I didn't expect to have comments about the Super Bowl, but three things really jumped out and compel me to comment.
1. Excessive sexism. It seemed like every other ad had a vicious anti-woman subtext. There seemed to be two variants, the likes of which I haven't seen in 30 years: 1) women are stupid, to be tolerated only for their bodies, or 2) women emasculate men. They seemed especially offensive because now, in 2010, it's really hard to blame this sentiment on culture. Sitting in a theater pub with an audience of at least 40% women really brought the offensiveness home.
2. Anheuser-Busch has released a 55 calorie beer--Budweiser Select. Apparently this isn't breaking news--388 people have rated it on BeerAdvocate (current score: D; sample comments: tastes of "white bread," "corn flavored-water," "metallic corn," "water from a glass that previously had a real beer in it"). Bud long ago abandoned hops; now, under the wise tutelage of the Belgian brain trust, they've abandoned malt, too. Next I envision Bud Pure Bottle Water.
3. Speaking of Bud, man, have they lost track of the brand. Back in the untroubled days of market dominance and regular growth, their marketing was hitting on all cylinders. Depending on the demographic, they had a masterful pitch. Luxury and tradition for the AARP set, hip athleticism for the sports set, rah rah revelry for the frat set. Pick a market segment and they owned it. Watching their woeful ads yesterday, I winced and wondered what had become of the marketing department.
But in the end, it was all lightness and joy: the Saints came marching in (Turbodog, no doubt, in hand).
Update. The New York Times points out another interesting trend: geezer nostalgia.