In the last 10 years or so, the idea of watching the Super Bowl for the ads has become such a cultural imperative that we’ve turned into a nation of veritable Simon Cowells—not necessarily wearing the scowls and the tighty T-shirts but nevertheless approaching the commercial breaks with the same diagnostic eyes and acerbic quips at the ready.
During the pregame, we sit through the endless movie promos and bad local ads we’ve already seen on the evening news and get even more desperate for fresh blockbuster meat. Given all the hype, the advertisers ponying up the big bucks tend to keep their plans supersecret until the Big Day, with some even shooting until the eleventh hour. What will be new and different this year? Political advertising is a non-grata subject on CBS, but make way for penises—we’ve become so unsqueamish about erectile dysfunction that apparently all three pharmaceutical companies may buy into the erectile bowl. (Levitra and newcomer Cialis are confirmed, and Viagra is a possibility.)