Tardy thoughts on the Superbowl, dadvertising, and that stupid fire dress.

Let’s start with the game. It gets my standard review. Didn’t care. Didn’t watch it. Well, except for that fight at the end. That was kind of entertaining.  I hate football. YES! I SAID IT! I live in the southeast where college football is king and I neither care about SEC football (I mean, I want the Dawgs to win, I just don’t need to watch it happen) nor do I care about the NFL.

As for the half time show — thank you, Missy Elliott. It should have been your half time show. Not that I hate Katy Perry or anything, but Cinna was right there on stage with you, and that was the best fire dress you could come up with?!

I always watch for the commercials, specifically the humorous ones, although it seems like those are fewer every year. Or maybe I just thought they were funny back when I bothered to go to Superbowl parties and started drinking at noon. Of course the humorous ones were always mixed in there with the stereotypical scantily clad, partying women selling booze.

This year was an interesting departure. Not a lot of naked chicks, but a lot of kids and dad commercials. It’s funny. If that change had been made just a few years ago, I would have thought, great, wonderful! About time. And then I would have gone on with my life. But watching the commercials, even as a mom was a strange experience.

Let’s start with THAT Nationwide commercial. I’ll give you props, Nationwide. You got the nation’s attention. You collectively sucked the breath out of every room that had a TV tuned to the game. Adorable kid, charming and quirky depictions of childhood imagination; we fell in love with this little boy in 15 seconds. Then you killed him. We were treated to visuals of overflowing bathtubs, cabinets opened to containers of poison, and a flat screen television smashed on the floor. I conducted a very unscientific poll and have gathered that 63 percent of viewers responded with What the f—! 32 percent responded with mouths gaping open. And the remaining 5 percent were lucky enough to be in the bathroom.

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If it saves even one kid, it was worth it. But as a parent that is faced with  the reality of childhood mortality every day, I sure didn’t like it or want to see it when I just wanted laugh at idiots doing dumb crap to get Miller Lite or Doritos. Connor does not have any life threatening complications, but seizures are always dangerous and unpredictable. And I know so many people via my involvement in cannabis legislation that are dealing with far more dire situations than I am. The TSC community has lost two teenagers recently, and I’m going to be selfish and say I didn’t want to think about that during the stupid Super Bowl.

That Dove ad with a sequence of young children hitting milestones and calling out to dad. Dad. Daaad! Sweet commercial. I was a little confused by the Cats in the Cradle Nissan ad. Seemed depressing. Here, buy a Nissan and drive away from your family! Not everyone interpreted it that way, but if you are familiar with the song, it was kind of hard to view the commercial in an uplifting manner. But at least dad was there to pick up his teen son at the end. Toyota depicted a dad raising his daughter and tearfully dropping her off at the end to her military deployment.

This shift in advertising should have been a welcome change to me, but it sort of wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no fan of naked chicks spraying themselves with Coors Light. I’m not saying this a bad change. I just realized how different the experience of these commercials can be for some people in the special needs community, and especially for those who have lost or are facing losing a child.

Watching kids hit milestones and do things they can’t do yet, or may never do was extraordinarily painful for a LOT of parents, as I realized quickly from my Facebook feed. I know I felt a little funny, and I wasn’t even the target of the advertising. The Dove commercial with kids calling out for Dad…as I’m desperately waiting for Connor to say his first word made me stop and pause in the kitchen as I poured my drink. I read more than one thread online of parents that had clearly been taken out of the moment of enjoyment and festiveness by these ads. To be clear, no one was critical of the ads, it was just interesting to realize how much my own perspective has changed in the last three years.

As for me, next year I’ll probably watch Netflix upstairs, perhaps Nationwide Presents: The Never Ending Story 4: More About the Horse that Drowned in the First One. I’ll watch the funny commercials online later.

 

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