Every Monday following a Super Bowl, I wake up feeling conflicted.
Yes, guilt pangs coarse through my body following my decision to gorge myself on snacks with artery-exploding names like "Cheesy Buffalo Wing Layered Ranch Dip" even though I promised myself before kickoff that I would eat, at most, one bowl of turkey chili and a slice of kale pizza.
But I also take pride knowing I did not shell out $4.5 million for a 30-second commercial, not that I have that kind of bling to throw around. I was able to enjoy the game free from reading Twitter posts questioning my advertising creations. Worse, I didn't have to leave my Super Bowl party--mid-Katy Perry wardrobe change--to concoct a press release defending my ad. The folks at Nationwide Insurance did just that following their mood-killing spot about kids dying in home accidents.
At least website builder GoDaddy got cold feet BEFORE the big game, swapping its puppy-selling commercial for a more tame "business owner working during the Super Bowl." Lame as it was, I commend GoDaddy for having a "Plan B" ad in the hopper. Sort of makes you wonder if other corporate giants had commercials ready to go, only to alter them or, in extreme cases, pull them entirely from the Big Dance at the last moment. We may never know what boardroom decisions were made in the flurry of activity leading up to Super Bowl XLIX (Please Roger Goodell, can't we just say "49"?). But if I had to guess, I'd say numerous Super Bowl advertisers at least considered running ads with alternate scripts before more intelligent heads prevailed. Among them:
T-Mobile - The company seeks a Kardashian family member for a spot that features taking selfies of makeup and girly outfits. Kim Kardashian is hired only after negotiations break down between T-Mobile and its number one choice, her stepfather Bruce Jenner.
McDonald's - The fast food giant goes with a #paywithlovin' campaign, an extreme departure from its original idea, #PickRNewCEO.
GoDaddy - An adorable, lost, fully grown Rottweiler wanders the Arizona desert. Eventually it finds its way back to GoDaddy headquarters in Scottsdale, where it promptly mauls the CEO. The spot is pulled after being deemed "too realistic."
BMW i3 - After opening with a 2012 clip of fired Today Show host Ann Curry's tearful farewell, she and Matt Lauer are seen driving the BMW electric i3, built in a wind-powered factory, to the top of a mountain. As Lauer exits and walks to the edge to admire the view, a suddenly-giggling Curry sneaks up behind him, hands outstretched and says, "It's amazing what a little gust of wind can do." (FADE TO BLACK AS A SCREAMING MALE VOICE DECREASES IN VOLUME).
Mophie - The mobile battery case company's "All Powerless" spot featuring end-of-the-world imagery includes a clip of Sarah Palin sitting behind a desk in the Oval Office. During a pre-screening, viewers weep and scream uncontrollably, prompting the company to swap the visual for something less jarring. A dog walking a human on a leash wins out.
Avocados from Mexico - Executives momentarily consider the tagline, "Mexico's OTHER cash crop."
Doritos - President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Texas Senator Ted Cruz argue over who will eat the bag's last chip. What started as a 30-second spot somehow turns into a five-minute infomercial and is pulled after the trio fail to reach an agreement.
Walt Disney Co. - The Mouse empire had planned to participate in Super Bowl advertising. But, with just 20 seconds left in the game, it wisely pulls its ad featuring Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson screaming, "I'm going to Disney World!"
© 2015 GREG SCHWEM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC