The big game is this weekend, which can mean only one thing–more hue and cry from Canadians about not being able to watch the Super Bowl ads.
The ads are more hyped than the game, with 50-60 spots pitching soft drinks, cell phones and, of course, beer crammed into four hours of stop-and-start football. The game starts at 6:28 ET on CBS and CTV, although CBS has football-related programming beginning all the way back to noon (as does TSN). The Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, by the way, are playing.
There are no Super Bowl automobile ads in the U.S. for the second year in a row, unless you count the Toyota Half Time Report, which may seem a little accelerated this year. Thank you, try the veal.
Most of us are stuck with CTV’s feed of the game and their ads. Look for about a billion plugs for the Winter Olympics plus teasers for CTV`s newly announced CanCon, comedies Dan for Mayor and Hiccups (both from some of the people behind Corner Gas) and police drama The Bridge.
I’ve got a Super Bowl ad feature on the Canadian press newswire, you can read the full story here.
Fact is, this year, there are more ways than ever for Canadians to watch American Super Bowl ads. One Canadian service provider, Videotron in Quebec, is even making the full CBS signal available to their HD customers. The way things were heating up during the whole “Stop the TV Tax/Local TV Matters” campaigns, it is a wonder more Canadian cable and satellite companies aren’t delivering the U.S. feed directly to their customers this year.
There have been ways around the Canadian signal in the past. My buddy “Deep Dish” from southwestern Ont., reminded me the other day that in past years he has been able to watch the U.S. network affiliate West Coast feed from Seattle off his Canadian dish and in that way catch all the U.S. ads. Me thinks even that loophole has been closed but perhaps not.
There is just using a good old fashioned antenna. You’ll need one that can capture digital signals connected to a digital set top box and you’ll also need to live close enough to a CBS affiliate border station.
Or you can just stream many of the ads on the Internet. Almost half a million people have already streamed two teasers for Bridgestone Tire ads (including the one above and below).

Resourceful Bridgestone even has “making of the Super Bowl commercials” videos posted on-line. These guys leave no tread un-turned.
Considering Bridgestone and others are paying CBS a minimum of $2.8 million per 30 second spot Sunday, the Internet teaser deal is a pretty good buy.
You can also stream ads that CBS standards rejected for the big game, a marketing ploy Go Daddy has worked to perfection the past half-dozen years. Below is this year’s reject, once again featuring race car driver Danica Patrick:

I’m not sure why that ad was rejected but here is one that would never crack a Super Bowl lineup: a gay dating ad for a site called ManCrunch.

Yeah, that’s not going to happen. U.S. special interest groups are already flipping out over an anti-abortion pitch from a Christian group in the States that CBS has approved for air. The ad features 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mom, who is apparently glad she didn’t abort him. Nice audible, mom!
All this and what’s left of The Who playing at half time. Pass the Doritos and fire up the chili.


  1. Shaw Direct customers outside the Toronto area should also be able to receive the CBS feed in HD.

  2. I gotta side with CBS on the Man Crunch issue. I work in television, and there is no way that commercial is anywhere near TV standards, especially as big a broadcast as the superbowl! It looks like something high school students shot in their basement! That, combined with CBS’s claim that they couldn’t verify the company’s credit leads me to believe that they did in fact create a commercial they knew would be rejected because they couldn’t pay for it anyway and just wanted the publicity of being rejected.

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