Adwatch: BCS Championship Game edition

Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson celebrates the win

We don’t follow much NCAA football here at Projector, but last night we all tuned in to the BCS Championship at some point in the game. While we were glad to see Alabama shut-out LSU 21-0 (Roll Tide), it was a pretty uneventful game, with both sides locked in a match of solid defense that allowed for few big plays, even for the winning team. Since our college town is mostly quiet with students still on vacation, we watched this one from the comfort of home, foregoing the big screen projection and cheers of the sports bars. And so with the game offering little excitement and having no money riding on the outcome, we like so many casual sports fans throughout so many big games, focused our attention on the ads.

To be fair, we didn’t catch these first two ads during last night’s game, but they are both relevant in that context, and perfect examples of how ESPN’s own “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” campaign has been producing some of the most poignant, short and sweet sports commercials on TV. These ads truly understand and play to their audience, and while they’re as funny as the most bizarre spots for Skittles, their cleverness is more firmly grounded in reality.

This first one’s actually a year old, but it circulated through our friends group like a cold and had even the most hardcore midwesterners among us adopting Alabama’s traditional cheer into our everyday language. “Roll Tide, y’all.”

This next ESPN spot illustrates just how deep college football rivalries run. So deep that fans will often jump at the chance to prove their undying loyalty to their teams by promising to do some pretty crazy things if they lose. That’s a gentlemanly wager, and one that becomes an unbreakable social contract between fans with a simple shake of hands.

So that’s the good. Now on to what may better qualify as the bad, or just plain ugly. The jury’s still out on these Tostitos “Spokesbag” spots… Certainly bizarre and a bit cheesy (no dip pun intended), but they still caught our attention through sheer repetition, the height of the one actor’s hairdo, and the line “partied my way through school,” which does seem like a pretty believable statement coming from an anthropomorphic bag of chips.

How do you feel about the ads that air during big sports events? Has a television commercial made you switch car-insurance? Does your family “get” your sophisticated sense of humor? Do you tell people that you watch the Superbowl “just for the ads?” Do you make a mean multi-layered bean-dip, and if so can we watch the game at your house this February 5th?