Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl: Not for Kids Anymore

Super Bowl XLIII was difficult to watch with children. Instead of being an opportunity to teach about discipline, teamwork and sportsmanship, the subject all-to-often was sex. At least nine of the big game’s bigger commercials used sex to help sell products. Barely covered breasts were heaving, racecar driver Danika Patrick was showering while by being leered at by young men and women either took their clothes off or had them blasted off.
Family viewing this wasn’t.
The Super Bowl advertising spectacle is arguably almost as important a tradition as the game itself. The idea, of course, is that because the firms are paying a fortune for air time, advertisers will pull out the stops to produce memorable (and hopefully funny) commercials. This year, the first half of the formula worked well. NBC reportedly sold out, at a record $3 million per 30 seconds. Some advertisers did manage to field clever, funny, innovative and otherwise effective spots. But many fumbled their opportunity. Whether it was far too suggestive sexual content or just juvenile slapstick, the finest minds in advertising went right for the lowest common denominator.

NBC refused to accept two commercials for the broadcast. In the first instance, it deserves kudos for the refusal.

Had it run, “Veggie Love” from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would unquestionably have been the least appropriate Super Bowl ad of the year – perhaps ever. The hyper-sexual spot from PETA features women in negligees who apparently find vegetables quite a turn-on. NBC said the ad didn’t meet its standards.

Way over on the other end of the acceptability spectrum, NBC declined an ad from the Catholic pro-life group Fidelis. The showed an ultrasound image of a fetus that, we are asked to imagine, grows to become the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama. NBC rejected that commercial saying it would not accept “issues advocacy” commercials. That, however, is not what NBC told PETA when rejecting its “Veggie Love” ad.

As to the PETA ad, I doubt they ever expected NBC to run the ad.  In fact, I doubt that PETA could have or would have paid the rate that running the ad would have cost.  However, I've already seen the ad (or most of it) numerous times on the talk show circuit.  PETA got what they wanted.


About This Blog

This blog is about my opinions and world view.  I am a conservative, evangelical Christian.  Generally speaking, if you post a comment, I'll allow you to express your view.  However, if you say something hateful, untruthful, or just generally something I don't like, I may remove it.

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