Well, I watched the Super Bowl. Most of it, anyway. A friend from Charlottesville invited me to a Super Bowl Party, but I had trouble getting the directions so I arrived late and missed the entire first quarter. The first commercial that I saw was a dreadful ad for Budweiser, in which a tough-looking cowboy walks into a town and sends everybody scurrying for cover, but he softens up and starts singing Broadway show tunes after someone gives him a beer. Look, folks at Budweiser, it’s been done before, okay?
The commercial I liked best was a VW ad for the “21st century Beetle”, which you can view here:
This commercial actually exploits the uniqueness of the product. The entire point of the Beetle is that it’s (a) small and (b) stylish. This ad makes both points in just thirty seconds. Plenty of other ads were slick but didn’t have much to do with the product. The Kia Optima “Epic Ride” commercial or the one with the kid dressed as Darth Vader could have been used for any car. VW actually cared enough to consider the particular merits of the car they were selling.
Other than that, what is there to say about the Super Bowl? I could write about how it’s an exercise in commercialism, how everything from the football commentary to the ads is dumbed down, how the halftime show was bland and uninspiring, how the entire thing is a sorry commentary on the state of American culture, and so forth. All of that has been covered in enough detail by others, however, so what would be the point? Gabe pointed out to be yesterday that Super Bowl Sunday is probably the fourth-most-observed holiday in the United States after Christmas, Thanksgiving, and July Fourth. I managed to convince him that New Year’s Eve probably also sneaks onto the list, thus dropping Super Bowl Sunday to fifth? (And what about Easter. Could that push it to sixth? And Valentine’s Day? Seventh?) But the point is that a lot of us watch the Super Bowl despite the fact that we enojy neither football nor corny commercials. As a result, we get overexposure to monotonous commentary, commercialism, and hypersexuality, and thus we feel a need to detoxify slightly after the game. Perhaps that’s what I’m doing by writing this.