Episode 292: A Short Day’s Journey Into The Driveway

The Overthinkers tackle the cultural discourse (drink) around Super Bowl XLVIII’s commercials and halftime show.

Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather overthink the cultural discourse (drink) around Super Bowl XLVIII’s commercials and halftime show. With a special bonus section on how to do a Jack Bauer impression.


→ Download Episode 292 (MP3)

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15 Comments on “Episode 292: A Short Day’s Journey Into The Driveway”

  1. Chris Morgan #

    Hey dudes; Jack BOWER? C’mon.

    I liked a lot of those legacy act halftimes, because they were musicians I actually like.


  2. Emil #

    I’m looking forward to this episode. While I understand the appeal of big sporting event I could never understand the hype surrounding ads. Does it not take away from the sport itself? If someone told me “Did I saw the defensive midfielder performance? Fsck that, have you see the car commercial?!” I would be offended.

    Or maybe it’s just a conservative nature of football (soccer): no breaks, no timeouts, 15 minute between half-times WITH short studio discussion don’t leave much space for soda ads.


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      That’s interesting. By contrast, US football seems built around televising itself.

      The focus on the ads comes from the fact that the ad time itself is so expensive, so it’s a slightly grotesque display of conspicuous wealth just to buy an ad, much less to produce it (which may cost an order of magnitude more, with a lot of star salaries). The coincidence has to do with how popular the sport is — you know everyone will be watching. It’s like Fashion Week for mass market goods.


      • An Inside Joke #

        Interestingly, it seems to be spreading to other events. I have friends who have Oscar-ad watching parties (people who have no investment in the Oscars, don’t pay much attention to the awards-show itself, but watch the commercials as a social event.)


  3. Margo #

    I would be *thrilled* if the Overthinkers would subject the London 24 to the same exhaustive analysis you devoted to Gossip Girl.

    Much love, M


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      I can hardly imagine two franchises more ripe for a crossover.


      • Margo #

        I was thinking of a 24/Sherlock crossover but Gossip Girl works too. Chloe is revealed to be GG and Jack can interrogate Chuck.

        Damn, now I want this!


  4. TribesmanSen #

    I’m glad you guys touched on the point I was harping about last night with the ‘waiting for the last possible moment to mention your product’. It seemed like 2014 was the year of bait and switch in ad campaigns. The biggest offender I want to say was the stunning turn of events in the TurboTax commercial where we went from a prom dance to doing your taxes.

    Couple things. It was nice of Fox (and advertisers) to remind us that this is America, something that it felt like they did every 5 minutes in some way or another. Since when is the reading of the Declaration of Independence an annual pre-game tradition? Also, not sure if it was a regional thing which I’m highly hoping, yet severely doubting it was, was that a scientology commercial?


  5. MEGR #

    Jif? I thought the author was dead.

    Also Pete’s top secret job is finally revealed. He claims to work for a bank but that’s just what he would say if were secretly working for the NSA isn’t it?


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      I’ve been pronouncing the acronym for Graphics Interchange Format with a soft “G” since 1989. Back before it was uncool, before it was cool, and before it was uncool the time before.


      • Emil #

        I will start using: A graphic format using lossless LZW compression algorithm with 8-bit, indexed palette. Prince (PODCAST CALLBACK!) did something similar and he’s cool.


  6. Tim H #

    Only just started listening but so far.

    i. London drivers are not renowned for the respect that they show zebra crossings, must have been in a good mood when you were there.

    ii. Given the bizarre idea of what a zebra crossing was, pop quiz, which of these is not a UK crossing type / what do you think each is:

    – Zebra
    – Pelican
    – Puffin
    – Toucan
    – Pegasus
    – Unicorn


  7. Hudsucker #

    My favorite ad was the Rob Riggle / James Franco ad. I just love something slightly weird.


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