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Monday, February 08, 2010

Superbowl ads

Commentator on NPR's Talk of the Nation, Mary Elizabeth Williams, who also writes for Salon.com, noted what I had noticed - that there were several ads showing emasculated men reclaiming their masculinity - the FloTV "spineless men" ad, the Dockers "we wear no pants" ad, and, worst of all, the Dodge Charger "we've given up so much" ad.

Here's what Ms Williams had to say about the car ad:

Wow, I didn't realize being a grown-up was soooo challenging. And as you glumly stare at the camera until your eyeballs look like they're about to explode, all you demand is that you can zoom around to some fucking James Bond music in your dumb Dodge as you boldly take "Man's! Last! Stand!" Way to stick it to us. The Charger: delusional masculinity's reward for having to put the toilet seat down.

Of course there's always plenty of sexism, but I noticed it more this year - the book club ad for Budwiser (probably my least fav of the night, though a close second is the desert island one, which annoyed me for obvious reasons) and those nasty GoDaddy.com ads were just the worst - I was embarrassed to be in the room with my son. Ick.

The high point was the google ad, with the trip to Paris. Really charming.

Here's an excerpt from Ms Williams' excellent piece:

First, congratulations to the Saints. Second, guys, I am really sorry about your penises. You know, the ones we took away from you with our book clubs and our vampire TV shows. And while it's practically a tradition to get the lady knickers in a twist over that annual evening of misogyny punctuated with occasional outbreaks of football, really, I had no idea you were that angry. How angry? The Super Bowl hates females so much, even hens and baby girls aren't safe from scorn.

See, I know because I watched the game too -- women make up about a third of its audience. Believe it or not, we're actually capable of enjoying television events that don't revolve around snarking on Drew Barrymore's wardrobe choices. And we want to like the ads that accompany it -- those star-studded, memorably clever, funny and special effects-laden affairs that sponsors fall all over themselves to create for the edification of our captive eyeballs. Yet as I was brushing the cheese doodle dust off my shirt Sunday evening, I had one particular thought again and again -- somebody paid almost $3 million in airtime costs alone just to show us that?


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