Did you have fun watching the Super Bowl? If the answer is yes, then Madison Avenue clearly didn’t succeed in its 2015 mission. Break out the chips and dip! Wear your team’s colors! And, er … your kid may be dead by halftime:
Cheer the great plays! Watch all of the pre-game shows and post-game highlights! And … you’re neglecting your family, you insensitive bread-winner, you. Make sure your audio is turned down for this one, as it’s Not Safe for Psyches:
MadAve was selling something at the Super Bowl, all right, but it wasn’t product. In my column for The Week, I castigate the advertisers and their clients for sucking the fun out of a day that America and the world puts aside for it:
The ads, too, have long been a central part of the spectacle. Ad time is obscenely expensive during the Super Bowl, and advertisers plan all year to find the most clever, humorous, inventive, and memorable ways to sell their products and services. Thirty-second spots for this year’s Super Bowl sold at the astronomical price of $4.5 million.
Most of these advertisers wasted their cash — particularly because so many wasted their most valuable time lecturing people rather than selling their services. And not surprisingly, many consumers trashed them — both for their arrogance and the lack of comprehension over what makes the Super Bowl such a cultural force. …
This year, we didn’t just get bad jokes and shaky premises, but patronizing and nonsensical lectures courtesy of the deep philosophical thinkers on Madison Avenue. The ads sucked the fun out of the Super Bowl extravaganza.
And that’s the key: The Super Bowl attracts so much attention because of the fun people have with it. Dead children and bribes for calling mom aren’t fun — they’re wagging fingers of guilt. We gather at the televisions for the NFL’s finale to have a few hours of carefree fun, not to be scolded about our family life. Want to have “a conversation” about how your customers can’t live their lives properly? Run the ads on cable-news outlets and during daytime talk shows. Want to advertise during the Super Bowl? Indulge your creativity and sell your goods and services — or save your money and let us enjoy the event.
I’m not the only one who noticed a strong nanny quality in the ads of this Super Bowl. Ed Driscoll at PJ Media said a friend dubbed it “the Nanny Bowl,” while Ed wondered whether this was revenge for the midterms:
Thank God the on-field action was so compelling, because the ads were so unpalatable. By my rough count, there were at least two ads featuring people with no legs, one with a missing father, one with misogynistic anti-male crack from comedienne Sarah Silverman, and one ad bullying a ten year old boy because he said someone “plays like a girl.” (The horror.) And perhaps most infamously based on comments on Twitter and even the London Daily Mail, one dead ten year old boy, thanks to Nationwide. (And if you don’t approve of this understandable media gruel, you’re an Internet “hater” — says Coca-Cola?)
A friend of mine watching the game at my house last night, a fellow member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy bivouacked behind enemy lines in Deep Blue Socialist California, dubbed it “The Nanny Bowl.” He’s definitely on to something. As journalist Kevin P. Craver tweeted to me last night, “I fell into an alternate universe in which the party that loses the November election gets to write the Super Bowl ads.”
Rush Limbaugh has been talking for years about how hard the left has been trying to undermine football. Between the thuggish players making regular appearances on the crime blotter and domestic violence counseling sessions, Tom Brady pimping “Earth Hour” Al Gore-style from his zillion dollar mansion, the rumors of cheating by the Pats, the on-screen politicized halftime rants by Bob Costas and other socialist justice warriors, the veteran players who’ve transformed themselves into victims, and the offseason psychodramas of the SJW print sportswriters, the train wrecks are no longer reserved for the on-field collisions, but now overshadow the game itself.
“Nanny Bowl” sums it up well. Believe it or not, McDonalds, most people don’t need your patronizing freebies to tell our mothers we love them, or want to dance for our dinners. We manage our lives well enough without your help, and Coca Cola isn’t exactly the monument to health and overall welfare that might give you some credibility to lecture us on love. Jeep’s track record of turning out vehicles designed to drive all over unpaved vistas is an odd entrée to a missive on environmentalism.
Stick with your products rather than the lectures. Either get in the spirit of the Super Bowl and provide fun and entertainment in your ads, or run them on MSNBC in the future. Sheesh.