In last year's Super Bowl, we met David Abernathy, a man who performed open-heart surgery in a crowded opera house with a ballpoint pen, yet displayed indecisiveness when buying a car. This year, Cars.com introduces us to Timothy Richman in the first quarter of the big game. Similar to Abernathy, Richman is book-smart, has worldly experiences, and yet suffers angst when buying a car. "With knowledge comes confidence," says a voiceover that chronicles Richman's adventures. He puts out a kitchen fire, forgoes bicycle-training wheels, delivers a breeched Bengal tiger cub, and studies tornadoes. "But when it came time to buy a new car, he was just as nervous as the rest of us," the voiceover says. That's where Cars.com comes in to restore Richman's confidence in buying the right car. See the ad here, created by DDB Chicago.
Dove is running an ad targeting men during the first half of the Super Bowl. "Manthem" promotes Dove Men+Care, a line of face and body products for men with dry skin. The 45-second ad is set to the "William Tell Overture" and begins with reproduction. Sperm fertilizes an egg and viewers are thrust into an ad that follows a baby boy from birth to adulthood. Lyrics are fast-paced and list stereotypes instilled upon young men beginning at a young age. "Get born get slapped, now get to school, be good at sports always look cool, lift weights be strong know how to fight, stay out late but be polite," begins the teaser ad, seen here. I watched the entire ad, but can only post the teaser or bad things will happen, like my newly broken-in running shoes will disappear or someone will replace my supply of bacon with the fake stuff. I can't risk this. The man makes his way through many accomplishments in life, some big and some small (think: opening a jar of pickles and investigating a noise) and grows comfortable in his skin. Now said man can have comfortable outer skin to match. Ogilvy and Mather created the ad.
TruTV is running its first-ever Super Bowl spot in the second quarter, near the two-minute warning. The ad promotes NFL Full Contact, a new series that gives viewers behind-the-scenes access to six NFL events. It's Groundhog Day-themed and stars Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers, playing the role of "Punxsutawney Polamalu." My only quip is that the ad is running five days after Groundhog Day. Residents gather in Punxsutawney, Pa. to determine whether an additional six weeks of winter waits. The groundhog emerges, but it's a miniature Troy Polamalu. Even pint-sized, the man has incredible hair. Troy sees his shadow, scaring himself, while the mayor declares six more weeks of football. A clever hook for this ad. Watch it here, created by Grey.