Recession. Superbowl. The two don’t really mix. The nation sat on the couch for four hours and munched, just like every year.
But although NBC sold out all its commercials for the Superbowl, somehow the economic recession still slipped into the annual showcase for American retailers.
In a Bud Light commercial, employees wondered what they could do to make their budget, writes the Associated Press. "We could cut back on marketing," one person said."We could eliminate bonuses," said another. "How about if we stop buying Bud Light for every meeting?" said a third, an act of betrayal that got him tossed out the boardroom window.
And how more recession-like could it be to have the songwriter for the working man, Bruce Springsteen, as the entertainment at the halftime show. He sang “Glory Days,” “Born to Run” and a tune from a new album, “Working On A Dream.”
But veteran Superbowl ad watcher Tom Shales at The Washington Post disagreed. He noted that the ads were hardly less lavish this year. “It's unlikely the game would be labeled the First Super Bowl of the New Recession,” he wrote. “The usual elements were there, often in mad abundance: a Toyota truck drove through a giant tower of fire; Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head went out for a spin on Bridgestone tires (Mrs. PH's mouth fell off); a young Clydesdale tried to mimic a dog's stick-fetching routine but brought back an entire tree limb; and "grease monkeys" turned out to be literally that, chimps running a garage in behalf of Castrol motor.”
The game was a huge boost to NBC. Before the game, the network NBC announced that it had sold out all $201 million in ads, though some just at the very last moment.