I know I am going to get a lot of flack for this, but I do not really like the Super Bowl. It’s not that I don’t like football; I think it is an OK game to watch, but I prefer watching my Red Sox to any other sport. But here is the problem I have with the Super Bowl in general – the advertisements. The big game has slowly but surely turned into a giant advertisement for everything from beer to cars to deodorant to video games. Every couple of minutes we are bombarded with advertisements encouraging us to consume consume consume. It is like companies have been allowed to take over the TV for 5 hours with a constant message of “YOU MUST BUY THIS” and “YOU WILL NOT BE COOL UNLESS YOU OWN THIS FLUX CAPACITOR”. What does that have to do with football? N.O.T.H.I.N.G.
So we are watching the game because my wife is from Chicago (so sad they lost) and the half time show comes on. Sorry, the BLOCKBUSTER ONLINE HALF TIME SHOW. Blockbuster Online? If I was a member, shouldn’t I be watching one of the movies they sent instead? But anyways, during the entire half time show I am reminded that Blockbuster Online exists and that I should join. I don’t like this at all. I wanted to see Prince in all his short glory perform some old hits from when I was a kid, not see a graphic of Blockbuster covering his rained out face.
And throughout this 752 hour game, I watched about 1,387 ads. I think that number is actually correct because I started counting them and I ran out of paper at 1,311. We are told for weeks leading up to the game that the ads are funny, the ads will amaze you, Apple is going to introduce the iPod that mounts in your inner ear, that the newest flat screen plasma/lcd/tube TV for your bicycle is going to make its first appearance. WATCH NOW! BUY NOW! YOU…FOOTBALL FANS…YOU NEED THIS STUFF! SCREW THE GAME!
Imagine for a minute if in between plays of the game they talked about recycling. About global warming. About what people can do to help out the earth and each other. About how the money that was GOING to be spent on the half time fireworks/Air Force Flyover/robots with lasers shooting out of their eyes show was instead going to be spent on building a school in a low income neighborhood. Or a free clinic. Or a homeless shelter. Imagine the impact that would have on the 387 trillion people that tune in for the game. Do you think it would open an eye somewhere? How about 2 eyes?
But instead we must buy beer, buy new cars, play video games, buy a battery powered, lawn mowing, dish-doing Gillette Mach 12 razor. A taco from Kevin Federline. An HP computer from the OC Chopper Guys. Come on.
This is why I do not like the Super Bowl. It is not about football. It is not about sportsmanship. It is not about who gets the $5,000 ring at the end of 5 hours. It is about advertising. It is about companies creating the illusion that you need to buy their product because of how cool it is. Or how cool their ad was. Or who the celebrity sponsor is. Don’t buy it. If you like football, enjoy football. No problem there with me. But the ads have to stop. Hit the mute button and go take a bathroom break even if you don’t need to. Just get away from the ads. You do not need all that junk.
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