Who runs the world? If you're looking at last night's Super Bowl XLVII, than the answer seems to be girls, or more rightly, women.
From Beyoncé to Budweiser, the non-football elements of the biggest television event of the year were greatly driven by women and women's interests, making this year one for the ladies. A quick look at Monday's top Google searches, and it's clear that ladies are the ones dictating the discussion. Beyoncé, Super Bowl Commercials (many of which were clearly aimed at women), and the Puppy Bowl are all ranked higher than the game itself and retiring linebacker Ray Lewis. During the broadcast, Bey's halftime show generated 5.5 million tweets and the tweets-per-minute rate was almost double that of the game-making 49ers touchdown after the blackout and the final seconds of the game in which the Baltimore Ravens took the title. Even FLOTUS, Michelle Obama, got in on the action, tweeting, "Watching the #SuperBowl with family & friends. @Beyonce was phenomenal! I am so proud of her!" and signing it affectionately, "-mo." If you're looking at social media, it appears that the girl power-heavy halftime show was a bigger draw than the game itself.
RELATED: 47 Reasons Beyonce's Halftime Show Was Better Than the Game
But it wasn't just about Beyoncé. The game also opened with two other strong, talented women. Beyoncé's Dreamgirls co-star and vocal powerhouse Jennifer Hudson began the pre-game festivities with "America the Beautiul" and girl power figure Alicia Keys followed with a near-perfect "Star-Spangled Banner." It was clear that this year, more than ever before, the producers behind the Super Bowl were conscious of catering to both the usual beer-slinging, Taco-Bell-loving, he-men most ads and programming have catered to in years past and women. But why wouldn't they? According to most recent market research, women are the ones to aim for when it comes to marketing and social media.
According to Comscore, women account for the majority of social media users and are generally more engaged. Pontiflex adds that women on social media tend to be more influential than men. And when it comes to spending, Pontiflex also reports that women are responsible for 85 percent of household spending, and hold the majority of spending decisions in big Super Bowl advertising categories such as food, new cars, and personal computers.
With data like that, it should come as no surprise that some of the more beloved Super Bowl commercials are clearly marketed toward society's big spenders. Best Buy — a company that generally takes aim at men — enlisted lady hero Amy Poehler and her supposed love of Fifty Shades of Grey to sell its wares. Jeep sought the help of womankind's favorite lifestyle guru, Oprah Winfrey, as the voiceover for its emotional Super Bowl spot this year and Kia went for the cute, ooh-and-awww-inspiring story of Babylandia to entice its potential buyers. Where Budweiser usually goes for the rugged, All-American feel — showing us amber waves of grain and the strength of plodding Clydesdales — 2013 showed us the kinder, gentler side of America's favorite beer, giving us a love story between a man and the horse he raises from pony to steed, set appropriately to "Landslide." Even commercials that appeared to skew towards men, like Time Warner's Walking Dead-invades-your-home spot and Tide's miracle stain ad, end with the twist: Sorry, dudes, but women are the ones holding the reins. (Miracle stain guy is bested by his wife, who's rooting against his Ravens, and even Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead isn't too badass to heed mom's requests.) And that Calvin Klein ad, with a shiny, unbelievably buff model was definitely a little something for the ladies. While gross-out spots like Go Daddy's Bar Refaeli ad (which was offensive to nerds, people with ears, and living, breathing humans everywhere) and the borderline-rapey commercial for Gildan activewear, which featured a sneaky guy escaping after a one-night-stand, but not without trying to rip his t-shirt off his conquest first, the winning ads of the night were the feel-good, non-gender specific spots, and a few very-obviously female-skewing spots.
RELATED: Super Bowl XLVII's Best and Worst Ads
Yes, when the confetti fell on the Super Dome in New Orleans, it was for a team of sweaty dudes, but the night, overall, was a win for the ladies. Looking at the overnight ratings, which have been deemed the highest in history, made Super Bowl XLVII the biggest television event in the U.S., ever. The broadcast pulled in a 48.1 rating, which is equivalent to 114.7 million homes and 71 percent of the nation's televisions, and with the incessant chatter surrounding Beyoncé before (and long after) the halftime performance, it's hard to believe that the women who foretold that girls would run the world isn't at least partially to thank for the boost in viewership. UPDATE: The early numbers don't always match actual numbers and Super Bowl ratings were actually slightly down from years past, but interaction, especially during the halftime show, was still rather high and still rather focused on the lady of the five (plus) hour telecast.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: AP Images (2)]
You Might Also Like:
Biden? Ford? Surprisingly Hot Young Pics of Politicians
Who Wore This Crazy Hat?
Stars Who Changed Their Look After Love
My oh my, this week’s Once Upon a Time was a whale of an episode—and that’s not just because we finally learned the fairytale identity of Dr. Whale (David Anders)! Halloween has descended upon our three worlds and we’re here to Hook you up with all of the monsters, magic, and mysteries you may have missed in this week’s episode “The Doctor.”
Fairytale Land’s Past: The episode opens with Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle) teaching a smiling and generally happy Regina (Lana Parrilla) how to perfect her magical abilities, but when he tells her to snatch the heart from a unicorn, she refuses. The newly-crowned queen shakes her head. “I can’t, it’s innocent.” Rumple snaps back, “Nothing is innocent.” He then proceeds to grab the beating — and now glowing — heart from the animal and explains, “You see when you take a heart, it becomes enchanted. You’re not hurting the beast, your controlling it.” Regina later admits to Rumple in his estate that she is hoping to be able to bring someone back from the dead using magic. “I want true happiness,” she pleads. You guessed it! Regina wants to resurrect her former fiancé, Daniel the stable boy — the one who Cora (Barbara Hershey) killed when she ripped out his heart.
But Rumple instantly shuts down her foolish thoughts, saying that magic can do many things, but when someone is dead, that’s irreversible. “As long as you live in the past, you’ll never find your future,” he taunts to the wide-eyed Regina. At this point, the show’s most handsome fella Jefferson (Sebastian Stan) decides to weigh in on the topic. It appears that the Mad Hatter has been eavesdropping on their conversation, and he tells Regina that he knows of a "wizard" who may be able to do what she’s looking for. Jefferson introduces Regina to the man that we know as Dr. Whale, and says that the doctor is from a different realm, and has traveled here in search of a heart that is strong enough to withstand his “experimental” procedures.
Regina takes them to her mother’s vault and reveals Cora’s vast — and terrifying — collection of hearts. “She was a monster,” Regina says. The doctor agrees to operate on Regina’s beloved, but unfortunately the heart was not strong enough to bring back her source of happiness. A heart-broken Regina arrives in the forest (dressed head-to-toe in black leather, rawr!) to find Rumple training a new, “more dedicated” girl. “Dedicated?” the queen snarls. Regina then proves her dedication by ripping the heart out of the hopeful young witch and crushing it into dust. It’s clear that the kind-hearted and apprehensive Regina is gone — along with her ability to love. Later it’s revealed that Rumple set up the whole rouse, and promised the doctor an enchanted heart if he could break the heart of his young apprentice. Rumple turns to leave saying, “Thanks to your efforts, I’ve made my monster, and I do hope that you’ll be able to make yours.” Oooh creepy!
Fairytale Land’s Present: Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin), Emma (Jennifer Morrison), Mulan (Jamie Chung) and Aurora (Sarah Bolger) are heading back to their safe-haven island to tell the other fairytale characters of Cora’s Lancelot disguise. However, once they arrive at camp the women are horrified to see that everyone has been murdered. Cause of death? Their hearts have been ripped right out of their chests. Classic Cora move. Although at first there appears to be no survivors, one man — hidden under a pile of dead bodies, ew — is still alive. The ladies pull out who Mulan calls “just a blacksmith” but we as the super-smart audience recognize him right away as the oh-so handsome Killian Jones, aka Captain Hook (Colin O'Donoghue). Dun duun duuuun!
Hooks plays dumb, thanking the women for their kindness and hospitality, but it’s clear that Emma isn’t picking up the lies that the captain is laying down. After he seems a little too interested in their lives back in Sorybrooke and offers to guide them to a portal back home, Emma has had enough. “You’re not going to guide us anywhere until you tell us who you really are,” she demands while holding an extremely sharp dagger up to the pirate’s throat. BAMF. Hook continues to play dumb, so Emma does the most natural and logical thing: she ties him up to a tree and whistles for the ogres to come get their next meal. And then he cracks.
After revealing himself to be the most feared pirate in all the land, Hook begins to squeal like a frightened little piglet. “Cora wanted me to gain your trust so I could learn everything there is to know about your Storybrooke," he says. "She didn’t want any surprises when she finally got over there.” Hook admits that although the wardrobe was destroyed, the enchantment still remains. “The ashes will open a portal, but to find your land she needs more. There is an enchanted compass. I’ll help you obtain it before she does.” He pleads to the three badass women and Aurora. (So far the sleeping princess has been a total yawn.) Emma has just one question for him before she decides whether or not to let him go: Why does he want to go to Storybrooke? The answer is simple and sufficient: “To exact revenge on the man who took my hand, Rumplestilskin.” Hook is set free, and shows the ladies that the compass they need is located at the tippy-top of a sky-high beanstalk. “It’s not the climb you have to worry about. It’s the giant at the top,” he warns. Fee fi foe fum.
Storybrooke: The episode opens with Dr. Whale hoping to speak with Charming (Josh Dallas), but before he utters two words, the prince punches the smarmy man square in the jaw. Swoon! His reason? “For sleeping with my wife!” Whale stammers, “We were cursed!” — clearly the new version of the classic Friends excuse, “We were on a break!” After confirming that the prince is indeed searching for a portal back to fairytale land, Whales bursts in on Regina’s magic-withdrawals therapy sesh with Archie, and demands that she send him back to his world so that he can be with his deceased brother. Achie asks Regina about her selection process for who was placed under the curse, and she retorts, “I don’t care about Whale or his brother. I brought who I wanted.” Turns out Regina also brought her one-true love to Stroybrooke. “His name is Daniel. I preserved his body with an enchantment spell. He’s dead but frozen,” she practically whispers. But when Archie suggests that Regina needs to let go of the past before she can move on, the queen gets mighty pissed and storms out of the office.
On the stormy drive home, Regina thinks that she sees her beloved beau walking down the streets of Storybrooke, and it turns out she’s right! Daniel’s body is missing from his clear coffin, and Regina decides to confront Whale at the hospital. She enters a destroyed laboratory and finds a now one-armed Dr. Whale, covered in blood and lying on the floor. Whale says that he successfully brought Daniel back from the dead, however, her former fiancée has now become a full-fledged monster. Regina is overjoyed at the fact that Daniel has finally returned to her and tells Charming, “I think it’s like when you awoke from your coma. He’s following his final thoughts to where he last met me: The stables.”
Unfortunately, Henry (Jared Gilmore) is in the middle of his “how to be a knight” training and is at the stables bonding with his new noble steed. Daniel arrives, and naturally all of the horses freak the eff out because there is this half dead monster moaning about. Henry — after probably peeing his pants — sees the blood on Daniel’s hands and offers to help, but the monster decides that choking Henry is the best option. Luckily, Charming and Regina arrive just in time to save their grandson/son, and Regina begs for Charming not to hurt Daniel. “He’ll listen to me! Please!” she cries. It’s clear that Daniel does not recognize his former flame, and he proceeds to choke her as well. Regina whispers the classic spell-breaker, “I love you,” and light floods into the monster’s eyes. However, Daniel is in unbearable pain, and he begs Regina to move on and let him go. “No, I wont lose you again," she says. "Without you I’m lost." Just as Daniel is about to lunge for her throat again, Regina stops him and finally uses magic to send her one-true love to the afterlife.
Dr. Whale begs Rumple to re-attach his arm, and it only takes three words to get him to agree: “I need magic.” Whale tells Rumple that he brought Daniel back form the dead in hopes that Regina would send him back to his world. Whale explains, “I want to see my brother, to try and bring him back again. The first time ended badly.” Flashback to a world where everything is in black and white, and Dr. Whale (who’s real name is Victor) looms over a lifeless body on an operating table with his new, enchanted heart in his hand. The surgery — complete with lightening and fancy equipment — is a success, and the fingers of his stitched-together brother begin to twitch underneath the white sheet. His high-praising assistant whispers, “It’s magic, Dr. Frankenstein!” To which the doctor quickly corrects him, “No, not magic. It’s science.” Cue the thunder and lightening, and the screen fades to black.
What did you think of this week’s ultra-creepy Once Upon a Time? We’re you as bummed as we were that ABC ruined the Whale reveal in their promo? Excited to see Emma and Snow face the beanstalk giant next week? Cast your spell in the comments below!
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
[Photo Credit: ABC]
'Once Upon a Time' Recap: Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho! A Pirates’ Life for Smee
'Once Upon a Time' Recap: Lancelot Lies a Lot
'Once Upon a Time' Recap: Wicked Beginnings and Optimistic Endings
While King Simon Cowell rode back to Fox on his White Steed, purporting to win the ratings battle for the network with a minimum of 20 million X Factor viewers, reality fell slightly short. Actually, it fell very short. The premiere opened to just 12.1 million viewers, yet Fox’s old dog, American Idol, averages about 18.8 million viewers per episode – and we haven’t even made it to the good part of the competition yet. Since its inaugural season, X has performed a purge eliminating host Steve Jones and judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger and most recently hinting that they'd add a second host to the mix in Season Two. But the series has some steep competition from the seasoned Idol. And the big question here is: what gives? What is it that keeps Idol flying high – even in a year when the series’ “declining” ratings is a constant news item – while the X Factor merely puttered along?
1. We want to meet the contestants, not the judges.
The X Factor has a unique approach in that it treats its judges as the real celebrities, instead giving that treatment to the stars it seeks to create. Idol certainly plays on the judges’ star power, but in a way that feels more like sage experience to help grow the contestants instead of feathers in their caps. When it comes time for judgment on Idol, it’s all about the singer onstage. What did they bring to the table? Did his or her talent really shine? On X, those criticisms are directed at the judges, because what really seems to be on trial are the judges’ managerial abilities instead of the individual singers’ talents. While it makes more sense from a music industry point of view, it’s not as fun for the viewer. Idol lets us all sit at the judges table because we’re just as separated from the contestants’ choices as they are. It’s an equal playing field that simply offers more entertainment than the inside baseball on The X Factor.
2. Steve Jones makes us long for Ryan Seacrest’s inane puns.
Seacrest may be the most inoffensive person ever. Even people who don’t like him can’t really pinpoint why. He’s just so delightfully vanilla with a drizzle of playful, yet safe sarcasm. And Steve Jones is…cute and British. And believe it or not, audiences want more than a pretty face. They want someone who truly connects with the contestants and the judges on a deeper, more personal level. That’s the host’s purpose: a bridge joining the dreamers and the wranglers, tying it all up in a nice bow for the viewers at home. More often than not, Jones was in a bit of contention with the judges on The X Factor – and that disconnect was awkward and completely palpable.
3. Genuine chemistry is always better than petty negativity.
The one thing Idol really got right in its second act, starting in Season 10, was the camaraderie among the judges. The series always had a bit of that, but rivalries were certainly encouraged. For the first seven years, we watched Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell fight, and when she left the show, they brought in Kara DioGuardi to take over the battle of snappy comments. But it was evident that the average reality show viewer was over it – the series needed to turn over a new leaf. In comes Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and the stalwart Randy Jackson, who disagree just as often as the old set of judges did, but without losing their esprit de corps. They’re like a loving triplet of parents, watching their contestant babies grow, while the X Factor judges not only lacked any real chemistry, but they really didn’t seem to like each other – a factor the producers tried to play up, to their detriment. In this new era of reality competitions, positivity is the way to go.
4. America wants to call the shots.
The X Factor seeks to remedy Idol’s mistakes by changing the formula so voters don’t really have the final say in who stays and who goes. Rather than votes determining the week’s castoff, they determine the bottom two and the judges then choose who stays. If the judges can’t decide, then America makes the decision – but that’s fairly rare. Once again, this plan makes sense from a music industry perspective – voters don’t always know who actually has what it takes to be a recording artist. But for the most part, viewers don’t tune in because their iTunes account is in need of a boost; they tune in because they want to watch entertaining television. Any series' real goal is first and foremost to be entertaining television - just ask the networks. And a large part of that entertainment is that sense of unpredictable mob rule. On Idol, singers we’d never expect to part with are sent packing in early weeks, while weaklings stay on – but that’s where are our stubborn opinions thrive. And it’s those stubborn, vehement opinions that make Idol so much fun. Idol does have one “Judges’ Save” per year, but it’s far from X’s weekly practice. By allowing music industry professionals to correct our mistakes, The X Factor robs us of a very significant fun factor.
Do you think Idol does it better than The X-Factor? What else does the original singing competition do better? Let us know in the comments or get us on Twitter @Hollywood_com and @KelseaStahler