Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A Late Note On Superbowl Ads

The Mother Goose and Grimm comic strip on Sunday posited that the Superbowl halftime show would consist of Pat Boone welded into a suit of armor with duct tape over the mouth grille. From within, the faint sound of Pat humming the Teletubbies theme could be heard. Not far from the truth as it turned out, as the corporate Beatle Sir Paul McCartney-Brought-To-You-By-Ameriquest (that is now his given name) gave me yet another reason to be deeply suspicious of baby boomer beautiful people. During Macca the Shill's performance I wasn't surprised when I saw John Lithgow flitting through the shipped-in Benetton vetted crowd admonishing people not to dance.

Those irony free members of the Taliban-lite who comprise the commissioners of the FCC and the standards and practices teams at the networks are having a corrosive effect on American culture that will end up being much more damaging than any "wardrobe malfunction" or "Piss Christ" art shocker. Even the swamp dwellers at Fox decided that the championship match up between two teams of grown men playing a game around attempts to sell beer and chilli deserved greater moral protection than they offer on one of their 4pm talk shows. The whole stifling morass of moral medicority this year even extended to the usually sacrosanct club of folks who give the networks lots of money:

Digital Spy: NFL, Fox pulled Superbowl ad
Internet services company Go Daddy bought two ad spots during the Super Bowl, during which it planned to air an ad featuring a fake "broadcast censorship" Congressional hearing in which a female Go Daddy representative has trouble keeping her top on. The first airing of the ad went ahead as scheduled, but the second failed to appear...

Of course the most appropriate use of advertising dollars apparently is to dress up a bunch of photogenic actors as soldiers, have them walk through the airport to growing applause, and then let your corporate logo linger long enough so that people make the connection that drinking your beer is patriotic. Thank you Anheuser Busch for an advertisment as transparent as your beer. If you really want to say thanks, give the $2.5 million you spent (and the thousands it cost to shoot the commercial) for that slot to service charities and issue a press release. And why stage an airport scene? Many returning US troops come home via Bangor Airport up here in Maine. Every day Mainers (of all political persuasions) volunteer to meet the planes (whenever they come in), hand out care packages, and just smile and shake hands. Why not film that? Maybe the greeters and the soldiers aren't photogenic enough (especially those troops who are walking wounded) or maybe they are Miller drinkers. Christ, why don't you just lay on a keg or two at the airport so that these soldiers can tie one on and cut loose when they first reach American soil?

Still, I have to hand it to you A-B, you fooled a bunch of folks with your estatz patrio-suds, including this deluded America First loon from the letters page of the Arizona Republic:

Toast Busch and roast McCartney
Feb. 8, 2005

I'm so disappointed in the Super Bowl halftime show I can hardly stand it.
The Super Bowl is the most American thing we have going, and we had to import talent from "across the pond."
Granted, it was very flashy. But was there no American group who could have done the same thing? Was an American group even asked?
Also, I watched the Anheuser-Busch commercial, and I got all misty. That's an American company. - Dorothy K******, Mesa

I have no evidence for this, but I bet this woman is related to Donald Rumsfeld somehow.

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