TiVo wins 1st place in exaggeration

The company tracks the most popular and TiVo'd ads during the biggest sporting event of the year and concludes the ads surpassed the game.

TiVo might be overstating the fabulosity of the advertisements aired during Sunday's Super Bowl broadcast.

See the headline TiVo used to lead its press release regarding the most-watched ads during the game: "Talking and Trading Baby Blows Away Star-Studded Super Bowl Competition."

Um...really? Were we watching the same game?

Even if you're not a sports person, that game was "one for the ages," as sportswriters like to say. Even in the midst of a five-hour broadcast inflated with as many empty pleas for your dollars and attention as Fox could possibly fit, the star was the game itself, a succinct demonstration of why it is that we love sports.

From a sports perspective, it was the classic set-up, the epic storyline fans, broadcasters, and writers love: An established football dynasty, the New England Patriots, on the verge of achieving the rarest of feats (an undefeated season) prepared to steamroll the fifth-seeded New York Giants en route to a much-deserved place in the annals of sports.

Instead, we viewers got a gem of a game, the kind that leaves lifelong fans seriously wondering if they've even witnessed a better Super Bowl, or football game, in their memory.

But, TiVo would rather crow about which multimillion-dollar ad spot (which you're likely to forget by next week, anyway) was watched the most. The talking E-Trade babies "upstaged" every other commercial, according to TiVo audience stats, including the Doritos user-generated mouse trap, the Life Water "Thriller" spot, as well as the one where Justin Timberlake is dragged all over creation for the sake of Pepsi.

But was a CGI baby talking stocks really more memorable than young quarterback Eli Manning somehow escaping a near-certain game-ending sack to curl out and heave a pass 30-plus yards to a falling David Tyree--who didn't as much "catch" the ball as clutch it with one hand to his helmet?

Maybe I'm belaboring the point, but TiVo's urge to jump on the coattails of an amazing exercise in athletic competition seems to cheapen a classic matchup, and, more importantly, an unforgettable end to a story.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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