Never Be Duped by the Super Bowl
Last year’s Super Bowl matchup between the Broncos and the Seahawks generated 111.5 million viewers, and this year promises to be no different. Americans love their football — there is seemingly nothing better than football Sunday, when men (and select women) put their feet up, guzzle down beers with the boys, and bow down to the NFL. Nothing wrong with this picture, everyone deserves their fun. Super Bowl Sunday in particular is a bit more menacing; it is Corporate America’s Olympics, an evening overridden with million dollar advertisements that target ‘innocent’ bystanders and lure in an indulgent audience.
Duped by the Super Bowl
Commercials are intended to take hold of their viewers and convince them to ‘buy’ and ‘believe’ — buy the materialism they are promoting and believe in the often erroneous social commentaries they purport. There has been an array of Super Bowl advertisements that have generated lasting attention and criticism. The hype in 2013 surrounded a Mercedes Benz ad featuring Kate Upton that was deemed indecent, and since-banned. Last year, Coca-Cola debuted a 60-second commercial, featuring various American backdrops, and set to “America the Beautiful,” which was sung by a variety of languages, underscoring our country’s ever-growing diversity.
Despite its promotion of inclusion, and emphasis on the values that deem the U.S. worthy of such a song as “America the Beautiful,” Coke’s ad generated a host of negative criticism from fearful and ignorant pundits. This year, internet domain GoDaddy was forced to pull its ‘puppy ad’ amid an eruption of social media outrage, and Kim Kardashian will once again laugh all the way to the bank, all while laughing at herself in T-Mobile’s supposedly satirical ad.
In a few days, as Americans unwind and get into the spirit of Super Bowl Sunday, we should consider the underlying messages in the million dollar commercials we are sold. Sure, they range from the innocuous to the silly to the mundane, but big businesses aren’t buying multi-million dollar commercial time for nothing. We should be mindful consumers, not just of the material products we may purchase, but of the ideas we are being forced to absorb.