Few surprises in Super Bowl ads

Few surprises in Super Bowl ads

NEW YORK (AP) So much for surprises.

The majority of the 30-plus Super Bowl advertisers have been releasing their spots in the days leading up to the game. So it's unlikely there'll be lots of action off the football field to make viewers drop their jaws on Sunday.

Advertising fans already can catch a glimpse of ``Spider-Man'' actor Willem Dafoe in a Mercedes-Benz ad. They can watch a baby Clydesdale grow up in an Anheuser-Busch commercial. They even can spot old people partying in a Taco Bell ad.

Gone are the days when Super Bowl spots were closely-guarded secrets. With the growth of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it's no surprise that more advertisers are releasing ads online up to a week or more before Game Day.

In recent years, more advertisers have been making their spots public before the Big Game. This year, 26 of the 35 or so advertisers have released their spots, with more reveals expected, according to

Companies have good reason for doing this. Last year, Super Bowl ads released early were watched 600 percent more times - with 9.1 million average views - than ones released after the game, according to, which hosts advertisers' commercials on its site.

``The conversation has gone from Monday morning around the water cooler to social media, so basically what that means is there's no downside in showing your cards early and getting people to talk about it and starting up some buzz,'' said Charlie Warzel, staff writer at Adweek Magazine.

Still, Warzel said not everyone likes seeing ads early. ``There are a lot of people who want to be surprised and can't help but see these things floating around the Internet or picked up by news agencies. So the element of surprise is taken away.''

To be sure, a few companies are betting that there's still cachet in making the ``big reveal.'' The few advertisers that are staying mum this year are hoping they can accomplish what Chrysler did last year - its two-minute halftime spot featuring Clint Eastwood was so unexpected that it was one of the most memorable ads of the game.

``Last year, Chrysler shocked everyone with a Clint Eastwood ad no one knew about,'' said Barbara Lippert, a columnist at ``This year, no one knows what Chrysler is doing.''

Besides Chrysler, companies that haven't revealed their spots yet include Mondelez' Oreo and Research In Motion's BlackBerry. All the companies have so far declined to discuss their plans for Super Bowl publicly.

``Oreo has developed this ad for the Super Bowl and, as such, it's only fitting that it debuts during the Super Bowl,'' according to an Oreo statement.

That hasn't stopped ad experts from speculating. ``Oreo's advertising might really hit the mark because people are tired of sex and beer,'' Lippert, the columnist, said. ``Blackberry's commercial is coming from a British agency so I have high hopes for it.''

Procter & Gamble's Tide also hasn't released its ad, but it has given some details. For instance, the company said that the ad will include both teams in the Super Bowl - the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens - and discuss stains that might be worth keeping.

``We feel that the magic of the ad would be lost if we revealed it before its slot in the game,'' said Chris Lillich, the company's associate marketing director.

There might also be some surprises from advertisers that have already released ads. Experts say some companies may tinker with their plans.

Something to watch for, Lippert said: Whether Volkswagen changes its Game Day spot that features a Minnesotan man with a Jamaican accent, which faced some criticism in the days leading up to the Super Bowl from some people who deemed it culturally insensitive.

``There might be some surprises and last-minute changes,'' Lippert said.

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Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown

James Washington

Wide receiver
Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington measured at 5 feet 11 inches at the combine and his 40 time was a pedestrian 4.54.

But forget about the numbers. His catch radius is larger than his height would indicate, and he plays much faster than the stopwatch says he does.

His route tree needs to be cleaned up but his ability to get open deep, make receptions on back shoulder throws and, yes, Redskins fans, fade patterns will make him a productive receiver while he learns.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 213
40-yard dash: 4.54

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying

He doesn't look like a receiver and he doesn't run routes like a receiver, but then you see him get open deep and make all those explosive plays, and you know exactly what he does for an offense.

—A Big 12 assistant coach via

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins needed a wide receiver to line up opposite Josh Doctson after Terrelle Pryor fizzled out last year. They went out and signed Paul Richardson to a free agent contract, solving the immediate need.

But in the NFL, you should always be looking for your next receiver. It takes most of them at least a season to develop so if you wait until you really need a pass catcher it’s too late to draft one. Washington has the capability to contribute early and develop from there.  

Film review: vs. Pitt, vs. TCU, vs. Oklahoma

—Like most coaches, Jay Gruden wants his wide receivers to block and Washington certainly gives it the effort. He helped backs gain extra yards on stretch plays with hustling blocks downfield. His technique may need some work—a long touchdown run against Oklahoma was called back when he was hit for holding—but the effort is there.

—Against the Sooners, Washington got by a cornerback who was in off coverage and beat him for a long gain. Later in the game, the corner was in press coverage and Washington made one move and beat the defender on a post for a touchdown. We can insert the usual cautions about Big 12 defenses here, but it still was impressive to watch.

—Speed is important but so is how fast a receiver can stop to catch a pass. On one underthrown fade pattern, Washington was able to slam on the brakes while the cornerback kept on running, making the catch for a nice gain out of the end zone an easy one.

—Against TCU he split two defenders on a deep pass. He caught the ball in stride and then he found a second gear and easily outraced the defensive backs to the end zone to complete the 86-yard play. This is a good example of Washington playing faster than his 40 time.

Potential issues: Washington is not a good enough prospect to warrant the No. 13 pick, but he could easily be gone by the time the time their second-round pick is on the clock. As noted above, the quality of the defenses he faced in compiling 74 receptions for 1,549 yards (20.9 per catch) and 13 touchdowns has to be considered.

Bottom line: If I’m the Redskins, I have a talk with Jamison Crowder’s agent before the draft to gauge what his client would want in order to sign an extension prior to the 2018 season. If it’s something the Redskins consider reasonable, they should look elsewhere in the second round. But if a 2019 Crowder departure seems likely,  they should look at Washington if he’s there in the second round. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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Redskins withdraw contract offer to Junior Galette

Redskins withdraw contract offer to Junior Galette

It looks like the Redskins are moving on from Junior Galette.

Citing a team source, Chick Hernandez of NBC Sports Washington is reporting that the team has withdrawn its contract offer to Galette, the veteran pass rusher who finally got on the field last year after missing all of his first two seasons in Washington with injuries. He is an unrestricted free agent.

The Redskins may have a replacement for Galette lined up. They had former Bear Pernell McPhee in for a visit earlier this week and there was a report that they made him a contract offer after that. McPhee subsequently visited the Falcons facility, but he has not signed anywhere. However, there have been no reports that a deal is imminent as of this morning.


As for Galette, Hernandez mentions two possible destinations. One is the Browns, who have two key connections to Galette. Scot McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who signed Galette after he was cut by the Saints after the 2014 season is in the personnel department in Cleveland. In addition, Gregg Williams, who was the Saints’ defensive coordinator when Galette made the team as an undrafted rookie, currently has the same position with the Browns.

Another possibility is the Rams. The connections there are Joe Barry, the linebackers coach in LA who was Redskins’ defensive coordinator during Galette’s first two years with the team, and head coach Sean McVay, who was the offensive coordinator in Washington while Galette was on the other side of the ball.

Galette has said on social media lately that his first choice is to remain with the Redskins but that the money had to be “fair”. The interest in a return to Washington was mutual but evidently, the organization’s idea of fair and Galette’s differed by too great a margin to bridge the gap.  

Last year, Galette didn’t have an impressive sack total, getting three in a backup role. But he got plenty of pressure on the quarterback and that can be just as important as sacks.


Galette developed into a feared pass rusher with the Saints, getting double-digit sacks his last two seasons there. After signing him to a lucrative contract extension, the Saints abruptly released Galette due to some off-field issues. McCloughan and the Redskins signed him soon after the start of training camp in 2015 but before he could even play in a preseason game, he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in practice and he was out for the year.

His much-anticipated return the following year ended before it even started. Shortly before it was time to report to training camp, he tore the other Achilles and he was on the shelf again.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.