A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Many Short Films About Beer, Cars, and Financial Services

This week, I had the opportunity to view many short films about products and services that I may not have, may not want, but I will have to have any moment now. These films were interesting and entertaining, and interspersed with some sort of sports event called the Super Bowl. I tried my best to ignore the game, since I could care less about who was playing. Neither team was from Pennsylvania, so why should I give a damn?

Obviously the commercials were mostly geared with the male adult in mind, since that is the target audience for the game itself. Specifically, no perfume or feminine hygiene spots were in evidence. Financial services, careers, and male hygiene were also in the minority, but beer and cars/trucks were abundant.

Okay, let’s briefly summarize the first half of the game. There were a group of men in white jerseys running up against a group of men in blue jerseys. Both groups ran back and forth, back and forth for the better part of an hour or so. My interest in the game peaked when one of the teams (Chicago) scored first. This took all of 5 seconds from the first kickoff. Fortunately, the commercials came back quickly.

New cars and trucks were getting a heavy sell during the game. Detroit really needs the business now, what with three major automakers announcing losses and layoffs. One commercial stressing GM quality was ironic in its portrayal of an assembly line robot making a mistake and paying with its own life. Many critics noted this spot for its bad taste, given Detroit’s problems. So, if business is so bad, why spend millions on 30-second spots showing products that the general public is no longer buying? Couldn’t this money have been better used in retraining the soon-to-be unemployed assembly line workers? Take heart, autoworkers! There were several spots from CareerBuilders that you could use in your future, so the evening wasn’t a total loss.

Half –time show: The Artist Once Again Known As Prince! A real trooper, braving a downpour to play his electrified sound, generating the most fantastic array of guitar string vibrations since Jimi Hendrix died. A good medley of cover songs and his bigger hits, and bless his soul, he brought back go-go dancing for the occasion! Then the show ended and the game started again...bummer!

The second half: more running up and down the field, a lot of rain, a question of did he or didn’t he have both feet on the ground when he caught the pass, appeal, appeal granted and on and on. Too much game and not enough shots of the cheerleaders! How do they expect to make this game the big annual event for male testosterone if they ignore the cheerleaders? Come on, NFL, give them their own pre-game show!

I enjoyed the Budweiser commercials best of all, even though it’s not always my brand of choice. All right, so they call themselves the King of Beers, but I’m just not willing to get hit with rocks, get slapped, fight off scheming gorillas, pick up chainsaw-bearing hitch-hikers, or praise ice coolers on the beach just for a Budweiser. Don’t get me wrong, I like beer, but there is only so much I’m willing to do to get it.

This is all that I got out of the monument to American commercial excess known as the Super Bowl. If I could get away with it, I would watch it just for the commercials, and fast forward through the game itself. I realize that these words are sacrilegious coming from a white male, but I must be honest about the entire experience. The Super Bowl is not only a great avenue of escape from the humdrum of everyday life, if only for a few hours, but it is also a great example of misplaced priorities and resources in this country. I can only imagine how much good those millions of advertising dollars could have done if applied to such causes as hunger and justice. Oh well, I will have to keep dreaming...


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