What I learned from the Super Bowl commercials

A few quick takeaways from 2015 Super Bowl commercials (which, without fact-checking, cost $4.5 million for 30 seconds…and it’s not like it’s on any individual for what makes the cut…oh no…an entire team of humans is okaying this stuff…like…what were the other options?):

  • Before any commercial commentary…throwing the ball on the one yard line with 30 seconds left, 3 downs to go, timeouts in your pocket, Marshawn “biscuits and gravy” Lynch in full Beast mode? I had nothing invested in this game, but that was atrocious. Pretty much how I imagine the Eagles will lose next time they get a title shot. (Let a man dream…)
  • Nissan reassured me that years of neglecting your child can be reconciled by picking him up in a shiny new car. So dads, if you’re thinking of making a reckless living at the expense of bonding with your son, just make sure you stay brand loyal to Nissan. All will be forgiven. Being a dad isn’t about being there. At least not more than once. Just give him the ol’ “that’s what men do, son” or “you’ll understand when you’re older why I left you alone with mom and never did anything to help you grow” bit. Once he hears the engine roar, he’ll forget all about the scars all over his heart and brain. Healthy development? Pssh. Rev that engine, baby.
  • Dads really matter. If we’re gonna perpetuate patriarchy, at least we’re trying to make the father more benevolent? Maybe? No? We’re still stuck in old ways? Okay.
  • Dove killed it with #likeagirl (and yeah, there’s something to lament in how a paradigm shift in gender can be so easily commodified and branded, but it might be the best we can do for now…)
  • Nationwide loves exploiting pathos as a rhetorical strategy. I’m not sure how I would’ve felt if I had a kid, but damn…
  • Is beer not a thing anymore?
  • Was the NFL in partnership with every company advertising? There were a few blemishes on the NFL’s image this year, and the commercials pretty unequivocally sought to cover them all. That said, kudos to the recognition of domestic abuse as a serious issue. Similar to #likeagirl, baby steps.
  • Budweiser needs work in its narrative department. That dog shtick is over.
  • Fiat is erecting quite a robust company. If their cars run for more than 4 hours on a single tank, please contact the local mechanic.
  • Coke actually got me a little bit with its happiness appeal, although I still loathe its distortion of happiness as a thing that can be bought. But you can at least take that happiness and use it as currency at McDonalds. Because our emotions are economic entities, right?
  • The creators of phone games must be loaded.

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