Martha Thomases Sees Super Bowl Spots
This is going to be old news by the time you’re reading this, but as a card-carrying DFH I am still obsessing over the gender and racial politics of the Super Bowl. And also the nerd politics.
First, a disclaimer: I’ve never been able to figure out football. Even when my son played it in high school, I couldn’t understand the rules. I know there are two teams fighting over a ball. I know there “downs,” and they matter. I know it isn’t soccer, which I do understand. So I’m only watching for the commercials, and because every other television station has surrendered and is running reruns.
(And even then, I switched to the Law & Order marathon on TNT occasionally, especially during the black-out.)
The commercials were depressing.
And they were depressing for a lot of reasons. For one, they weren’t very good. I get that, for the most part, they aren’t aimed at me, an older woman who isn’t into beer and lives in a city where she doesn’t have to own a car.
(I should say, however, that if anyone could manipulate me into buying a car, it’s Jon Hamm and Willem Dafoe.)
So, yeah, there were commercials that tugged our heartstrings, with tear-jerking odes to soldiers and farmers and horses.
There were celebrities making unexpected appearances, like Oprah and Seth Rogan and Kelly Cuoco and Tracy Morgan and Paul Rudd. And, most surprising, dead Paul Harvey.
There were ads for summer movies, which are fun to see when it’s cold out.
There was the gross Go Daddy ad, which I believe is deliberately bad so we’ll talk about it, and therefore I’m going to stop now.
On average, the ads celebrate bros. The people in the ads are men who drink beer and eat chips and drive around. If there are women, they are either unobtainable sex objects (who are obtainable if you use Axe body spray or drink Budweiser) or affectionate scolds. It is as if to be a woman is to be the responsible adult, and that is to be avoided at all costs. A real man has no impulse control, and if he’s successful, women will take care of him.
If this is what men want, that’s really sad. I would be more inclined to believe that it’s what the advertisers want men to want, and so they try to sell this attitude along with their product. Or maybe the lowest common denominator is lower than I thought.
As a palate cleanser, you might enjoy this. I can’t say the men in the ad are particularly my type (big pecs don’t do it for me), but the ad is funny, to the point, and assumes a certain amount of intelligence in the target audience.
The other thing I learned from the Super Bowl this year is that, even though my initial reaction was that making this movie was a stupid idea, I desperately need to see The Lone Ranger.
SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman and the Comic Book Industry of the Future!