We had several reactions to the game on Sunday. What were yours? As two people both of whom are looking at their thirties in the rear view mirror, it was hard not to root for the old guy, as much as we also love Cam Newton. And as advertising lawyers it sometimes seems like we are more excited about the ads than the game itself. This year was no exception. There were dogs galore, a clear Made in USA claim, some tough comparative wireless claims and perhaps lots of tongue-tied, red-faced parents trying to explain to their little ones what a “super bowl baby” is. Avocados spent big again on the big game and even the drug companies got into the act; although our enjoyment of spicy wings and French onion dip diminished a bit when there was talk of opiod induced constipation.
And our FTC ears perked up when we heard Peyton Manning not once but twice reference the fact that he was going to drink a lot of Budweisers. Was this some sort of paid endorsement? But then Anheuser Busch came out and said they hadn’t paid Peyton Manning a dime. Though that then led some to wonder was he trying to snag some type of endorsement deal or perhaps a post-retirement gig as a beer distributor? Ordinarily if a consumer endorses a product even if they are hoping to be selected for some campaign there is no material connection so long as no inducement was promised ahead of time (no sign on the door saying “casting for possible commercial today.”) Is that different if it’s a celebrity that tries to foist their endorsement on you and does it matter maybe how big and irresistible that celebrity is? But these are probably thoughts far too deep for a Super Bowl Blog so let’s get back to the commercials.