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Superbowl Tech Ads, 1976–Present

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the why-don't-you-try-readin'-the-rules-shankopotamus dept.

Businesses 70

Ian Lamont writes "Computerworld has put together a collection of interesting, funny, and just plain weird Superbowl television advertisements from tech companies — excluding Internet retailers. Everyone has seen the Macintosh ad that played during the 1984 Superbowl, but there are a bunch of other gems, starting with a long-winded ad for the Xerox 9200 from 1976. The funniest is probably EDS's 'herding cats' ad from 2000, but there are some oddities, too, including a bizarre ad for Network Associates depicting a Russian nuclear missile launch, and a very dated ad for Sharp from the mid-1980s. Intel has one ad in the collection from 1997, and it turns out that it is returning with two ads this year that it says feature 'geek humor.'"

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Disable Advertising? (5, Funny)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31052638)

I suppose TFA consists of blank pages if I check the disable advertising box?

Re:Disable Advertising? (2, Informative)

el3mentary (1349033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31052662)

This site is just a ploy to get me to turn off AdBlocker...

Re:Disable Advertising? (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 4 years ago | (#31054388)

Except it works fine with AdBlock Plus enabled.

Re:Disable Advertising? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31055842)

Watching the Super Bowl for the commercials is just about the most womanish thing a person can do that does not involve performing fellatio on a man.

EDS Ad (4, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31052672)

That EDS ad was pretty funny until you realized that YOU were the cats. Without EDS to "herd" those aimless technical staffers why where would your company be? Thank goodness HP bought them.

Re:EDS Ad (2, Interesting)

icebrain (944107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053392)

I really liked their "building airplanes in mid-air" commercial, but then, I'm an aerospace engineer and built an airplane in my garage.

What happens during the ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31052766)

I'm in the UK and was thinking of watching this curious game tonight on the BBC, which alas means I'll miss out on what may be the best part of the show. During these precious minutes, will I just be twiddling my thumbs and such or will there be something to look at as compensation?

Re:What happens during the ads? (1, Troll)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31052854)

You could skip the boring part of the show and watch the only the ads later in internet. Internet is just a better media for that for ads and related things (at least you can click over spam links)

Re:What happens during the ads? (0, Troll)

Grimnir512 (1449641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31052872)

O_o Why is this modded flamebait? I remember them saying this morning on Breakfast that they'll be returning to the studio and talking when the commercials are on.

Usually a couple days after the game... (3, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053084)

Usually a couple days after the game, a page with all Super Bowl ads will be online and you should be able to watch them all.

Re:What happens during the ads? (4, Informative)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31054876)

You would be twiddling your thumbs most of the time even if you were watching it in the US, because there are only 11 minutes of actual play time [wsj.com] in a 3 hour long game. That is why the ads are the centrepiece of the show.

11 minutes (2)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057944)

During a baseball game the bat is in contact with the ball for only 7.3 seconds. And a two-hour movie has only 18 minutes of dialogue if you remove all the pauses. And a four-hour drive has only 5 minute of actual turns. And during an eight-hour workday a key on your keyboard is depressed for only 19 minutes.

You have to have a really skewed perception of time to feel that you're shortchanged by getting only 11 minutes of boom-boom action in a football game. I have watched many football games in person without commercial broadcast (high school and college) and somehow they still take more than 11 minutes to finish.

Re:11 minutes (1)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058098)

However, a rugby game has about 74 minutes of game play (out of 80). Soccer stands at about 80/90. I don't know the stats for ice hockey and basketball, but I bet they are not as abysmal as they are for football. If you bothered to read the article I linked to, you would have noticed that there is more dead time than just commercials. Like, an old man scratching his head with a pencil, while his players walk around the field, doing nothing, and the refs are watching tv. So, yeah, I do feel short changed at 11/174.

Re:11 minutes (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058844)

I look at it a completely different way. I don't just want minutes on field, I want actual enjoyment out of the game. I am a stereotypical geek who finds most sports boring; I won't even go to a basketball game if I have free tickets. But I like football because something interesting can happen on each play, and it has its own strategy, beginning and ending. While other sports (hockey, socket, basket ball) tend to just slowly flow as everyone passes the ball around to position them selves and I'm never exited at any point. Baseball is all about pitching and if you don't like watching that it is the most boring sport of all time.

I mean, there are hours of play in a bike race, but watching the entire tour-de-france would be a test of will.

Re:11 minutes (1)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31059936)

You won't be looking at it that way when you pay $80 for a ticket and have to freeze your ass for 3 hours in 25 F weather just to see 11 minutes of action.

Re:11 minutes (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31064194)

That's true, and I don't go to live football games for that reason.

Live- my favorite game to watch is hockey (can't really explain)

Re:11 minutes (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31063224)

Ice hockey has an hour of play per game, around 20 minutes to resurface the ice between periods. When Play stops, so does the clock. Games tend to run around 2.5 hours form start to finish.

After discovering Ice Hockey, Football with all it's stoppages, and with the clock running while players stand around, is well, kinda boring.

Re:What happens during the ads? (1)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31066514)

With cricket you get 11 days of actual play time per 3 day match...

slashdot effect (1)

lithero04 (1257186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31052858)

Looks like slashdot effect on adland.tv.

Re:slashdot effect (3, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#31052962)

Does anyone else miss adcritic.com, the video site from the late 90's? They were ahead of their time, and had a collection legitimately hilarious ads, like the one for Slapshots.com that featured a guy insisting he could golf through the trees and ended up nailing his skeptical friend in the crotch with a ricochet off a tree.

Re:slashdot effect (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053576)

I remember. I think the original Outpost.com ads were just the best!

Re:slashdot effect (2, Informative)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31055524)

Adcritic got hit by the actors' guild (or whatever it's called), when the actors realized they weren't getting paid for the internet playtime. Most USA contracts stipulated royalties to the actors every time the commercial aired. I'm no longer working in the ad biz, so I don't know what has changed since then to allow ubiquitous internet playback. Maybe everything is shot in Canada now, where the contracts are less generous. Or maybe Youtube has just made it impossible to keep the genie in the bottle?

Re:slashdot effect (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058158)

I'm no insider, but I do remember a walk-out by the actor's guild about 5 years ago. For the most part, it had to do with royalties on DVD releases and how much the actors should get from those. Only slightly behind the main theme was royalties received from Internet replay and other online sales. Thus was born the vomit of "reality" (situational) tv shows. They get "volunteers" to try and kill themselves for a load of cash.

Of course, I could be way off on this.

Why bother? (1, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#31052882)

Intel has one ad in the collection from 1997, and it turns out that it is returning with two ads this year that it says feature 'geek humor.'

Seriously - why bother?

Geeks, at least the type of geek who cares who is making their cpu generally don't watch the superbowl. I know it's a stereotype, but it does have a basis in reality. I know of maybe one person at work that I would suspect *might* watch the game.

If the commercials are actually funny Fark will let me know and I'll catch them on YouTube tomorrow.

Re:Why bother? (3, Insightful)

zrobotics (760688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31052910)

If the commercials are actually funny ...I'll catch them on YouTube tomorrow.

If you do end up watching them on YouTube, then the advertisers will still have succeeded. They care less about where there ads are viewed, just the number of eyeballs viewing them. The reason they focus on the Superbowl is that it's a media extravaganza, and the ads are a big deal, simply because they're in the superbowl. So, a superbowl ad will more likely have more views on YouTube than just some random ad from TV.

Re:Why bother? (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#31052968)

True, but my point was that any funny commercial will get posted on Fark/YouTube and it'll get the same circulation. Why pay the extra amount to have it broadcast during the superbowl? Geeks won't care one way or another because we won't be there for the most part and that's their target audience.

Geeks Watch the Superbowl (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31052996)

It's Nerds who don't watch the Superbowl. Get it right.

Re:Geeks Watch the Superbowl (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31054260)

memetic mutation in action...

Better to be REJECTED by the Superbowl Network (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31052978)

Days before the game and the only ad I've heard about or seen is that stupid gay dating spot that every blog and media outlet in America now feels they are duty-bound to embed so as to strike a blow for gay rights. Next year you will see the most outrageous, never-really-designed-to-air spots getting hyped as "too daring for [superbowl network], watch them on [this alternate media outlet]." It will serve the morons right if the network *does* run the spot and takes their (unbudgeted) multi-million dollar fee.

Re:Better to be REJECTED by the Superbowl Network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31053902)

...a blow for gay rights...

I see what you did there.

Re:Better to be REJECTED by the Superbowl Network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31054774)

damn...did you HAVE to point that out?

Re:Why bother? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31054412)

On the plus side, you don't have to sit trough some boring game to see them.

Re:Why bother? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 4 years ago | (#31054496)

Not just on YouTube, but official sites but not sure who is hosting them. AOL again?

Re:Why bother? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 4 years ago | (#31055766)

well if you consider dancers in HonolULU or a certain fad in the eighties related to dancing with a ring you might in north america figure out another streaming site that has been advertising that they will be showing the sopts

Re:Why bother? (1)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057242)

>> If you do end up watching them on YouTube, then the advertisers will still have succeeded.

because, yes, any effort to spark internal consumption of goods and services can't be anything good for $beloved_country. ::sarcasm

I'd like to see when people think they outsmart the advertisers and marketing guy while sipping $brand cola and wearing a $brand cool hoodie, going to $brand web video site with their $brand over 9000 lasesrz!1 mouse.

We all know they make their own tin foil hats but I wonder how much money will make Nike if they develop better(tm)tin foil hats.

Also Ads in the SB are not targeted for geeks, geeks are not the only ones that buy tech, we are such a small demographic that promotional endeavors have to be on small scale and laser targeted not Mass media epic blasts.

advertising, did help your country to be great.

Re:Why bother? (1)

oatworm (969674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058496)

I can't buy tin foil anymore. Why? Because Reynolds Wrap [wikipedia.org] killed it, the monsters! They were in it with Wrigley and the Catalina Island Conservancy [wikipedia.org] ! Screw you, Ryne Sandberg [wikipedia.org] , your Wrigley-loving, tin hating bastard!

Re:Why bother? (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058186)

Strangely, I was more interested in the Super Bowl this time around. There were some interesting ads, but I was also playing cards with the family. So, when my attention was diverted, mostly it was because of the game.

Re:Why bother? (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053040)

Geeks, at least the type of geek who cares who is making their cpu generally don't watch the superbowl. I know it's a stereotype, but it does have a basis in reality.

That is a stereotype, and it most certainly does not have a basis in reality.

I'm a geek, most of the people I work with are geeks, and about half will probably watch the Super Bowl. If you ask around, you'll probably find that around the same proportion of geeks are into football as about any other random segment of the population. Maybe even more, since "geek" is a predominantly male demographic, as is "Super Bowl watcher." I have a Falcons tag on the front of my car, thank you very much, and I've gotta say, that red and black logo on my red car does look sweet.

Granted, I'm not into fantasy football leagues, and I can't quote a bunch of stats or tell you who led the league in touchdown receptions, but that doesn't apply to most average Joes, either. I do enjoy watching the competition at its highest level, the ads are generally the cream of the crop and funny, plus a Who concert to boot? Jesus, count me in, let's kick off already!

Oh, and lest I forget, Go Colts! Sorry Saints, I don't hate you, but I just don't think it's not your year yet. Plus, any chance that Peyton Manning gets to prove that he's a better QB than Pretty Boy Brady is a sure-fire opportunity for me to root for his team.

Re:Why bother? (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053056)

I just don't think it's not your year yet.

Double negative typos FTL. :( Obviously, I meant, "I just don't think it's your year yet..."

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31054844)

A falcons fan. Into S & M then huh?

Re:Why bother? (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31055352)

A falcons fan. Into S & M then huh?

Hey now, that would have been funny before 1998.

Matt Ryan is looking really good as a franchise quarterback. I have a lot more faith in him than I ever did Vick. Plus, we've got an above-average running game, and Roddy White is shaping up to be a really good receiver. Oh, and Tony Gonzales, 'nuff said.

The defense still needs a little work, but considering that most of them were brand spankin' new, added to the fact they did at least mediocre this season, I really think that within two years, we'll make it at least two or three rounds into the playoffs, maybe even further.

Two things hurt us this season. First, Jason Elam turned out to be a dud. I blame him for single-handedly losing two or three games. If not by score, then at least by morale, by missing critical field goals and even point-after attempts. But now we have Matt Bryant [wikipedia.org] , who booted a 62-yarder in 2006. (Yes, I know, Elam kicked a 63-yarder, but trust me, this will be different!) Second, Matt Ryan missed, what, three games? Apparently, that turf toe is nasty stuff.

Still, we have a pretty young team that did really well. We now have back-to-back winning seasons, and we no longer have to be reminded by the commentators every week that we didn't for 35 years. As these guys get some more games under their belts and gain veteran status, I really think we have a good shot at making it back to the Super Bowl in the next five years or so.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31055330)

any chance that Peyton Manning gets to prove that he's a better QB than Pretty Boy Brady

Since Manning is 1-2 vs Brady in post-season play, whatever happens today is irrelevant as to prove who is better.

Re:Why bother? (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31055396)

Since Manning is 1-2 vs Brady in post-season play, whatever happens today is irrelevant as to prove who is better.

It's pretty hard to beat your nemesis in a big game when your nemesis got knocked out before the playoffs even started.

Make you a deal. You figure out some way to get Brady back to the playoffs, and Manning's Colts will take care of the rest.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057442)

Sorry Saints, I don't hate you, but I just don't think it's not your year yet.

any chance that Peyton Manning gets to prove that he's a better QB than Pretty Boy Brady is a sure-fire opportunity for me to root for his team

Oops

Re:Why bother? (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31062070)

Yeah, but I'm not disappointed. The Colts played pretty well, but the Saints played awesome. If it boiled down to which team screwed up less, I would have been pissed. But after the first quarter, it was as close to a perfect game as I think I've ever seen from them. The Saints were on fire, and they earned that win clean and square. Congratulations to all Saints fans out there! And good job to Brees and crew for proving me wrong. ;)

P.S. Manning is still a better QB than Pretty Boy Brady.

Re:Why bother? (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058198)

The Who concert was classy. They did a really good job. And, thankfully, there were no wardrobe malfunctions (which is not what made this concert classe ;)

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31060502)

I guess in a sense, a geek may watch the superbowl to see all the "Jocks" that used to pick on him, and wait for some of them to hurt themselves.

Re:Why bother? (2)

wkurzius (1014229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053058)

Seriously - why bother?

Geeks, at least the type of geek who cares who is making their cpu generally don't watch the superbowl.

Based on your small circle of friends? I could make the opposite based on the "geeks" that I know. Computer science majors, run their own web-design company, as well as build their own computers as a hobby. We've been playing in a fantasy football league together for 5+ years now.

You're also forgetting that the Super Bowl is more of a social event. I'm a Giants fan, so I barely paid attention to the playoffs, but I'm watching the game today because someone is having a party for it.

Re:Why bother? (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053126)

You think geeks care about "social events"? According to the person you are replying to geeks only care about who builds their CPU and other computer stuff, there's no world out there where they go to parties, or perhaps build servers and apps to host their fantasy football leagues because the services already out their aren't good enough.

Re:Why bother? (4, Funny)

wkurzius (1014229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053250)

The only people who think geeks don't care about social events are geeks who don't care about social events.

Re:Why bother? (1)

jcombel (1557059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053132)

this is the most confusing post i've ever read

everyone in my department is a sports fan, and the only people i know that read fark are middle-aged housewives

Re:Why bother? (1)

eharvill (991859) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053888)

Because the geeks don't typically have the authority to make purchasing decisions. Sure, in some organizations they might have some input or influence, but it's typically the non-geek Director, VP or higher that signs off on the final PO.

I don't think these ads are targeted towards the geek that might have a few systems in their house. That's peanuts compared to all the enterprise level opportunities out there.

Apple had an ad scheduled for this year... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31052936)

but it wa denied: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VMqHb03p74 [youtube.com]

Unfortunately for anyone wanting to view the ads (2, Informative)

x1n933k (966581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053000)

Apparently they have embed to a web site that wasn't too happy about the extra traffic and has a user/pass lock on most of the videos mentioned in TFA. Some of the Youtube ones are still available.

[J]

Half the ads on the article require a username (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053042)

Half the ads in the article require a username and password, you would think a site like computerworld would be savvy enough not to post content restricted by login credentials in an article for the web

Re:Half the ads on the article require a username (4, Informative)

jcombel (1557059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053208)

they didn't require credentials when the article went up friday; the site hosting the ads got slashdotted

Sun:Just when your competition thought it was safe (3, Insightful)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053196)

...to do business.

Last time the "greatest Superbowl tech ads of all time" came up, they were already missing the iconic Sun commercial as well:
http://idle.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=440612&cid=22285924 [slashdot.org]
http://www.ephemeraweb.org/journal/1-3/decocketal/FTads/FT031/FT31.htm [ephemeraweb.org]

Still not on YouTube?

How could they leave out the "Lemmings" ad? (3, Informative)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053214)

Apple's 2nd over-the-top so-bad-it's-great SuperBowl ad for the (unsuccessful) Macintosh Office [wikipedia.org] .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mISsehE7tp4 [youtube.com]

Now that's some smack talk!

EDS (1)

bwcbwc (601780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053406)

Interesting that the "herding cats" ad still gets mentioned after all these years. In some ways the "running of the squirrels" ad was even funnier, but IIRC it never aired on a superbowl.

I wonder if their new HP overlords will ever produce a commercial that is remembered 10 years later (or more).

Herding cats (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31054140)

I say that if you find yourself herding cats, you're using the wrong management technique.

HP Mopier ad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31053464)

This may be somewhat offtopic, as I'm not sure if it appeared during a superbowl...

Best tech advert I ever saw was for an HP Mopier. Had a spokesguy singing the praises of this new multifunction copier they had just created. A couple of white lab coated engineers listen appreciatively. Then the spokesguy says:

"It does everything except mow the lawn!"

Engineer dudes turn to each other, start talking and gesturing.

Cut away to a computer screen and see someone click the menu bar, pull down some optionsan and then click on "Mow".

Cut away again, but now to a mopier bouncing around a field spewing grass clippings all over the place!

I've searched for a copy of the ad on a few occasions, but no luck. Does anyone here remember the ad? Even better do you have a link where I could see it again?

Thanks for the memories!

Insensitive clod (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053488)

Everyone has seen the Macintosh ad that played during the 1984 Superbowl

Two words: Stevie Wonder.

Re:Insensitive clod (1)

PTFD5023 (1481209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057220)

Stevie Wonder might not have seen the commercial, but he DID win the slugbug game!

Google's add (2, Funny)

hallucinogen (1263152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053612)

I read Google will air this [youtube.com] tonight.

Slashed (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31053950)

TFA: CompuServe: "Not Busy" (1997)
This commercial is a great reminder of what it was like to dial up to the Internet in 1997 -- extremely frustrating if you couldn't get through to your ISP.

Kind of like trying to watch videos on a slashdotted site.

Re:Slashed (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 4 years ago | (#31054400)

Except they billed it as "We like it because it plays with the medium, telling the whole story with audio only."

There were a bunch of words at the end telling me who to choose as my ISP. It wasn't audio only.

Dot bomb era (2, Interesting)

plopez (54068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31054450)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnQMq5wtZcg [youtube.com]

And there was another one, from a dot bomb company (1999?). I can't find it but it went something like this:

Guy standing before blank screen
Says:
"We got a bunch of money for a Super Bowl ad. But it was too late to put one together. So I'll just stand here for 30 seconds."

Looks at watch and commercial eventually fades out.

Those two ads epitomize the dot bomb stupidity for me. The market crashed in spring of 2000

I still miss Outpost.com commercials (1)

valdezjuan (83925) | more than 4 years ago | (#31055672)

Re:I still miss Outpost.com commercials (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056374)

No kidding. I love them for their total political incorrectness approach. I especially love the gerbil one, which is exactly the kind of ad that pisses off certain terrorist organizations (such as peta)

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