No one turns sport into spectacle quite like Americans. The biggest game of them all, the Super Bowl, brings with it over 100 million viewers from the US alone. Everything is magnified during the Super Bowl, from the plays themselves and the tech around the game, to all of those multi-million-dollar commercials. We're collecting it all right here for Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, Arizona, so stay tuned for the updates as they come in.
Between terrible play calls and terribly amusing dancing sharks, last night’s Super Bowl XLIX claimed the honor of biggest show of the year for advertising — the one time when people proudly announce they’ll go to the bathroom during the game itself to avoid missing those prized 30-second spots.Read Article >
For $4.5 million, you, too, can associate yourself with the biggest television event of the year. Sometimes you can get lucky with a tweet or a $700 regional ad buy, but the only surefire way to get your company out front is the commercial buy for the national stage. And though humor found its way into the night, by and large, this year’s Super Bowl ad campaigns were all about family and familiarity.
EA Sports has been running Super Bowl simulations using Madden for more than a decade now with a respectable record of nine correct predictions and three false ones. However, this year it didn't just pick the winning team, it also foresaw that the Patriots would be trailing in the third quarter only for Tom Brady to deliver a game-clinching pass to Julian Edelman for a final score of 28-24. Yahoo Tech notes that the simulator also got some of the finer details right, including the first team to score, Brady's number of touchdowns — and was also only 27 yards off nailing the quarterback's total passing yardage.Read Article >
However, what fun would an extremely detailed and realistic sports simulator be if you couldn't also organize a little chaos? If EA Sports' simulations are too boring for you then check out Jon Bois' ongoing Breaking Madden series, with a phenomenal Super Bowl special that sets a roster of "45 superhuman Goliaths" against a team of "five-foot-tall baby-people." The resulting spectacle is the sort of thing that would usually require some 16th century feudal politics and a particularly deranged child King to bring to life, but thanks to modern technology it's all available as GIFs in your browser. Enjoy.
Feb 2, 2015Read Article >
It's a few hours after the Super Bowl has ended, and, for the neutrals at least, heartbeats should have mostly returned to their usual resting pace. That won't be the case for flight control staff at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport in Arizona, however — through the magic of FlightAware's real-time tracking, you can check out the crazy volume of small private aircraft jetting out in all directions. And, although you've probably never felt sorry for the kind of person that flies to the Super Bowl on their own jet, try to spare a thought for those on board the "Execjet" on its way back to Seattle. What were the Seahawks thinking with that last play?
Missy Elliott's Super Bowl halftime show was amazing, introduced by Katy Perry riding a large polygonal tiger. For the final song, which went back to Perry for "Firework," the songstress had to make extra sure she didn't drop the mic as she was floated over the field — and apparently that means using a Wii remote strap, i.e. that safety precaution Nintendo gave you to avoid throwing your controller into a TV while playing virtual tennis or whatever.Read Article >
Feb 2, 2015
Attention Twitter: If Kim Kardashian has been sending you personalized selfies, don't get too excited. Earlier tonight, T-Mobile started mentioning random users pretending to be Kim K offering up selfies from her "private stash."Read Article >
Kim satirized herself in T-Mobile's Super Bowl ad this year, so it's more than likely she's in on the joke. Some Twitter users, however, might not be.
Feb 2, 2015
The internet can be an ugly place in 2015. Coca-Cola, peddler of sugary smiles for decades, wants to do away with all the trolls. But with Coke, presumably? In the company's somewhat bizarre Super Bowl ad tonight, all it took was for someone to accidentally pour some Coke on what could only be the server stack of the world to spread some happiness online. Cyberbullying? Defeated! Awful YouTube comments? Eradicated! Cable news punditry? Over!Read Article >
It's a nice sentiment, even if it's on the silly side. And the ad isn't the only spot to make a similar statement. Coke also teamed up with Ryan Seacrest and a bevy of stars to spread the online love. Because Ryan Seacrest isn't ever awkward:
Here it is, the high-octane, explosion-heavy, tagline-intensive Super Bowl spot for the new Fast & Furious film. It's the one Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has really wanted you to see, and for good reason: he's got a very large gun (and, in some scenes, a very large arm cast). Furious 7 also stars Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, and the late Paul Walker, along with virtually everyone from the series thus far.Read Article >
Furious 7 will hit theaters April 3rd, 2015. If 30 seconds isn't enough for you, here's the extended IMAX trailer.
Feb 1, 2015
The clip shows George Clooney, Britt Robertson, and Hugh Laurie entering a world with flying trains, massive skyscrapers, a litany of steampunk-looking machines, and some very suspenseful music. The story goes, Tomorrowland was inspired by a box found in the Disney archives that contained mysterious clues to a world unknown.Read Article >
The movie, a collaboration between Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and Damon Lindelof (Lost, Star Trek Into Darkness), is out in May.
Feb 1, 2015Read Article >
In the minutes before Super Bowl XLIX even began, we got a brand new trailer for Jurassic World and a better look at Indominus Rex, the film's über dinosaur. Things definitely go crazy in the park this time around, with pterosaurs snatching up visitors in their claws and gangs of velociraptors serving as Chris Pratt's muscle, but we're still waiting for our first clear look at the new genetic experiment gone wrong.
Feb 1, 2015
Tonight, a group of very large, very athletic people will meet in Phoenix, Arizona to throw a (presumably inflated) football around a very large field while millions of people cheer them on through televisions and other various computer screens. If you aren't able to watch via an over-the-air broadcast or cable box, there are a handful of ways to (legally) stream the game online.Read Article >
The big game today will be the first ever Super Bowl illuminated by LEDs instead of traditional metal halide lamps. University of Phoenix Stadium — home of the Arizona Cardinals and Super Bowl XLIX — was outfitted with the LED fixtures last year. Since LEDs are brighter than the old lamps, only 312 units were needed to replace the 780 metal halide lights that were originally installed in the stadium. The new lights also use 75 percent less energy, and they should last at least 20 years — far longer than the old lights that required maintenance every few seasons.Read Article >
But the lights are changing more than just corporate bottom lines. If you haven't watched a Cardinals game this season, you might notice a difference in the lighting quality. It might take a keen eye to notice, but despite using fewer than half as many lighting units, the light output onto the field is brighter and whiter than before. You'll also see that the strobe effect during slow-motion replays is gone, since LEDs don't flicker in the same way as metal halide lamps.
When you think about buying things during the Super Bowl, one thing comes to mind: those championship T-shirts, hats, and DVDs that go on sale directly after the last down. But halftime performer Katy Perry and a slew of companies are working to find a new way to get you to spend money during the game.Read Article >
The artist will sell limited edition products branded with her name during the game and the halftime show through a host of connected TV apps and other outlets, reports Variety. Instead of relying on a costly TV ad during the Super Bowl, Katy Perry, Universal Music Group, and Pepsi will use a service called Delivery Agent to try to sell the products to fans. The products will be promoted on Samsung and LG smarts TVs, as well as on Roku devices. Promoted tweets from another partner — Visa — will use Twitter's new buy feature to let users purchase directly from their feeds. Anyone who looks up Katy Perry's music with the Shazam app will also have an opportunity to buy, as will those who turn to the Vevo YouTube channel to listen to more of her music.
Jan 30, 2015
The Super Bowl is still two days away, but between Budweiser's attempts to tug on your heartstrings to sell beer, and Kim Kardashian's selfie-centrc self-parody for T-Mobile, we've already seen a number of the big budget ads that will air during the big game's commercial breaks. But it's not just the biggest brands that get to show off their most creative ads during the biggest game, as phone case maker Mophie shows.Read Article >
Mophie makes cases capable of charging your smartphone, and its surprisingly good Super Bowl ad shows the end of the world. Streets flood, blizzard hit deserts, goats stand on donkeys, priests steal flatscreen TVs, and dogs lead people around by the leash. With the Earth's atmosphere leaking into space, the camera cuts to an omnipotent God, unable to fix the planet's problems because his phone has run out of battery. If only the creator of the universe had a Mophie case, the ad suggests, we could avoid armageddon.
Jan 28, 2015
The FAA has produced a YouTube video encouraging attendees of the Super Bowl to "leave your drone at home." The video, titled "No Drone Zone," resembles other public service announcements, using stock photos like many anti-smoking ads and a diabolical head rhyme like "Don't Copy That Floppy."Read Article >
While it's encouraging to see the FAA being proactive about drones, which can fall out of the sky anywhere — from your backyard to the White House — a better method for protecting citizens from the misuse of drones would be proper policy. Until then, we're left with these short videos that, five years ago, would have scanned as fake PSAs from alternate reality sci-fi films. When people ask when we'll live in the future, show them this video. Nothing is more futuristic than a boring government video kindly asking the public to refrain from bringing smart flying robots that could be used to bring unspeakable horror to the most televised event in the country.
Jan 28, 2015
If you aren't planning to be at a Super Bowl party shouting about the game or critiquing the commercials with your friends, Facebook hopes you'll be doing all of that stuff through its just-launched Super Bowl hub. Actually, Facebook calls it the "Super Bowl experience," but it's more or less a fancied up Trending page — and exactly what you'd expect as the company tries to ratchet up social activity even higher than the figures seen last year. Over 50 million people were "part of the conversation" focused around the NFL's biggest game in 2014. Now, Facebook wants to be an even larger center of the conversation — and try to keep you away from Twitter in the process.Read Article >
You can get to the Super Bowl experience right here, and although it looks very busy (perhaps overly so) at first glance, it's helpfully broken up into sections. Don't care what strangers think about Deflategate? "Friends and Groups" will display status updates and chatter only from people in your own Facebook network. If you do want to see what the world thinks of every expensive Super Bowl ad, the Live Feed will stream those reactions as they're posted — with the help of hashtags, of course. Facebook will also automatically surface content from people who post about "watching Super Bowl XLIX" as an activity.
Call it the lullaby of capitalism: first we had Matthew McConaughey purring sweet dreams of respectable American sedans into our ears, and now Jeff Bridges has recorded a whole album of sleepy murmurs for Squarespace's new Super Bowl campaign. To demonstrate how the company's tools can help anyone build a slick website with a built-in storefront, the Big Lebowski star has recorded Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes — "a unique album of relaxing sounds, guided meditations, and stories designed to lull you to sleep."Read Article >
The album is available as a pay-what-you-want download from DreamingWithJeff.com (built using Squarespace, naturally), or as a limited-run of vinyls and cassettes to be auctioned off separately. Best of all, any money raised from album downloads and auctions is donated to No Kid Hungry — a campaign aimed at ending child hunger in America (Bridges has been a spokesperson for them since 2010). "We wanted to create a campaign to illustrate that any idea, no matter how wild or weird, can be presented beautifully and meaningfully through Squarespace," said Anthony Casalena, Squarespace's founder and CEO. "Instead of being built around an ad, our campaign is built around a real project on our platform."
Kim Kardashian is a fickle deity: sometimes she wants to break the internet and other times she wants to fix your mobile contract. In a new, wonderfully self-aware Super Bowl ad for T-Mobile, she extolls the virtues of the carrier's new Data Stash feature — a promotion that lets 4G customers roll over their unused data on a monthly basis. "Each month, millions of gigs of unused data are taken back by wireless companies," deadpans Kim in full-on, let's-talk-about-the-issues mode. "Tragic. Data you paid for that could be used to see my make-up, my backhand, my outfits, my vacations, and my outfits." All of this illustrated with a series of selfies, of course.Read Article >
Time points out that last year T-mobile's Super Bowl commercial was a text-only affair that offered to pay off users' contracts with rival carriers and that ended with the promise: "Maybe next year we'll do an ad with overpaid movie stars." Kim's no movie star, but T-Mobile couldn't have picked a more appropriate famous person: she's probably the most prolific internet celeb there is.
Jan 26, 2015Read Article >
Beloved TV anchors Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel have been stumped by consumer technology for the last 21 years. Remember way back in 1994 when the pair expressed how weird the internet was? Wasn't that fun? Fun enough for NBC to fire the guy who posted the video online? Right. Well, BMW had more fun than NBC on that score, and decided to celebrate how far we've come in its new Super Bowl spot for the BMW i3 — and how Couric and Gumbel are still pretty clueless about the future. (Never mind the fact that Couric is now the Global Anchor of Yahoo! News. Media is weird.) All told, the two play their parts like good sports, even if there's no such thing as a windbine. Personally, I'm confused at the idea of Katie Couric twerking to Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue". I mean, go her, but still.
Jan 20, 2015
NBC's planning to stream a massive, 11-hour block of live programming around Super Bowl XLIX on February 1st — and you won't need a cable subscription to watch. This isn't the first time a TV network (or even NBC) has streamed the Super Bowl for United States web users to enjoy, but the "Super Stream Sunday" will mark NBC's first inclusion of the Halftime Show as part of the deal.Read Article >
This time, the company has managed to lock down the necessary music licensing rights to include performances by Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz. (Yes, Lenny Kravitz is being featured as part of the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show.) As we've seen before, lucky Super Bowl attendees will be blocked from streaming the game from inside the stadium. Verizon and the NFL will instead offer a specialized app designed as a companion for seeing the game live.
Aug 19, 2014
Musicians typically don't get paid for playing at the NFL's Super Bowl halftime show. Having 115.3 million people watch your performance is payment enough, really. But this year the NFL is using the big game's unrivaled power of exposure to its advantage — or at least trying to, according to The Wall Street Journal. The league has apparently whittled its list of potential acts down to three: Coldplay, Rihanna, and Katy Perry. (Sorry, Weird Al fans.) But when approaching representatives for each artist with the good news, the NFL reportedly made an unprecedented request. It's asked three of pop music's most popular performers whether they'd "willing to contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league, or if they would make some other type of financial contribution" to headline the 2015 halftime show.Read Article >