So, about that BlackBerry ad: Canada’s beleaguered RIM launched its new BlackBerry 10 smartphone this past week and promised a big splash with an ad during the Super Bowl. That seemed like an exciting idea at the time; the next step in the comeback of Canada’s tech darling, and so on. Then the ad came out. Disappointing, to say the least. When you have a new product, you want to boast about what it can do, but RIM decided to make a joke about all the things it can’t do, such as turn a careening semi-trailer truck into thousands of rubber ducks. We already know what smartphones can do: They can make phone calls, search the Internet, send texts and take pictures of your supper that look like they were shot in 1931 with a powder flash. We also already knew they don’t have magical powers. A better bet for RIM would have been to differentiate the new BlackBerry from the competition. Too late for that now. Next Super Bowl is a year away.
The PM was watching: Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who recently opened an official Twitter feed and spent last Monday tweeting about a day in his life, tweeted a photo of himself watching the game with four guy friends. The caption said, “I do love the CFL, but Super Bowl Sunday with friends is hard to beat.” This is the new, more human Stephen Harper. Of course, in the photo he’s reading e-mail on his laptop. Small steps.
Welcome to The Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime show: A fiery Beyoncé appeared on stage behind a voice over from that talkative Gatorade commercial about giving it your all when you do the high jump, Gatorade being owned by PepsiCo. She immediately broke into an old song, Crazy in Love, which isn’t a sin because that’s exactly what the Rolling Stones would have done. Her outfit could be described as a leather bra and tutu combo that didn’t need to fall off to feel like there’d been a malfunction.
Beyoncé, who had vowed to sing live after fessing up to lip-synching the national anthem at Barack Obama’s inauguration, noticeably let her backup singers handle many of the words to her songs while she sort of talked over them, screamed a few times and said stuff like “uh huh” and “Give it up!” Reasonable advice. The singing was breathy enough at times to convince you she wasn’t lip-synching, but at other moments it seemed apparent she might be, what with all the dancing she was doing while delivering perfect, rapid-fire lyrics. Too bad that’s what people will be focusing on, because she’s a great singer, a beautiful woman and a terrific performer.
Her much-touted Destiny’s Child reunion was welcomed by the crowd, if not by her old bandmates. She made them sing her hit “All the Single Ladies,” which didn’t seem very collegial.
Keys a tough act to follow: Did anyone else have the sense that there was a little competitiveness in Alicia Keys when she sang a languorous version of The Star-Spangled Banner before the game? Here she was, singing what was bound to be the most-watched version of the throat-shredding song since Beyonce faked it to a pre-rerecorded version at President Barack Obama’s inauguration last month. It would have been hard for Keys to nail the timing on a lip-synched version of such an off-tempo and unusual version of the American national anthem. And she looked stunning, all alone at a cream-coloured piano and wearing an eye-catching red gown. It was like she was saying, “This is the real thing, people. And it’s not that hard.”
GIF in a jiff: Here's a little something about the speed of social media these days: Buzzfeed posted a GIF replay of the Ravens' long-bomb touchdown about two minutes after it happened. This is guaranteed to get a lot of retweets. Not sure whether Buzzfeed has the right to post NFL footage like that, but the point is they did it and people are already sharing it.
Super spreads: Super Bowl watchers have been posting photographs of their game-day snacks on Twitter, and this one may wind up being the GREATEST SUPER BOWL SPREAD EVER!! The person behind this other one, however, doesn't appear to be clear on the concept.