By Carol MacPherson
The Super Bowl, in addition to the football, is the Superhero of advertising, Captain Commercial, if you will. It’s all part of the fun. The Super Bowl is also a reminder of the supremacy of TV for entertainment and advertising, despite the daily declarations from the Department of the Internet. Captain Commercial points to the computer user who click, click, clicks to “close” online ads, like swatting at flies, so they can, for example, watch a commercial on YouTube. (We interrupt this rant for a word from our sponsor: If you “get your news online,” remember, the majority of it originally came from a newspaper, wire service, or TV report.)
The Super Bowl, the event that gave birth to the phrase “wardrobe malfunction,” is also fun because of the unpredictability of what creates controversy. So place your bets now on who will issue an apology a day after the game (Puppy fined for taunting during the half-time Puppy Bowl?) Let’s review the headlines like a referee:
•”Super Bowl ads: You make the call”: The TV ads ask people to go online to participate in various votes and contests. This approach mirrors a reality not reflected in commercials: People watching their nice flat-screen TVs with their laptop and smartphones at the ready.
- ”VW Jamaica-theme Super Bowl ad: Racist?” and “Coke ad racist?”: Ever get nostalgic for a 1970s peace and love “I’d like to teach the world to sing” commercial, or even a good old-fashioned wardrobe malfunction?
- ”Carrot juice instead of Coke? USDA proposes new school snack rules”: OK, even “I’d like to buy the world a glass of carrot juice” doesn’t have a great ring to it, they can still sing it in perfect harmony.
- ”Buffalo wings crisis hits Super Bowl snacking”: Oh, the humanity. Say it isn’t so. (Has it been ruled out that a panicky Chicken Little started the rumor of chicken wing shortage?)
- ”Oz vs. Captain Kirk vs. Lone Ranger in Super Bowl ads”: Would that be the great and powerful Dr. Oz? (Pay no attention to that doctor behind the camera.)
- ”Cops: 10 pounds of marijuana delivered to Seattle Kmart”: Turns out it was a mistake, rather than a forward-thinking retailer grabbing the bud, er, bull by the horns, like Costco did with liquor.
- ”Police: Driver attacks pedestrian after nearly hitting her”: Ever notice you never see those “Seattleites are too polite” articles anymore?
- ”Ex-Ill. governor returns home after prison release”: It’s not every state that prompts the question, “Which one?” (This refers to George Ryan and not Rod Blagojevich.)
- ”Pfizer, Lilly profit hurt by generic competition”: Because it’s a business report on fiscal health, never mind that “patients helped by generic competition.”
- ”The social network where no one knows your name”: Users are identified by a number only. Is the creation of the site what the movie “Life of Pi” is about?
- ”FDA approves first autonomous telemedicine robot for use in hospitals”: Finally. Equal opportunity hiring will now include members of the robotic community.
- ”Too soon to call the demise of the Mac”: Yes, despite the enduring online trend to declare everything that people use “dead” or “passe,” people still do, in fact, use computers.
- ”Webcam hackers can spy on you in secret”: (Isn’t “secret” implied when one “spies”? At least if done correctly.) Anyway, for the record, the government can also spy on you in secret.
- ”Plan to toll I-90 angers Mercer Islanders”: Some residents say it’s unfair because they would have to pay to leave the island. What’s so wrong with that? Wouldn’t it be kind a of beautiful symmetry to balance out the fact that they paid plenty to get on the island?
- ”How owls swivel their heads”: Sagely and wisely, especially when they wear those glasses.
- ”Why cell-phone using drivers won’t quit”: As they have told pollsters time and again, “multi-taskers” believe that while other drivers using their phones are dangerous, they, themselves, do not pose a danger. It’s the “you can’t handle the truth” “logic” that guides so many of us in our hypocrisies.
- ”The shrinking proton: Particle is smaller than thought”: The chagrined proton protested that he had just been swimming.
Trying barking out your plays like a quarterback this week. “Sixteen!” “Ounce!” “Latte, latte!” “Hike!”
Carol MacPherson: 425-339-3472, firstname.lastname@example.org