the car.

Sara Silverman for T Mobile. Funny one-upmanship spot, and not a single naughty word.

Budweiser MACRO-BREW anti- IPA/ microbrew trend macho spot. Meant to be tongue in cheek but comes off as insecure and petulant.

This land is your land... by Jeep. Lovely location footage, but I thought it was for Land Rover because of the international locations used.


4th quarter:

God’s Phone battery runs down: neat, but the product name doesn’t “stick”

Locktite Jamaican glue jingle. I loved how random and down-market in appearance this was. This one is going to stick around over time. (ducks)


Bud light “whatever” Life size pac man: I never once believed this was random or unscripted.

Tortoise and Hare Mercedes. Looks like a lot of money was spent, but it never moved my needle.

Doritos When Pigs Fly. Why was this not a quadcopter drone parody!?!?!?!?!

Farve makes a web site on WIX: It took me half the spot to remember Brett. The concept was amusing though: web sites built by retired jocks, etc.


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Nick Griffin
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 2, 2015 at 1:08:27 pm

Brian Cranston's "Say my name" for Esurance was the best spot for me because it was one of the very few complete surprises. Then again, as Stephen Colbert once said, "A new study has shown that over 80% of its users do not become addicted to meth. The same can't be said for viewers of Breaking Bad."


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Todd Terry
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 2, 2015 at 3:57:34 pm

I mostly agree with Mark and Nick....

I'll just hit the high spots of the ones I did like....


Budweiser "puppy" was oh so sappy and manipulative. And dang, it worked.

Dove "Dads"... beautifully done.

Nationwide Kid Accidents... I hate to like this because it was such a downer, but so well cast, well produced, and so so SO beautifully written that I have to give it kudos.

Always "Girls" spot. So well done, right on the money.

Cranston for Esurance... perfect. But then again, he always is.

Liam Neeson for Clash of Clans made me laugh. I just think it's a crying shame the writers didn't work in "Quickly! There's no time! Quickly!"

Dodge at 100... Brilliant. Amazing cast, stunning portrait photography.

Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler for T-Mobile. Excellent. Love the trophy room.

Budweiser Macro-brew. I'll give Bud props on this one... basically saying "We know we're crap beer, but we are gonna own that." It was a great looking spot.


And the hands-down winner for me, Danny Trejo as Marsha Brady for Snickers. I'm surprised that I like a spot that was part of such an old campaign so well, but so so well done. BUT... like some of the other spots, I saw (and loved) this commercial almost a week ago online (including a "making of" that is worth watching). I understand the reasoning behind these pre-releases, but man it sure kills the fun and spontaneity of it all. I would have enjoyed it even more if last night was the first viewing, and a complete surprise. And just when I think I couldn't possibly like Steve Buscemi more than I already do....


That's my quick quick roundup.....

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Todd Terry
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 2, 2015 at 4:03:32 pm

By the way, here's the Snickers behind the scenes....








T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 2, 2015 at 4:36:02 pm

Did they get Florence Henderson to re-record her lines, or was that audio a paste-up job?


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Todd Terry
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 2, 2015 at 4:42:00 pm

I wondered the same. There was some discussion and speculation about that, but I never heard a definitive answer as to whether they did or not.

Seems to me the easiest way would have been to get Florence to record it... but people don't always go for easy.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Bill Davis
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 3, 2015 at 6:26:55 pm

First, HURRAY for a good game. That's the number one thing after so many blowouts over the years.

Second. I'm sorry, but I came away wondering whether there was an executive creative retreat last year when some exec announced that "noble disabled folk sans legs on high tech blades" would be THE thing this year. After spot #3 featuring that concept - I fell into "I'm just being manipulated" mode.

Same with the big Bud spot appearance of the wolf. A literal big bad wolf to threaten the golden puppy? I know it's really, really hard to inspire emotion in spot lengths, but a last second slavering WOLF? really? I actually thought the wolf positive folks were working hard to rehab the wolf image as a species?. Now they're evil personified. Oh well.

As much as I hate insurance companies as a general class of business, I thought Nationwide overall had the best spots.

But that's just me.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Nick Griffin
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 2, 2015 at 9:46:55 pm

[Mark Suszko] "It might be that I’m not wired for Surround at home, but it was hard to hear Katy’s lead vocals over too much ambience."

We are wired with surround sound and you didn't miss a thing, Mark. When I commented that Katy's mic was too low in the mix my 20 year old daughter pointed out, in her humble opinion, that was a deliberate decision. SuperBowl half time shows are always WAAAAY over the top, trying to cram WAAAAY to much into the allotted time. The was certainly no exception.

If there was one major theme throughout too many of the spots it was sentimentality. Too much just minimizes it's effectiveness everywhere.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 2, 2015 at 10:00:23 pm

There was a kind of error I thought, at the end of the riding the lion bit, when the camera zoomed in to get tight on Kayty, and it cropped out the thing we were all waiting to see; the damn giant robot lion ROARING, with Kayty in the shot. By the time the director could cut away to a wider shot to show it, it was mostly over.

I can't say just exactly why, it may be something subliminal, but I think I prefer FOX's Superbowl camera coverage and direction, over NBC's.


If anybody has a good link to tech details of the staging and lighting/ projection for the halftime show, I'd appreciate the tip. The chess piece dance was almost vertigo-inducing, in a GOOD way.


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walter biscardi
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 2, 2015 at 10:03:25 pm

[Mark Suszko] "If anybody has a good link to tech details of the staging and lighting/ projection for the halftime show, I'd appreciate the tip. The chess piece dance was almost vertigo-inducing, in a GOOD way.
"


Here's the website of Super Bowl Productions that puts on the show each year.

http://www.superbowlproductions.com

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Todd Terry
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 2, 2015 at 10:23:26 pm

[Mark Suszko] "I can't say just exactly why, it may be something subliminal, but I think I prefer FOX's Superbowl camera coverage and direction, over NBC's."

I don't know if anyone else did, but I found the general game broadcast to be very subdued compared to years' past... especially other networks. Not that I'm saying I missed it, but there was general no whiz-bang element to the broadcast. Aside from some floating bumper graphics that they placed on the field, there were just no "bam!" technicalities that I saw. From a technical and visual standpoint, it could have been any given game on any given Sunday or Monday.

We all take it for granted now, but sometimes I have to remind myself how good the technology from Sportvision is, with the what-is-now-ubiquitous electronic lines on the field. They really do flawless work. What I did try to notice particularly was whether there were ever any issues with Seahawks uniforms, especially the green shoes that some of their players wear. I never saw even the tiniest bit of tearing or bad compositing caused by them.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Nick Griffin
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 2, 2015 at 11:10:56 pm

[Mark Suszko] "I can't say just exactly why, it may be something subliminal, but I think I prefer FOX's Superbowl camera coverage and direction, over NBC's."

Personally I think that, in tech terms, CBS does the best job. Fox seems to miss some first downs because the commercial breaks are too long.

As to NBC's tech- one of the trade magazines, I believe Broadcasting & Cable, said that they were using 46 (forty-six!) 4k cameras for the broadcast. Now why, would you ask, would they shoot in 4K when there presently is no way to broadcast 4k? My best guess is that the cameramen framed up HD in the middle of their viewfinders for the live stuff and, I believe I saw a few instances where, in a playback, the TD or playback operator slid to another portion of the 4k frame to show action that was otherwise missed. But this is just speculation and perhaps someone who was involved could chime in.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 4, 2015 at 12:28:26 am

This facebook page shows a time lapse of the halftime show setup and strike... quite neat

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153156797319924&fref=nf


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Matt Hall
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 4, 2015 at 5:35:11 pm

Here's a link to the making of the halftime show...

http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/meet-the-team-behind-katy-perrys-ha...


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Mark Suszko
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 4, 2015 at 7:18:00 pm

Thanks, Matt, cool link.

I have to say, when Perry came out on the giant lion, I was hoping for 4 more to come out and form Voltron:-P

Ironically, the thing most people on media seem to be talking about regarding the half time show was one out-of-synch shark dancer, and not the overall spectacle. Fickle, fickle public.


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Todd Terry
Re: Superb Owl spots commentary
on Feb 6, 2015 at 4:07:40 pm

One thing that I meant to mention but completely forgot until now... maybe this thread is still being watched....

The game itself was seen at 60i, obviously.

BUT the halftime show was either at 24p or 30p... I couldn't tell exactly without recording and counting frames, but it definitely wasn't 60i (although it probably appeared that way to my dad and countless others who watch TV with that gawd-awful high-refresh-rate frame/field interpolation turned on).

Love it? Hate it? Was that to add drama or make the show seem more "upscale"?

I'm as big a fan of 24p as they come... I produce virtually everything we do at 24p. I can't even remember the last time that I chose to do something at 60i.

BUT, I think 60i has its place, and that's for live events. I think a live event should look live, and 24p or 60p doesn't look live.

There was something of a backlash years ago when some soap operas (sorry, I meant daytime dramas) tried 24p... many viewers didn't like it and most went back to 60i (although I think some 24p still lingers).

These days we also see a lot of progressive shows that used to be interlaced (I'm guessing 30p... they don't look quite like 24p)... everything from "Hollywood Game Night" to "Jeopardy." Sorry, but to me Jeopardy should be 60i.

Does this bug anyone else?

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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