Superbowl Monday?

I woke up at 6 AM this morning. It is by far the earliest I have woken up since arriving here, and also about the latest I have gone to bed (I’ll be asked about that next time I skype my parents). Normally I’m not too excited about waking up at 6 am on a Monday. But this wasn’t any monday, this was SUPERBOWL Monday. Because of the 13 hour time gap between Hong Kong and the east coast of the U.S, the Sunday evening 6:30 gametime translated to a 7:30 AM start here. So, like any good, football-loving American, I woke up and went to a bar to watch the game with a couple of new friends at Hong Kong Brew House in LKF (notably, I was only one on my program to make such an effort).

148$ HK dollars (about $19 U.S) got me an “American Breakfast,” which consisted of scrambled eggs, toast, hash browns, and sausage, and a free bottle of Brooklyn Lager. Not a bad way to start the day! I spent the better part of the first quarter explaining some of the rules of football to my non-american friends, and then watched in dismay as the Ravens proceed to march all over the 49ers. I thought my only superbowl in Hong Kong was going to be a blowout. Luckily, the power went out in New Orleans (!), which I thought created a major momentum shift and allowed SF to get back in the game.

It was great watching it in Hong Kong, because no one really cared who won, and everyone cheered at every big play, regardless of the outcome. People just wanted to see a good game and were excited to be a part of this American tradition (and have beer for breakfast). Pretty cool. The only really terrible part was that because it was a local broadcasting company, I didn’t get to see any of the commercials until after the game when I looked them up. And yes, I sat here and watched all of them.

First of all, the Oreo ad was fantastic. So was the Tide commercial, and I also enjoyed many others (NFL, Old Spice, Audi). Of course there some questionable ads, although none more so than Beck’s Sapphire.

First of all, aren’t sapphires blue? So why the red stone on the bottle. Also, what does a fish have to do with this? No idea how this relates to Beck’s or makes me want to drink their beer, but maybe the point was just to generate buzz. In any case, there was one ad that really got my attention, and that was the Ram commercial.

To start with, this ad is an epic, coming in at 2 minutes long. Most articles cite a cost of $3.5 million for 30 seconds of air time, so it’s safe to assume that the Ram commercial cost upwards of $14 million, which is crazy in it’s own right. But what really captivated me was the fact that the ad is all still images. Photographs. Paired together with Paul Harvey’s “So God made a farmer” speech, it really is quite powerful. I can’t remember the last time I saw an ad that used photography so heavily. Despite a little digging, all I could find out was that Chrysler commissioned 10 photographers, including William Albert Allard and Kurt Markus, to create the images. I found the photographs to be incredibly sincere and beautiful.

A couple closing comments: When we got to the Brew House at 7, it was barely twilight. Emerging back into the daylight at 11:30 AM after sitting in a dim bar all morning was incredibly disorienting.

Additionally, I am absolutely swimming in film right now, I have tons of pictures to post from all sorts of events including winter break and my ongoing adventures in HK. Check back soon!

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