A Kinder, More Gentle Super Bowl

As we get closer and closer to the Super Bowl, I'm starting to get a feeling for how the event is going to roll out. While many are worrying about the weather, and the traffic, and certainly all the celebrity sightings, I'm feeling a vibe start to take shape.

A vibe that's unusual for the Super Bowl.

Take a look at the entertainment: Renee Fleming will sing the National Anthem and Bruno Mars will do the Pepsi Halftime Show. These two are likely not going to have the over-the-top productions that we've seen in prior Super Bowl Halftime Shows, ala Beyonce, Madonna or Michael Jackson back in the day.

The now infamous "Super Bowl Boulevard," which runs thirteen blocks along Broadway in Manhattan, is giving everyone prime access to the game's frenzy. It's a little stretch of Super Bowl heaven for anyone and everyone, even if you don't have a ticket. It's providing open access, if you will, to all that's fun about the Super Bowl.

We're already seeing hashtags come pouring in, signaling lots of viewer engagement and I can easily bet that selfies will prevail throughout the event and at every Super Bowl party.

In a nutshell, I'm feeling a kinder, more gentle Super Bowl emerging. More "human" even.

The proof, though, is in the advertising that's starting to preview. Let's face it, the Super Bowl is generally the time for brands to show off and strut their stuff. Fast cars, action adventure scenes, bikinis, and complicated plots have often been the advertising buffet brought to Super Bowl viewers. Action so compelling that you just can't possibly run to the restroom. You stay still and watch... and tweet and post.

So far this year, though, we are not seeing as much of the hype, sex appeal and glitz of prior years. The advertising seems to be kinder, more gentle, and... more "human."

Witness the new spot from Budweiser, where a puppy connects with a horse in what's become a brand tradition to get us all to shed a tear.

Even Go Daddy, which generally pours on the sex, is going a different route this year featuring a real person who quits her job to pursue her dreams.

We have to give credit to Cheerios for having the brave vision to continue their "love" campaign, bringing it to an even larger stage for the brand's Super Bowl first.

Then there's my favorite so far from Guinness, which is now blocked from view due to Olympics regulations, that features twin sisters both competing to be on the U.S. Olympic team. "The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character." Gives me chills, just like the first execution of the campaign that featured guys in wheelchairs playing basketball. So real, so honest, so motivating.

So human.

We shall see if this theme plays out further, but my early predictions certainly point to a kinder, more gentle round up of Super Bowl advertising.