Arena Bowl XXII lived up to the hype coming down to the last play of the game as the Philadelphia Soul was able to hold off the defending champion San Jose SaberCats(formerly the Palo Alto SaberCat Tigers), 59-56. However, the high scoring shootout took back stage to the real star of the Arena Bowl: the commercials.
The Arena Bowl may not command the same audience,in numbers, that the NFL's Super Bowl does, but it has become a prime stage to test ads on football crazy fans.
"Arena Bowl has become the Super Bowl of TV commercial debuts. Companies pay top dollar to have their ads shown during the game. This sounds made up but it costs more per second here[Arena Bowl] than for the Super Bowl," said Valerie Holmsberg, a Madison Avenue ad executive with TechTech Inc.
The products featured in the Arena Bowl commercials range from beer to beer bottle openers and from sports cars to non-sports cars.
"My favorite was the one with the three cats singing the Canadian national anthem while staring at the product the commercial was promoting," said Philadelphia Soul fan, Brent Byers. "It was hilarious how the cats were just obsessed with the product."
Another fan decided not to go to a local bar to watch the game so he could hear and appreciate the ads.
"I was happy with my decision to stay home for the game. I was crying from laughter at the ad where the baby is sitting in the tire," said Kyle Cherkin, a self-proclaimed Soul diehard. "I mean, what is a baby doing in a tire. Wacky."
Other ads introduced improvements to already popular alcoholic liquid products.
"I love the one where the mountains on the side of the bottle turn red when the beer is finished. It was great! I mean, I know the bottle is lighter, but I probably would continue drinking it if I didn't see the mountains turn red," said SaberCat fan, Doug O'Hallahan, of Palo Alto, CA.
So whether you tuned in for the unremitting illegal forward motion displayed by both offenses or for the commercials, you have to admit one thing: you tuned in for the commercials.