Super Bowl 51 Part 2: Five Important Lessons (Even If You're Not a Fan)

I had no idea what I was going to write this morning, post-game.

I thought it might just be a critique of the ads, following-up on yesterday’s post. But, just like the game itself, the outcome was unexpected. Below are my takeaways from Super Bowl 51.

  1. Don’t pay attention when people say “it’s never been done before.” Throughout the game, the network posted statistics and facts about past games. “No one has ever come back from such a bad first quarter,” they said. Tune out the naysavers. Close your eyes when you see those stats on your mental screen (especially if you’re an entrepreneur or innovator). Defy the odds! And be willing to go into overtime...literally and metaphorically.
  1. Life begins at 30 and doesn’t end at 90. Tony Bennett’s intro of Lady Gaga was amazing. And I admired that Gaga’s stomach wasn’t perfectly flat. She was political without being controversial. A class (and sparkly) act!
  1. I loved the Audi ad on the small screen and I loved it even more on the big screen. For those of you who believe that the pay gap is an urban myth, check out the facts. Here are more scary stats for those of us over 50. We need to change all this...and the more awareness, the better. It’s worth the price of a Super Bowl ad, for sure!
  1. Most of the ads were boring and predictable. In fact, I thought it was the most lackluster batch of commercials I’ve seen in a while. The only one I hadn’t seen in preview was also one of the most quirky — Adam Driver’s live ad for Snickers. Things DO go wrong when you’re hungry. And mistakes happen — in commercials and in life. Two important messages. Plus, the brand’s integration of social media ensured that the spot had a life after the game ended.
  1. Speaking of a life after the game, the 84 Lumber ad follow-up crashed the website. The story about immigration got people talking before, during, and after Sunday night, breaking down the metaphorical wall.

Overall, it was aevening when a few big heroes (other than Tom Brady) shone and some themes were victorious:

  • People can come back from dismal situations — in sports and in life. (I have to also give a special shout-out to Julian Edelman — after all, how many football players can make a catch like that! The entire story of his career is pretty amazing too. A nice Jewish boy with a tat who plays football? Right there you have an outlier!)
  • Amercians are making an effort to showcase tolerance in an often-intolerant world. Glad to see brands use their $$ to show the love and make people think.
  • Great music and dancing are timeless. And even if you don’t drink carbonated beverages you have to admit that Pepsi is performing a service for all of mankind — sports fans and others! (And perhaps one day I will be able to dance in 5-inch heels — maybe on my 70th birthday — when I’m making the same salary as a man my age!)
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