Here’s how to watch the Super Bowl (Sunday at 4:30 p.m., Mountain, on NBC) if you are a certified IT professional who doesn’t much care about sports. First, turn on your television. Second, stream episodes of Black Mirror on Netflix for the next four hours. The end.
You don’t have to like or understand football, of course, to enjoy watching the Super Bowl. Just get up to get food during the parts where the game is on instead of during the commercials. You’ll probably want to stick around for the commercials — the ads shown during the Super Bowl are generally more entertaining than the game itself.
An interesting sidenote to the Big Broadcast for those of us in IT is that, every year, the all-out ad-stravaganza includes several spots that showcase technology companies or technology products. There hasn’t ever been a certification-specific Super Bowl ad, but you never know what’s next. And, until it happens, there are still tech-driven commercials for all to enjoy.
Actually, sometimes you do know what’s next. By the time Super Bowl week gets here, it’s more or less an open secret which companies have purchased ad time during the game. Sometimes Super Bowl commercials are even available online for days (even weeks) before the main event, to generate interest and enthusiasm among consumers.
Frankly, when Burger King released a clever, topical, and clearly expensive ad last week satirizing the repeal of net neutrality, the timing was almost perfect for a brand hoping to rev up pre-Super Bowl anticipation. Almost. While it appears that Burger King’s tech-targeted ad will be on the sidelines during the Big Game, there are a handful of confirmed participants.
Here’s what we know already, thanks mostly to the ever-savvy Super Bowl watchers at AdWeek:
Amazon — The massively influential e-tailer continues to advertise its Alexa home assistant. The already-leaked premise of the ad is that Alexa has lost her mellifluous, reassuring voice.
Squarespace — The D-I-Y website software vendor got an Emmy for last’s year’s commercial featuring John Malkovich. This year: Keanu Reeves takes over.
Hulu — The streaming service for people who don’t have Netflix or Amazon Prime aired Super Bowl commercials in 2009 and 2012, and will get back in the saddle this year.
Others to watch for: audio and computer accessories maker Monster Products, phone provider Verizon, web-driven discount deal marketing service Groupon, and online stock-trading service E*Trade.
There’s also a roll call of party poopers, big spenders from recent Super Bowls that have chosen to sit on their hands this year. After going toe-to-toe with Amazon (and Alexa) last year, Google is keeping the powder dry in 2018. Google-owned mega-streaming service YouTube will also be conspicuous by its absence, as will domain registrar and longtime Big Game provocateur GoDaddy.
You can’t have it all, it would seem, even on Super Bowl Sunday. After we watch the Super Bowl ourselves (work can be tough sometimes), we’ll check back in next week to let you know what we thought.