Universal Orlando fields Peyton Manning as its 'Vacation Quarterback'

January 30, 2018, 10:50 AM · With the Pro Bowl having wrapped in Orlando, football fans are getting ready for this weekend's Super Bowl. But theme parks are still working their way into the hype. Walt Disney World hosted some of the Pro Bowl activities in Orlando last week, and Universal Orlando has unveiled a commercial it will show on NBC's Super Bowl broadcast Sunday.

This year's Universal Orlando Super Bowl commercial features former Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning (who won one championship with my favorite team, the Colts, and one with Laurie's favorite, the Broncos). Manning plays Universal's "vacation quarterback," leading a family around Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. (Love the Megatron joke, BTW.)

That's the extended cut, which will play during the pregame show. A 30-second cut will air sometime during the game. The spots are branded to both Orlando and Hollywood, though the commercial clearly was shot in Orlando.

Regardless of the version, it's all as silly as you'd expect from a TV spot featuring Manning, who has made fun of his commercial persona on an NBC broadcast before:

Universal Orlando has run Super Bowl commercials in the past when corporate sibling NBC has had the broadcast rights, as the network does again this year. Super Bowl commercials typically are the most expensive in television — given the game's huge audience — but a Universal spot on NBC is basically a house ad for the company. Even if Universal is paying the full rate for this, hey, the money is staying inside NBCUniversal, right?

No matter the finances, it's still fun for the rest of us to watch. Accio tourists!

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Replies (2)

January 30, 2018 at 3:12 PM · Meh ...
January 30, 2018 at 8:40 PM · I thought this was very enjoyable! Love Peyton Manning... Top five QB of all time! Universal really knocked it out of the park with this commercial. They continue to show off their skill in advertising. Well done UO!!

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